Thursday, May 28, 2020

Put the lotion on!

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 -Looking for a good book to read?

Harvard University Library has several books (three to be exact) bound in human skin (- known as anthropodermic books).


Today is Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day. The German based NGO WASH United wanted to raise awareness that over 1.25 billion women who do not have access basic sanitary conditions during their period. Given the fact that a little more than half the world's population are women and on any given day, more than 800 million women between the ages of 15 and 49 are menstruating, it is an issue that effects everyone.







OK, I got through this without running, screaming from the room.


Don't forget, tomorrow starts Manhattanhenge viewing

(more on this tomorrow)


May 28, 1929 -
Warner Bros
released the film On With the Show! on this date.  It was the first movie shown to be fully in color and fully in sound. (The color version of the film seems to have been lost; there is only a B & W print in existence.)



It was the second movie produced by Warner Brothers, and helped start the Technicolor revolution.


May 28, 1953 -
Walt Disney's
first animated 3-D cartoon in Technicolor, Melody, premiered on this date



Originally there was going to be an entire series of Adventures in Music shorts but in fact, only one other was made: the Academy Award-winning Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom.


May 28, 1966 –
Percy Sledge 's
song When A Man Loves A Woman hit no. 1 on the Billboard charts on this date.



This song is a huge part of music history, as it is the first #1 Hot 100 hit recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones and many other famous musicians would later record some of their classic songs.


May 28, 1966 -
Ike and Tina Turner
released the classic song River Deep, Mountain High, on this date. (Although this is credited to Ike And Tina Turner, Ike had no part in the recording process. Turner was paid $20,000 up front to made sure that he was not in the studio during the sessions.)



This was written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector. Greenwich and Barry were married from 1962-1965 but kept working together after their divorce. They were one of the most successful songwriting teams of the '60s, with a string of hits that included Do Wah Diddy Diddy and Leader of the Pack. Spector was a legendary producer famous for his "Wall Of Sound" recording technique, which he had used with great success on other songs he worked on with Greenwich and Barry, including hits by The Ronettes and The Crystals. Greenwich, Barry and Spector each had separate ideas for songs which they combined to form River Deep - Mountain High. The melody is a composite of three different unfinished songs.


May 28, 1989 -
Marvin Young
(Young MC, who is now 53 years old) an economics major at University of Southern California released his Grammy Award winning album, containing the hit Bust A Move, on this date.



The main sample in this song is a loop from a song that came out in 1970 called Found A Child by a Seattle Funk group called Ballin' Jack.


Another court mandated PSA concerning COVID-19 from ACME.


Today in History:
May 28, 1503
-
The Treaty of Everlasting Peace between Scotland and England was signed culminating in the marriage of James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor (sister of Henry VIII) on this date.



Once again the European sense of time prevails and the treaty would actually last only 10 years.


On May 28, 1743, Joseph Ignace Guillotin was born in France on this day. Later he became a doctor. As a politically active humanitarian, he was understandably disturbed by the grisly executions of the French Revolution. He was sure people could be killed more efficiently, and he proposed a device to do just that (Antoine Louis devised the gismo.)

Dr Louis' machine sliced the victim's head off by means of a heavy, suspended blade rushing down a pair of side rails onto (or more accurately through) the victim's neck. Not only was it quick and painless: in those dull years before cable, it was also great entertainment. Dr Guillotin enjoyed watching the youngsters scampering playfully about the machine, fighting for the severed head.

During the rough weather that followed the French Revolution (known to meteorologists as "The Rain of Terror") it became necessary to purge the Republic of all obstacles to the welfare of its people. Sadly, most of those obstacles were people themselves, and there were a damned lot of them.



Drunk with power (a lingering effect of the Bourbon era) and armed with Dr Guillotin's seal of approval, the government succeeded in eliminating thousands of such obstacles quickly and effectively, in a way that made the children laugh and sing right up to the moment that their own heads were sliced off.

Dr Guillotin probably died of natural causes and was not eventually guillotined (as many believe,) thus robbing us of the possible existence of a moral to his story.

