Sunday, June 10, 2018

Raise your glass

It's usually a happy day, with feasting and flag-waving in some isolated jungle villages in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, celebrating the 97th birthday of my favorite itinerant Greek sailor Philip Mountbatten (Prince Philippos of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl├╝cksburg.)

Vanuatu remains one of the most vulnerable countries on the planet to the negative effects of climate change and natural disasters. The island is still almost two years away from full recovery of Cyclone Pam in 2014

The Duke of Edinburgh is worshipped as a god there.

It must be nice for him to be worshipped somewhere. Once again, let us send his Grace good wishes that he still has the wherewithal to appreciate being worshipped as a god somewhere.

It's National Black Cow Day - Everybody get a root beer float today and run around to celebrate

What day isn't a good day to play a Steely Dan song.

June 10, 1939 -
released the first cartoon in the Barney Bear series, The Bear That Couldn't Sleep, on this date.

Barney Bear was a character patterned after actor Wallace Beery, a character actor known for playing gruff but lovable characters, as well as the occasional villain.

June 10, 1953 -
Arguably, one of the worse films ever (save those of auteur Ed Wood), Robot Monster was released upon an unsuspecting public, on this date.

The scenes on the view screen presented by Ro-Man, come from a variety of sources: among them, the shots of New York in apocalyptic ruins are matte paintings by Irving Block from Captive Women (released in 1952); the shots of the headquarters of the Great Guidance (a rocket ship in launching position) was originally created for Rocketship X-M (released in 1950), also painted by Block.

According to the Medved brothers' book The Golden Turkey Awards, director Phil Tucker attempted suicide after the release of this film due to the overwhelmingly negative critical reaction it received. He put a gun next to his head and pulled the trigger. He missed.

June 10, 1983 -
United Artists
released the 13th (or the 12th or the 14th, depending on how you count 'em) James Bond film, Octopussy, starring Roger Moore in the US on this date.

During filming, Roger Moore was misdiagnosed with heart problems. When he got home Maud Adams had her boyfriend who was a doctor give him a second opinion. He pronounced him medically fit.

June 10, 1985 -
On May 23, 1985, Francis Albert Sinatra, native son of Hoboken received an honorary degree of engineering from the Stevens Institute of TechnologyGarry Trudeau decided to take his life into his own hands when he rudely reminded the American public that Mr. Sinatra was a friend of 'organized crime' in a Doonesbury comic strip on this date.

Over 800 newspapers decided to join him in the foolhardy enterprise and carried the panel. By the next week, lawyers representing Frank Sinatra demanded a list of the names of newspapers that published the Doonesbury cartoon strip satirizing Mr. Sinatra from the distributor of the comic so they can seek retractions.

June 10, 2007 -
The final episode of (what could arguably have been the greatest television series ever broadcast) The Sopranos aired on this date.

I'm not even going to comment upon what actual happened in the last few moments of the broadcast. (David Chase sort of explained.)

Coincidence or not, Italian Businessman John Gotti died on this date in 2002.

Make of it what you wish

Another book I haven't read

Today in History:
June 10, 1692
Bridget Bishop, owner of two taverns, was hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem, Massachusetts after having been convicted of "certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcraft and Sorceries" on this date.

Bishop was just the first casualty of what will come to be known as the Salem Witch Trials. (Interestingly enough, a year after her death, her husband married one of the chief witnesses against her.)

June 10, 1935 -
God, grant me the serenity ...

It's the anniversary of the establishment of A(lcoholics) A(nonymous), in Akron, Ohio. It was founded by a stockbroker named Bill Wilson and a surgeon, Bob Smith, who found that the best way to keep from drinking was to spend time with other people who were trying to keep from drinking. Between the two of them, they developed the main traditions of AA: anonymity, confession and mutual support.

Alcoholics Anonymous grew rapidly in the '40s and '50s, but Bill Wilson refused to appear on the cover of Time, wouldn't accept an honorary degree from Yale, because believed in anonymity, and he stuck with it to the end.

June 10, 1973 -
The 17-year-old grandson of J. Paul Getty was abducted in Rome on this date. When the kidnappers demand a $17 million ransom, the billionaire refuses. "I have 14 other grandchildren, and if I pay one penny now, then I will have 14 kidnapped grandchildren." After the grandson's severed ear arrives in the mail, Getty finally coughs up the money.

Even if he had to pay $17 million dollars for each of his grandchildren, it still would have left him well over $750 million dollars of his estimated $1 billion dollar fortune.

This is the kind of love you can only find in wealthy families.

June 10, 2004 -
Ray Charles Robinson known by his stage name Ray Charles, American pianist and musician who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues, died on this date.

In February 2005, Ray was awarded with the Congressional Gold Medal.

And so it goes.


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