Thursday, January 4, 2018

There is no trivia in a strategic mind

(running a little late this morning - It's really bad outside, why not stay in and read more of our postings)

National Trivia Day is observed across the United States each year on January 4.  We observe trivia day, everyday here.

Oscar the Grouch used to be orange.

Jim Henson decided to make him green before the second season of Sesame Street.

In June of 2011, former President Bill Clinton appears on the NPR radio quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Being the Brony that he is, he correctly answered three questions about My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

Editor Bennett Cerf challenged Dr. Seuss to write a book using no more than 50 different words.

The result? Green Eggs And Ham

As always, celebrate responsibly.

January 4, 1941 -
The animated short Elmer's Pet Rabbit was released on this date: it marks the second appearance of Bugs Bunny and the first to have his name on a title card.

It was directed by the legendary Chuck Jones.

(Note that Bugs hasn't developed his characteristic buck teeth yet.)

January 4, 1958
The TV series, Sea Hunt, starring Lloyd Bridges premiered, in syndication on this date.

When the producer wanted Mike Nelson to wear a grey wetsuit, he had to have one specially ordered. Objecting to the high price, he bought a can of spray paint, sprayed it himself, and had two of the crew hold Lloyd Bridges arms up while the paint dried. When it dried, Bridges couldn't put his arms down. The paint was too stiff. He paid the high price after all.

January 4, 1975 – 
Elton John
cover of the Lennon - McCartney song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds reached the No. #1 spot on the Billboard Charts on this date.

John Lennon sang and played guitar on Elton's Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, but reportedly forgot some of the chords and needed Davey Johnston, Elton John's guitarist, to help him out. Lennon made a surprise appearance in Elton's Thanksgiving concert in New York and performed three songs, which proved to be his last public performance.

January 4, 1984 -
Night Court starring Harry Anderson premiered on NBC-TV on this date.

Show featured over five cast changes within the first year. Six female leads were featured before Markie Post was settled on. Post was the producers original choice in season two, but could not get out of her The Fall Guy contract. Gail Strickland played the public defender in the pilot episode before being replaced by Paula Kelly, who was then replaced in season two by Ellen Foley before Post joined in season three. Two court clerks were featured, first Karen Austin, then Charles Robinson. Three bailiff changes were Selma Diamond, who died after the show's second season, Florence Halop, who died the following year, then Marsha Warfield, who remained until the show's finish. The only cast members to remain from the pilot until the finale were Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, and Richard Moll.

Today's gift count (286): you currently have 11 piper's piping, 20 hyperactive effete British gentlemen, knocking furniture over, 27 Pole dancers (draw the shades, the neighborhood kids are staring into your  windows), 32 organized dairy workers striking for better working conditions, 35 Swans making a racket, befouling your second bathroom (I hope you have a second bathroom), 36 geese a' laying, 35 golden rings, 32 calling birds, 27 French hens, 20 turtledoves and 11 partridges in their respective pear trees.

The eleven pipers piping are the first eleven faithful Apostles and why are you still signing for any packages delivered at your home?

If you don't have to, please stay home - it's bad outside.

Today in History:
January 4, 1643

...There is no disputin', we're all indebted to Sir Isaac Newton ...

Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian was born on this date (or on Christmas day 1642 Old Style.)

And imagine, he still had time to invent Fig Newton Cookies.

January 4, 1863 -
James L. Plimpton
changed the skating world forever when he patented the forerunner of the modern roller skate with 4 wheels.

The skate accomplished what previous ones could not: it could maneuver in a smooth curve. Plimpton's skate was far superior to any other that had ever been invented.

January 4, 1885 -
A gravely ill 22-year-old named Mary Gartside was brought to Mercy Hospital in Davenport, Iowa with a sharp pain in her side, Dr. William Grant, decided to try an untested surgery rather than allow the young woman to die .

After giving her anesthesia, he cut into her side and removed the infected appendix.  Gartside recovered fully from the surgery and the medical community learned that the appendix was not necessary for living (except for removed organ collectors.)

January 4, 1903 -
Topsy was a domesticated elephant with the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island's Luna Park. Because she had killed three men in three years (including a severely abusive trainer who attempted to feed her a lit cigarette), Topsy was deemed a threat to people by her owners and killed by electrocution on this date (Inventor Thomas Edison facilitates the entire affair.)

In an attempt to discredit Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla by showing how dangerous Alternating Current electricity was, Thomas Edison filmed the whole proceedings.

He would release it later that year under the title Electrocuting an Elephant (but that is another story.)

Raise your frozen Margaritas and toast dear old Stephen J. Poplawski. Mr. Poplawski was born in Poland on August 14, 1885, which was a fine place to be born if your wanted to be a farmer or fodder for the cannons of the next Austro-Hungarian Geopoliticial machination. He would have none of that and emigrated at age 9 with his parents to Racine, Wis (most children were usually beaten soundly when they suggested emigrating in the 1880's.) In 1918 he founded Stephens Tool Co. and in 1919 was hired by Arnold Electric Co. to develop an automatic malted milk mixer for use in restaurants (Racine being home of Horlick Malted Milk.)

On January 4, 1922 he filed a patent "for the first mixer of my design having an agitating element mounted in a base and adapted to be drivingly connected with the agitator in the cup when the cup was placed in a recess in the top of the base."

Well, you don't think they give you a patent for a machine that makes frosty, delicious alcoholic drinks, do you?

January 4, 1943 -
Josef Stalin
, evil bastard and abused child, appears as Time's 1942 Man of the Year.

Circulation for the magazine would have increased dramatically, if Stalin hadn't purged millions of Russian citizens.

January 4, 1960 -
John Michael Stipe
, the lead mumbler for R.E.M. was born on this date.

Michael appears to have sold his beard to David Letterman, trying to make ends meet years after REM has broken up.

January 4, 1960 -
Albert Camus, French writer, died in an automobile accident at age 46 on this date. In his coat pocket lay an unused train ticket.

He had planned to travel by train with his wife and children, but at the last minute accepted his publisher's proposal to travel with him.

If that isn't absurd, I don't know what is.

January 4, 1963 -
Dave Foley, Actor/Comedian (The Kids In The Hall, News Radio) and Canadian was born on this date.

Hey, Christmas ain't over til Saturday!

January 4, 1965 -
Thomas Stearns Eliot, (American-born) English poet, playwright, literary critic and noted Anti-Semitism, died in London, on this date.

I guess he finished measured out his life with coffee spoons?

January 4, 1965 -
During his State of the Union address, President Lyndon B. Johnson outlined his plans for the "Great Society" on this date. President Johnson had introduced his vision of a Great Society in a May 22, 1964 speech: “The great society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time.

It outlined many social reform programs, including Medicare/Medicaid, the Civil Rights Act, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

January 4, 1972 -
Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduces the HP-35, the first handheld scientific calculator.

The device takes its name from its thirty-five buttons. It’s release marks the beginning of the end of the widespread use of slide rules.

And so it goes.


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