(Readers seeking morals, however, are advised as always to conduct their searches elsewhere.)


May 28, 1892 -
The Sierra Club
was founded, with naturalist John Muir its first President, on this date.



It would later become the United States' largest grassroots environmental organization.


May 28, 1930 -
The Chrysler Building, the premier Art Deco skyscraper in New York City, had it's opening ceremony, on this date. Standing 1,047 feet (319 meters) high, it was briefly the world's tallest building before it was overtaken by the Empire State Building in 1931. With the construction of One World Trade Center, it was been again relegated to the third tallest building in New York City.

The skyscraper, designed by architect William Van Alen, was originally built to house the Chrysler Corporation. The groundbreaking occurred on September 19, 1928. At the time, the builders of New York were engaged in an intense competition to build the world's tallest skyscraper. The Chrysler Building was erected at an average rate of four floors per week and no workers were killed during construction. Just prior to its completion, the building stood about even with the rival project 40 Wall Street, designed by H. Craig Severance. Severance quickly increased the height of his project by two feet and claimed the title of the world's tallest building (this distinction excluded structures that were not fully habitable, such as the Eiffel Tower).



Van Alen secretly obtained permission to build a spire that was hidden inside the building during construction. The spire, measuring 125 feet (58.4 meters) long and composed of Nirosta stainless steel, was hoisted to the top of the building on October 23, 1929. The added height allowed the Chrysler Building to surpass both 40 Wall Street and the Eiffel Tower as the tallest building and the tallest structure in the world. It was also the first man-made structure to stand taller than 1,000 feet (305 meters). The steel chosen to cap the building was Krupp KA2 "Enduro" Steel (you may buy me a drink after you win a bar bet with that bit of knowledge).



In less than a year, the Chrysler Building was surpassed in height by the Empire State Building. Van Alen's satisfaction was further muted by Walter Chrysler's refusal to pay his fee.


May 28, 1944 -
The thrice married, former prosecutor, businessman, transvestite and Republican mouthpiece for an inveterate liar from the state of New York Sir Rudolph William Louis Giuliani III, was born on this date.



I believe after his current job comes to an end, Mr. Giuliani will be fired by his only other client, Satan.


May 28, 1959 -
America
launched a Jupiter rocket on this date, containing a rhesus monkey named Able and a squirrel monkey named Miss Baker. After experiencing nine minutes of microgravity, the capsule successfully returns to Earth with both monkeys intact.



However, Able died during surgery to remove his electrodes. Able was then stuffed and mounted and is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute of Air and Space Museum.



There is no truth to the rumor that Miss Baker went on to carry on a long term ménage à trois with President Kennedy and Frank Sinatra.


May 28, 1972 -
The virtually exiled King Edward VIII, (styled the Duke of Windsor by his brother King George VI in 1936,) died on this day in 1972 in Paris. He was buried at Windsor Castle. It was the first time that his widow, the Duchess was a royal guest of the Queen.



According to Sarah Bradford, the royal biographer, the Queen Mother, who had for 36 years resented the fact that the Duke's undying love for the horse faced, possible transvestite Mrs. Simpson had put her husband on the throne right at the threshold of war and had condemned him to an early death (She conveniently forgot that her husband was a very heavy smoker from early adulthood and that his family was prone to cancer), was very solicitous about the senile Duchess and took care of her during the funeral. The Queen did not weep for her uncle, but, strangely enough, when the Duchess followed him in death 14 years later, the Queen did weep at her funeral.


May 28, 1987 -
German teenager Matthias Rust lands his Cessna in Moscow's Red Square, buzzing the Kremlin on the way in.



He serves 18 months in prison for this prank, which also costs the commander of the Soviet Air Command his job.

Oops.


Again, some people have not been wasting their quarantine time:



Helena Bonham Carter and Sam Neill are having a laugh at the telephone. (Check out the youtube site Zsuzasanna Uhlik for a lot of other interesting videos from celebrities not wasting their time either.)

