Monday, June 4, 2018

The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves ...

June 4, 1938 -
Another extremely funny Warner Bros. Cartoon, Porky the Fireman, was released on this date.

The director, Frank Tashlin, is one of the few directors to successfully make the transition from animation to live-action, noted especially for his work with Jerry Lewis. Tashlin never made a picture that couldn’t be slotted firmly into the genre of comedy.

June 4, 1953 -
Joseph L. Mankiewicz's
adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic tragedy, Julius Caesar, starring Marlon Brando and just about every middle aged British actor opened in general release on this date.

Director John Huston remarked on Brando's intense Method acting in this film as "like a hot furnace opening in a dark room."

June 4, 1963 -
The Nutty Professor,
arguably Jerry Lewis' best directorial effort, was released on this date.

At the time of the making of this picture, Jerry was the commercial spokesman for Dr. Pepper explaining the product placement of a Dr. Pepper vending machine in the club scenes.

June 4, 1965 -
The Rolling Stones
release Satisfaction on this date.

The final take was recorded just five days after Richards first came up with the idea. Three weeks later, it was released as a single in the US. An instant hit, it made The Stones stars in America. It helped that they were already touring the US to support it.

June 4, 1982 -
Paramount released the epic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (which should have been titled, Battle of the Outrageous Toups) opened on this date.

At the time of the movie, both William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban were starring on TV series produced by Aaron Spelling.  Shatner was on TJ Hooker and Montalban was on Fantasy Island. Both aired on ABC-TV.

On the same day, Paramount also released the horror classic, Poltergeist.

The production crew used real human skeletons because it was cheaper to purchase them instead of plastic ones.

June 4, 1984 -
Bruce Springsteen
released Born in the USA on this date.

Born In The U.S.A. was the first CD manufactured in the United States for commercial release. It was pressed when CBS Records opened its CD manufacturing plant in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1984. Discs previously had been imported from Japan.

Word of the day

Today in History:
June 4, 1070
Roquefort cheese was accidentally discovered in a cave near Roquefort, France, when a shepherd found a lunch he had forgotten several days before, chasing after a pretty girl.

Remember, this is an estimated date - history doesn't normally record the spoiled luncheon choices hungry shepherds have. This was a very brave (or very hungry) shepherd.

Also, how do they know he was chasing a pretty girl.  Maybe he was chasing another virile and strapping youth.  Maybe it was a fetching sheep with a come-hither look. What business is it of yours anyway?

The Freemasons were officially founded in London on June 4, 1717.

The Freemasons are not a secret society of assassins. They do not have Cesar Borgia's head preserved in an urn filled with grappa. They were not responsible for the French Revolution. They did not kidnap Anastasia Romanov. They are not in control of the Hale-Bopp comet. They did not invent horseradish.

They were masters of masonry, however, and they ushered in a golden age of making things out of rocks.

Freemasons first appeared in England and Scotland in the 1300s, not long after the first appearance of the Loch Ness monster but well before the advent of crop circles. Most laborers of the era were villains and therefore prohibited from travel; since most stone masonry projects (such as cathedrals, churches, and big piles of rocks) required specialized training and large numbers of workers, however, stone masons were permitted to travel freely. They became known as Freemasons; their curious lunchboxes came to be known as mason jars.

Whenever the Freemasons arrived in town to start work on a new project, they set up a common area where they could meet one another, receive their pay, get food, train apprentices, rest, and get roaring drunk. These came to be known as lodges.

As the centuries passed, the Freemasons did less and less work with rocks and more and more drinking at lodges. Today, the Freemasons are a friendly social organization with a secret handshake, and are therefore believed to be responsible for selling out the governments of the world to an invading extraterrestrial army.

June 4, 1783 -
The Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrate their unmanned montgolfière (hot air balloon) on this date.

The first untethered flight was recorded by the brothers later that year on November 21, 1783 in Paris, France.

June 4, 1798 -
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt, Venetian adventurer, syphilis sufferer and author, died in relative obscurity as the librarian of Count Waldstein of Bohemia on this date. The Count often ignored him at meals and failed to introduce him to important visiting guests. More over, Casanova, the testy outsider, was thoroughly disliked by most of the other inhabitants of the Castle of Dux. Casanova’s only friends seemed to be his fox terriers.

In despair, Casanova considered suicide, but instead decided that he must live on to record his memoirs, which he did until his death.

His main book Histoire de ma vie (History of My Life), part autobiography and part memoir, is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. His last words are said to have been “I have lived as a philosopher and I die as a Christian.”

June 4, 1937 -
Sylvan Goldman ran a successful chain of grocery stores, where customers could carry hand baskets while they shopped. By 1937, when he was a major owner of the Humpty-Dumpty supermarket chain, he invented the shopping cart. He got the idea from a wooden folding chair. He designed the cart by putting a basket on the seat, another below and wheels on the legs. He and a mechanic, Fred Young put one together with a metal frame, and wire baskets.

On this date, Goldman placed an advertisement in the Oklahoma City papers, showing a woman exhausted by the weight of her shopping basket. “It’s new – It’s sensational. No more baskets to carry,” the ad said, referring to the new shopping cart.

Unfortunately, the customers didn’t want to use the carts. Young men thought they would appear weak; young women felt the carts were unfashionable; and older people didn’t want to appear helpless. So, Goldman hired models of all ages and both sexes to push the things around the store, pretending they were shopping.

June 4, 1989 -
Tiananmen Square protests (also know as the "June Fourth Incident") were ended in the typical manner of a totalitarian regime - with the People's Liberation Army soldiers and tanks, massacring the people they are supposed to serve.

Amnesty International estimated anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 Chinese democracy advocates were killed on this day. The Chinese government puts the death toll at 241. Public commemoration of the incident is officially banned. However, the residents of Hong Kong have held an annual vigil on the anniversary of the crackdown, even after Hong Kong reverted to Chinese administration.

Once again, I'm not making any friends with the Chinese government.

And so it goes.


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