Tuesday, August 13, 2019

God made everyone right-handed, the truly gifted overcome it.

Today is International Lefthanders Day.

The U.S. has had eight left-handed presidents; James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

August 13, 1942 -
Walt Disney's Bambi
premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York on this date.

"Man is in the forest" was a code phrase used by Disney's employees when Walt Disney was coming down the hallway.

August 13, 1947 -
The apex of technicolor film-making - Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Black Narcissus, premiered in New York City on this date.

The last scene in the film, of the rains beginning as Mr. Dean watches the Sisters leaving Mopu, was carefully devised. It was Jack Cardiff's idea to have a few initial drops of rain hitting the foreground flowers. Cardiff was to later regret this brainstorm, however. There was originally meant to be a concluding scene, in which Sister Clodagh returns to Calcutta and speaks with the Mother Superior. Cardiff thought that this sequence featured some of the best work of his career, but the power of the rain scenes demanded that they end the film.

August 13, 1967 -
One of the defining movies of the 1960s, Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, had its US premiere on this date.

A screening for Jack L. Warner went very badly for Warren Beatty and Arthur Penn, Warner got up three times to pee. Warner initially dumped the film into drive-in and second run theaters, and apparently went to his grave still hating the film.

August 13, 1976 -
AIP released the sci-fi film Futureworld, starring Peter Fonda, Blythe Danner, Arthur Hill and Yul Brynner, on this date.

Not one actor from West World appeared in this movie except from Yul Brynner, (as the gunfighter), who made a brief appearance in a dream sequence.

Today's moment of Zen

Today in History:
August 13, 1521
After a 75 day siege, Hernando Cortes captured and destroyed the capital of the Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan (Aztec for "Mexico City") on this date.

When the Spaniards fail to discover Montezuma's treasure, they tortured Cuauhtemoc (the current Aztec king) by pouring hot oil over his feet. The emperor responds by asking, "Am I on a bed of roses?" (Who knew the Aztecs were such comedians?)

It was important to defeat the Aztecs, because they were an Evil Empire that practiced Human Sacrifice and Difficult Spelling.

August 13, 1899
Luck is everything... My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I'm fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn't make a good suspense film.

Arguably, the most famous film director in the 20th Century, Alfred Hitchcock was born on this date.  Hitchcock, known as the master of suspense, is most renowned for his films Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest and Psycho.

August 13, 1907 -
The first (gasoline powered) taxicabs, the New York Taxicab Company fleet, appeared on NYC streets on this date (the actual date seems to be mired in controversy.) The first 65 taxis were imported from France by businessman Harry N. Allen, who adapted the French word taxi-m├Ętre and coined the word "taxicab" to describe the vehicles he was importing.

In time, the shortened term "taxi" came into common usage. (The first gas powered cabs were red and green.  Allen was also the first person to paint his taxis yellow, after learning that yellow is the color most easily seen from a distance.)

August 13, 1918 -
Women were first allowed to enlist in the United States Marine Corps on this date.

Opha Mae Johnson was the first of 305 women to enlist in the US Marine Corps on this day.

August 13, 1926 -
Minor league Rat Bastard (depending on your point of view) Fidel Castro was born on his father's 23,000-acre sugar cane plantation near Biran, Cuba on this date.

I wonder if Castro has gotten that chance to play ball in the Major Leagues in the after life?

August 13, 1961 -
The city of Berlin split itself right down the middle on this date.

The Cold War was running pretty hot back then. The Russians were just nasty. They were so evil they convinced East Germany to shut West Germany out. East Germany locked the Brandenburg gate and threw away the key. Then, just to be absolutely safe, they built the Great Wall of Berlin, and assigned evil socialist soldiers to shoot any West Germans who tried to sneak into East Germany.

Oddly enough, no West Germans tried to sneak in.

The soldiers, being evil socialist bastards with guns and therefore needing desperately to shoot at someone, therefore shot at East Germans.

About a year later, for example, on August 17, 1962, 18-year-old Peter Fechter was shot by East German guards as he tried to cross the Berlin Wall into West Germany. He bled to death in public view.

The guards (Rolf Friedrich and Erich Schreiber) who shot him were tracked down and convicted of manslaughter thirty-four years later.

Moral: you might think you can get away with shooting people just because you're a heavily-armed socialist bastard living in an evil socialist regime propped up by an evil socialist empire - You can run. But you can't hide. (It may seem like you can, but just wait.)

Eventually John F. Kennedy announced that he was a jelly-filled donut, Ronald Reagan asked Mr. Gorbachev to tear down this wall, Boris Yeltsin rode on a tank, and there didn't seem to be any real point in having a Wall any more.

So they tore it down. (Karma does appear to bite one in the ass.)

And so it goes.


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