And so it goes


237

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

In a few minutes

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - Do you have things to do?

Procrastinators had 20% more headaches, colds, and stomach-aches than those who go their things done on time; they also visited the doctors 60% more often. Procrastinating students had grades a whole letter higher than timely students, however.


The Popsicle was first made (but not patented) in 1905 by Frank Epperson on this date (he was only 11 years old at that time.)



If only we could create a frozen concoction that mixes ice and alcohol - oh wait a minute that's a Frozen Margarita, never mind - keep celebrating the Popsicle.


May 27, 1930 -
Howard Hughes'
multi-million dollar war drama, Hell's Angels, premiered in Los Angeles, on this date



249 feet of film was shot for every foot used in the final cut. This movie cost $3.95 million to make (equivalent to approximately $58 million in 2017), so expensive that it made no profit on its first release.


May 27, 1933 -
Walt Disney
classic take on The Three Little Pigs, premiered on this date.



The commercial tie-in with Esposito's pork sausages during the original screenings of the cartoon wasn't such a big hit though.


May 27, 1933 -
The seminal pre-Code Warner Bros. musical film directed by Mervyn LeRoy, Gold Diggers of 1933, starring Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, Ruby Keeler, and Dick Powell,  (and choreographed by Busby Berkeley) premiered in the US on this date.



At 5:55 PM PST on March 10, 1933, the Long Beach earthquake hit southern California, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale. When the earthquake hit, Busby Berkeley was filming the Shadow Waltz dance sequence on a sound stage on the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank. The earthquake caused a blackout on the sound stage and short-circuited some of the neon-tubed violins. Berkeley was almost thrown from a camera boom, and dangled by one hand until he could pull himself back up. Since many of the chorus girls in the dance number were on a 30-foot-high scaffold, Berkeley yelled for them to sit down and wait until the stage hands and technicians could open the sound stage doors and let in some light.


May 27, 1964 -
From Russia with Love
, the second spy film in the James Bond series, was released in the US on this date.



Hoping for an end to the Cold War, producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman didn't want James Bond's main enemy to be Russian, so for the movie version, his nemesis is the fictitious criminal organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E., seeking revenge for the death of their operative, Dr. No .


May 27, 2005 -
DreamWorks
computer-animated film, Madagascar, with voices by Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith is released on this date.



Originally, Julien was intended to be a minor character with only two lines. However, when Sacha Baron Cohen auditioned for the role, he improvised not only an Indian accent, but eight minutes of dialogue for his recording. The filmmakers found Cohen's performance so funny that they rewrote the script and made Julien a much more prominent character in the story as King of the Lemurs.


May 27, 2006 -
Guillermo del Toro's
fantasy film about the Spanish Civil War, Pan's Labyrinth, premiered at the Cannes Film festival, on this date.



Guillermo del Toro repeatedly said "no" to Hollywood producers, in spite of being offered double the budget provided the film was made in English. He didn't want any compromise in the storyline to suit the "market needs". The English subtitles were translated and written by Guillermo del Toro himself. He no longer trusts translators after having encountered problems with his previous subtitled movies.


Another failed ACME product


Today in History:
May 27, 1923 -
Henry Kissinger
was born in Fuerth, Germany on this date.



50 years later, (America Favorite Freely Roaming War Criminal - according to your political beliefs) Dr. Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize for quitting the Vietnam War.



Henry also proved that outliving your enemies is the best revenge.


Other birthday celebrants include:

The Senate is a place filled with goodwill and good intentions, and if the road to hell is paved with them, then it's a pretty good detour.





Hubert Humphrey, Vice President under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and presidential candidate, was born on this date (1911).


There's something fascinating about seeing something you don't like at first but directly know you will love—in time. People are that way, all through life. You come against a personality, and it questions yours. You shy away but know there are gratifying secrets there, and the half-open door is often more exciting than the wide.





Vincent Price
, actor, was born on this date (1911).


