Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Is it just me,

Or is it time to panic.

Yesterday we had one billionaire send his sports car into space, with a dummy in a spacesuit, listening to David Bowie's Life on Mars in an endless loop.

And another billionaire, confusing himself with a tinpot despot, began drawing up plans to have a military parade through Washington DC, so he can sit in review of it.

Just in time for breakfast:

The average American consumes about 12 pounds of cereal in a year.

February 7, 1914 -
Charlie Chaplin first appeared as The Tramp, in his first film Kid Auto Races at Venice which was released by Keystone Studios, on this date. The Tramp, as portrayed by Chaplin, was a bumbling but usually good-hearted character who was most famously presented as a vagrant who endeavors to behave with the manners and dignity of a gentleman despite his actual social status.

With only a small number of exceptions, Chaplin would play only The Tramp (or slight variations on the character) on film until The Great Dictator.

February 7, 1940 -
Walt Disney's second feature-length movie, Pinocchio, premiered at the Center Theatre in Manhattan on this date.

Originally budgeted at $500,000, the development of the film caused it to go way over-budget and ultimately cost $2.5 million, one of the most expensive films produced at the time.

February 7, 1974 -
Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles opened on this date. Fart jokes gain a certain cache afterwards.

When the film was first screened for Warner Brothers executives, almost none of them laughed, and the movie looked to be a disaster that the studio would not release. However, Mel Brooks quickly set up a subsequent screening for the studio's employees. When these regular folks laughed uproariously throughout the movie, Warner Brothers finally agreed to take a chance on releasing it.

Nightmare on Pensylvania Avenue

Today in History:
February 7, 1812
Charles Dickens, English novelist, was born in Portsmouth, England on this date.

He was the quintessential Victorian author.

February 7, 1845 -
An 'intemperate' vandal, William Lloyd, entered the British Museum and smashed the irreplaceable Portland Vase into over 200 pieces on this date. The elaborate glass amphora was created when Augustus was Caesar and was about ten inches high (the vase, not the emperor.)

It took a lot of glue and months to repair.

On February 7, 1898, the trial of Emile Zola began in Paris. He lost, but then eventually he won. He accused someone of something. Somehow, the actor Paul Muni was involved. Or vice-versa. Long story.

It all began in the backwoods of Illinois... no, that was Lincoln. Never mind

February 7, 1908 -
Buster Crabbe, Olympic athlete, actor and swimming pool sales man, was born on this date.

Crabbe is the only actor who played Tarzan, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers - the top three comic strip heroes of the 1930s.

February 7, 1962 -
Edward John "Eddie" Izzard, stand-up comedian, dramatic actor and executive transvestite, was born on this date.

Long time readers of this silliness may have realized that I am very partial to Mr Izzard, Executive Transvestite.

February 7, 1964 -
It was 54 years ago today, The Beatles arrived at JFK International Airport to begin their first tour of the United States. They helped bring about a social revolution whose effects can be felt to this day. They had nothing to declare but their genius.

The Beatles came from Britain, sometimes known as England, a little island in the North Atlantic from which many people have come to the United States over the years, some of them without guitars.

The British (or English), like so many other Europeans, have a long and storied history. Although it took the French to perfect the guillotine, the English (or British) made up for in zeal what they lacked in technological savvy, and next week is the anniversary of three British (or English) queens having their heads hewn from their shoulders.

On February 8, 1587, after nineteen years in prison, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded.

On February 12, 1554, Lady Jane Grey, Queen for nine days in 1553, was beheaded.

On February 13, 1542, Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's Vth wife, was beheaded.

If you can get to an English (or British) pub next week, order a beer with extra head and see if they get the joke. (Be prudent, however, as people will sometimes react in unexpected ways when asked for any kind of head at all.)

February 7, 1965 -
... Show me one guy or woman as funny as Rodney Dangerfield or as good as George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, or Joan Rivers. There are a lot of good comics out there, no doubt, but as far as the quality of the comics goes, I think what you have is a bunch of situational comics....

Christopher Julius "Chris" Rock III, comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer, film producer, director and not an executive transvestite was born on this date.

February 7, 1968 -
It became necessary to destroy the town to save it. -

This was a quote attributed by Peter Arnett (written on this date.) to an anonymous American major speaking about the town of Ben Tre, the main town in Ben Tre province, Vietnam, after the Americans had heavily bombarded it.

February 7, 1990 -
The Soviet Union's Communist Party agreed to let opposition political parties compete for control of the country, thereby giving up its monopoly on power.

They were forced to sell of most of their properties on Baltic Avenue to the Russian mob.

And so it goes.


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