What I really resent most about people sticking labels on you is that it cuts off all the other elements of what you are because it can only deal with black and white; the cartoon.





Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Janet Ballion,) singer, songwriter, musician and producer was born on this date (1957).


It took me a long time, but I don't feel as anxious about stupid things anymore - or perhaps they've just been replaced by more complicated stupid things.







Neil Mullane Finn, singer/songwriter and musician was born on this date (1958).


May 27, 1937
-
The Golden Gate Bridge, arguably one of the Wonders of the Modern World, connecting San Francisco with California's Marin County opened to pedestrian traffic on this date.



More than 200,000 made the first-day trek.

Harold Wobber had the good grace to wait until August 7, 1937, to take the first leap into eternity.  Wobber supposedly turned to a stranger on the walkway and said,"This is as far as I go" then took his last step.


May 27, 1939
-
Detective Comics Number 27 featuring Batman, DC Comics debuted its second superhero on this date. The superhero is Batman, who will go on to be one of the greatest commercial successes in the comic industry.



This issue also marks Commissioner Gordon’s first appearance. According to creator Bob Kane, his inspirations for Batman were Superman, Leonardo da Vinci’s design of a bat-like glider, and two films: The Mark of the Zorro and The Bat Whispers.


May 27, 1941 -
The British sank Germany's elusive, pocket-battleship Bismarck, then the largest warship commissioned, on this date.



The destruction of the battleship was reported on the front pages of newspapers around the world. Only 110 of her crew of 2,222 survived the sinking.


May 27, 1942 -
A couple of Czech assassins ambush the car carrying Reinhard Heydrich and toss a grenade into the front seat on this date.



The man who headed the Wannsee Conference was mortally wounded in the attack and died of septicemia a week later. The Nazis retaliate by obliterating the Catholic village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia and its inhabitants.


May 27, 1977 -
After the pressing plant initially refuses to duplicate the record and the printer refuses to make the covers, Virgin finally releases God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols in time for the monarch's Jubilee celebration on this date.



Popular belief is that this song was "banned" by the BBC and most other broadcasting outlets. In truth, the BBC didn't ban records, but made programing decisions based on its standards and enforced certain rules, like barring product mentions. The BBC's Radio 1 did exclude the song from their playlist, and some major retailers (including Woolworth's and WH Smith) refused to stock it, but by labeling it taboo the song became even more marketable, and it sold an amazing 150,000 copied the first week it was released.


May 27, 1993 -
Five
people were killed and 37 wounded when a Fiat Fiorino exploded outside the Uffizi Gallery Museum in Florence, Italy on this date.

The car bomb (a combination of PETN, T4 and TNT, kids don't try to make this at home) also manages to obliterate three priceless artworks and substantially damage thirty more. The bombing appears to have been the work of the Sicilian Mafia.

Once again, if you are going to borrow money from unscrupulous sources, remember to pay your vig.


May 27, 1995 -
During the third jump of an equestrian event in Charlottesville, Virginia, Christopher Reeve was thrown headfirst over his horse on this date.

Reeve broke his neck in two places, instantly rendering him a quadriplegic, unable to move or breathe without assistance.



And so it goes.


238


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Save me a slice of cake (if you can?)

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - Is your birthday coming up?



You are 14% more like to die on your birthday than on any other day of the year.


Saint Vitalis of Assisi (not to be confused with St. Vitalis of Milan, patron saint of grey haired Lotharios) was an Italian hermit and monk who died in 1370. He became a saint despite an early life marked by licentiousness and immorality. However, in an attempt to atone he went on pilgrimages to various sanctuaries.

On his return to Umbria, he became a Benedictine monk at Subiaco and later lived as a hermit. He spent the rest of his life in the hermitage of Santa Maria di Viole, near Assisi, in utter poverty. His reputation for holiness soon spread after his death. He was known as a patron against sicknesses and diseases affecting the genitals.



The severed head alleged to belong to the patron saint of genital diseases was sold in 2011 at auction. If the reliquary ever comes up for sale again, snap it up - Bunkies, nothing says love like the rotting skull of the saint of the burning loins.

There are four other Saints who glommed onto the name St. Vitalis:

Saint Vitalis of Bologna 
Saint Vitalis of Gaza 
Saint Vitalis of Savigny
Saint Vitalis of Milan, martyred in 250 under the persecution of Decius

So try to keep this all straight when you're praying to a saint to cure your STDs.


May 26, 1937 -
The Michael Curtiz boxing drama, Kid Galahad, starring Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart premiered in the US on this date.



While Bette Davis praised Edward G. Robinson as a performer and as a person, she was repulsed by having to kiss him.


May 26, 1970 -
The final episodes of I Dream of Jeannie, My Master The Chili King aired on this date.



The Nelson home still stands on the Warner Brothers Ranch in Burbank, CA, where it has a new role as the Ranch Operations office. Aside from minor cosmetic changes, the house remains almost exactly the same after nearly 50 years.


May 26, 1972 -
Mott The Hoople
, on the verge of breaking up, are offered help from David Bowie, who allows them to record two songs he wrote. They pass on Suffragette City but cut All The Young Dudes, which becomes their biggest hit and revives their career.



Mott The Hoople didn't know this when they recorded it, but Bowie intended this song for his The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars concept album. The, "All the young dudes carry the news" line refers to part of Bowie's story where there is no electricity, and Ziggy Stardust uses songs to spread the news.


May 26, 1979 -
Blondie's
song Sunday Girl off the album Parallel Lines became the group's second UK No.1 hit single on this date.



Although the song was a #1 hit in the United Kingdom and in Australia, it was never released as a single in the United States. In Britain the sales were boosted by another previously unavailable track on the B-side: a French language version of Sunday Girl.


May 26, 1988 -
Frank Sinatra
appeared in a commercial for Michelob singing The Way You Look Tonight, as part of the brewery's "The Night Belongs to Michelob" ad campaign.



At the time, Anheuser-Busch marketing explained Sinatra's presence in the ad, "We're trying to show the length and breadth of 'the night.'" That and the brewing giant wanted its name attached to The Ultimate Event, a national tour featuring Sinatra, Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davis Jr. Sinatra was also a longtime collaborator with the company's flagship brand, Budweiser. The label sponsored several of his TV specials and he bought a lucrative distributorship in 1967.


Today's moment of Zen


Today in History:
May 26, 1232 -
Pope Gregory IX
issues the bull Declinante jam mundi, bringing the Papal Inquisition to Spain.
Gregory IX was a prominent opponent of Judaism during his life, condemning it as "containing every kind of vileness and blasphemy".

Apparently he was a real dick.


May 26, 1647 -
Alse Young,
a widow, was hanged for witchcraft in Hartford, Connecticut on this date. She was the first person in America executed for the crime of witchcraft.

Her daughter Alice was accused of the same offense 30 years later, in Massachusetts.

It was something in the genes.


May 26, 1868 -
In England's last public execution, Michael Barrett was hanged at Newgate on this date. All subsequent hangings are held behind prison walls.

Presiding over the event is executioner William Calcraft, who frequently supplements his income by selling the clothes and noose worn by the condemned.

Hey, a man's got to earn a living.


May 26, 1913 –
Peter Wilton Cushing, OBE,
English actor, known for his many appearances in Hammer Films, was born on this date.



Peter Cushing was the guest of honor at the Famous Monsters of Filmland Convention in New York City in 1975. After receiving a thunderous ovation from those in attendance, he looked at everyone and said, "Have you ever felt unloved?"


May 26, 1923 -
Le Mans France
held its first Grand Prix D'endurance - the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as an endurance test for touring cars.



The first winning drivers, Amdre Lagache and Rene Leonard, averaged 57.2 miles per hour.


There were a lot of notable music birthdays on this date:

May 26, 1920 -
Norma Deloris Egstrom
, Grammy award winning singer, songwriter, composer and actress, was born on this date.





And yes Peggy, that's all there is.


May 26, 1926 –
Miles Dewey Davis III
born on this date in Alton, Illinois, was a trumpeter, bandleader, composer and widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th Century.





Duke Ellington called him "the Picasso of Jazz, the invisible art".


May 26, 1948 -
Even in my really bad, drugged-out days, I didn't go away. I still toured, still did interviews. I never gave up the fight. That's why I'm who I am today, because I didn't leave. And I think I made the right choice.






Stephanie Lynn Nicks, singer-songwriter and acclaimed goat singer, was born on this date.


May 26, 1964 -
I wasn't the kind of person that liked waiting for autographs or following them, I just liked to go to the shows, study their records, driving many, many hours to different states to go to concerts.






Leonard Albert "Lenny" Kravitz, musician and actor was born on this date.


May 26, 1960 -
America's UN
Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. charged at a speech at the UN on this date that the Soviets with having bugged the Moscow embassy. He shows off a large wooden carving of the United States seal which had been hollowed out to conceal a sophisticated resonant cavity transmitter.



Less than 30 years later a newly-rebuilt Moscow embassy was determined to be "structurally riddled with eavesdropping devices."


May 26, 1977 -
Police arrested George Willig, after he had successfully scaled the World Trade Center's south tower in NYC on this date.



He was fined $110 -- a dollar per floor climbed. The stunt paved the way for appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Good Morning America, The Merv Griffin Show and ABC's Wide World of Sports.


May 26, 1994 -
Michael Jackson
wed Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic on this date. The couple keeps their love match secret for six weeks, then files for divorce 18 months after that.

Lisa Marie has confirmed on the Oprah show that she had enjoyed marital relations with Jackson -



Stop thinking about it, it's the road to madness!!


May 26, 1998 -
Another in a series of cases that you didn't think needed to be settled -



The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Ellis Island was mainly in New Jersey, not New York. When the states made the boundary final, New York ended up with 4.68 acres, or about 17 percent, of the island.



And so it goes.


239

Monday, May 25, 2020

Wipe them on your shirt

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - glad you're washing you hands if you're using a public restroom.

While it may be cheaper to install a hot-air hand dryer in a public restroom than provide paper towels, it isn't necessarily cleaner. Blowing dryers gather bacteria from the air and propel them onto your hands.


A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. Joseph Campbell





Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action.



One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911 (because of the COVID-19 pandemic the race has been moved to August 23, this year).


Let your Geek Pride Show!

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/99/05/35/990535ce5eef5211ee647b9c6b0b80e6.jpg
Geek Pride Day is May 25, and here's what you need to know about the celebration for nerds worldwide.



The date was reportedly chosen to coincide with the first Star Wars film, Episode IV: A New Hope, which was released on May 25, 1977. The day also marks Towel Day, which is celebrated by fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams. Fans carry a towel in his honor. Lastly, the day also marks The Glorious 25th of May, which fans of author Terry Pratchett's Discworld celebrate, often with a sprig of lilac.

As we mentioned, today is also Towel Day. Remember a towel is "about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have."



Towel Day is celebrated every May 25th as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams. On this day, fans carry a towel with them to demonstrate their love for the books and the author, as referenced in Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.



(How cool was that)



So don't panic.


May 25, 1934 -
The classic 30s detective film, based on the Dashiell Hammett novel, The Thin Man, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, premiered on this date.



Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, originally was against the idea of Myrna Loy being cast in this picture but director W.S. Van Dyke wanted to use the stars of the movie Manhattan Melodrama, William Powell and Myrna Loy. Mayer said that Powell was OK for the part since he had already played detectives in other films. Loy eventually got the part and made new image for herself.


May 25, 1953 -
Universal-International
released their first 3-D feature film, It Came from Outer Space, directed by Jack Arnold (and based on a story written by Ray Bradbury,) starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, and Charles Drake in the US, on this date.



This was one of the few American movies from the 1950s to place its credits at the end rather than at the beginning.


May 25, 1966 -
Norman Jewison's
Cold War comedy, The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming, premiered on this date.



Ordinary townspeople were used as extras in the film. They were so thrilled to be a part of production that the rushes were shown at the end of each day in a local theater. The townspeople went every night, bringing the entire family just to watch the rushes.


May 25, 1966 -
Robert Bresson's
classic, Au Hasard Balthazar, starring Anne Wiazemsky, and François Lafarge, was released in France on this date.



In an interview, Bresson said he was inspired to make the story after reading a passage in Dostoyevsky's novel The Idiot, in which the main character the Prince mentions his special fondness among animals for the lowly donkey.


May 25, 1977 -
In a time long ago and in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas began legally printing money with the release of the first Star Wars movie, which for reasons only know to George was titled - Stars War IV: A New Hope.



George realized that he did not have enough money so he released Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on this date in 1983.



George Lucas fired his friend and producer of the previous two Star Wars movies, Gary Kurtz, before production began (although some sources say he simply quit on his own) as Kurtz disagreed with Lucas' assertion that audiences didn't care for the story but for the spectacle.


May 25, 1979 -
Twentieth Century Fox
released the science fiction film Alien, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt and John Hurt, on this date.



The blue laser lights that were used in the alien ship's egg chamber were borrowed from The Who. The band was testing out the lasers for their stage show in the soundstage next door.


May 25, 1999 -
The final episode of Home Improvement, The Long And Winding Road aired on ABC-TV on this date.



The character Wilson was based on Tim Allen's childhood memories of when he was too short to see over a fence, and was therefore unable to see his neighbor.


Word of the Day


Today in History:
May 25, 1521 -
Charles V
, a Holy Roman Emperor (Who was neither holy or a Roman - he was just a German King) issues the Diet of Worms edict (which neither helps you lose weight nor comprised of non-arthropod invertebrates,) on this date.



Martin Luther, German monk and all around killjoy, couldn't stomach this diet (as it declaring him an outlaw for not eating worms, banning his writings, and requiring his arrest) and goes off to start the Protestant Reformation.


May 25, 1793 -
The first Catholic priest, Father Stephen Theodore Badin, was ordained in the United States and sent on a mission in Kentucky, on this date.

Though Catholicism existed in the US before Badin's ordination, it was mostly in Maryland, and no priest had actually been ordained on American soil. Badin's ordination was a landmark in the spread of Catholicism in America.


May 25, 1803 -
Ralph Waldo Emerson
was born on this date. Emerson whose original profession, a Unitarian minister but secret calling was as, an amateur plumber, left the ministry to pursue a career in writing and public speaking.



Emerson became one of America's best known and best loved 19th century figures, writing such works as Trust Thyself and carry a self-threading snake and Bacchus on the chamber pot.


May 25, 1895 -
Lax laundry standards in Victorian England helped convict British playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde of "committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons," to wit: buggering some rent boys. Some of the evident against Wilde was presented by a hotel housekeeper who stated that she had seen young men in Wilde’s bed and noticed that there were fecal stains on his bed sheets.



For his crime, Wilde was sentenced to two years of hard labor in Reading jail. Perhaps, he should have taken up forgery instead.


May 25, 1925 -
John Scopes
was indicted for violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, on this date, which prohibits the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution in Tennessee public schools. Evolution was a theory put forth by Charles Darwin, whose boat was named "the Beagle." People objected to this theory, which put forth the proposition that mankind had evolved from life forms with hairy red asses.



This resulted in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, in which Spencer Tracy gave a long monologue that changed everyone's minds even though it was so darn hot in the courtroom.

It is now commonly accepted as fact that mankind evolved from life forms with hairy red asses, a proposition that anyone who's been to the beach lately shouldn't find too hard to accept.


May 25, 1950 -
The Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel, the longest-continuous, underwater-vehicular tunnel (measuring 1.7 miles long between portals) in North America, opened in NYC, on this date.



A parade of dignitaries led by Mayor William O’Dwyer and Robert Moses, head of the newly created Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, traveled by motorcade through the tunnel where they were welcomed by a cheering crowd on the Manhattan side.


May 25, 1961 -
President John F. Kennedy proposed to Congress on this date, a goal for the U.S., "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth."



The USSR had become the first country to send a man into space the month before, and Congress embraced Kennedy's plan.


May 25, 1996 -
The body of Bradley Nowell was discovered in his room at San Francisco's Ocean View Motel on this date.



Nowell, lead singer for radio trio Sublime, was killed by an accidental smack overdose.

Oops.


May 25, 2001 -
Erik Weihenmayer
was the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on this date. He also completed the Seven Summits in September 2002. His story was covered in a Time article in June 2001 titled Blind Faith.



He is author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye can See, his autobiography.



Before you go - O, frabjous day! Episode Three of Nebula-75 is out!



One of the silver linings of quarantine


And so it goes


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Sunday, May 24, 2020

What's next, frogs?

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - Of course, this is happening this year -



After 17 years of underground living, millions of cicadas (known as Brood IX) are ready to stretch their wings and give Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia a very loud wake-up call.


May 24, 1964 -
The Beatles
performed You Can't Do That from the set of A Hard Day's Night in a taped segment on The Ed Sullivan Show on this date.



Ironically, You Can't Do That would be cut out of the finished film.


May 24, 1968 -
The Rolling Stones
released Jumping Jack Flash, in Britain, on this date.



The Rolling Stones have played Jumping Jack Flash during every tour since its release; it ranks as the number the band has played in concert most frequently.


May 24, 1969 –
The Beatles
with Billy Preston hit No. 1 with Get Back, where it stayed for the next month. (It is the Beatles' only single that credited another artist at their request.)



Get Back was going to be the title of the album. The concept was The Beatles "getting back" to their roots and playing new songs for a live audience without any studio tricks. This song came closest to capturing that spirit, but the album became something completely different when they decided to scrap the idea of a live album.


May 24, 1974 -
The final episode of The Dean Martin Show was aired on NBC on this date. The show had been on the air for nine seasons.



Dean Martin's contract stipulated that he was only required to work on Sundays. This necessitated that blocking the camera setups and rehearsals be done on Saturdays. It also meant that guest stars rehearse with Lee Hale standing in for Martin. On Sundays, Martin would usually work less than four hours and leave the set before taping was wrapped.


May 24, 1989 -
The third movie in Steven Spielberg's salute to Saturday afternoon serials, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, premiered nationwide on this date.



Steven Spielberg is on record as saying he made the film for two reasons: 1) to fulfill a three-picture obligation he had with George Lucas, and, 2) to atone for the criticism that he received for the previous installment, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

May 24, 1991 -
MGM
released Ridley Scott's controversial (at the time) take on the 'buddy movie', Thelma &  Louise, starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, on this date.



Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster were originally chosen for the leads and accepted the roles, but preproduction took too long and both actresses had to drop out due to other commitments. Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep wanted to make a movie together and Thelma & Louise was one of the scripts they considered. Ultimately, they decided to star in Death Becomes Her instead.


May 24, 1999
-
The last episode of Mad About You, The Final Frontier aired on NBC on this date. (The re-boot of the series is currently airing on Spectrum TV.)



The series exists in the same universe as Friends and Seinfeld. Ursula Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), the waitress, is Phoebe Buffay's (Lisa Kudrow) twin sister, from Friends. Paul's old apartment is rented out to Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) from Seinfeld.


A book we can promote


Today in History:
May 24, 1610
-
Buggery was criminalized for the first time in North America by Sir Thomas Gates, when the Virginia colony declares that "no man shall commit the horrible, and detestable sinnes of Sodomie upon pain of death."

I've just read that the real punishment for breaking this new law was - Whipping -a good strong butt whipping. Hmmm, I see. (This is what came from the lack of good lubrication in the early colonies.)


May 24, 1626 -
Peter Minuit
was the director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland who was credited with the purchase of the island of Manhattan on this date.



According to legend, he persuaded the natives,  perhaps a Metoac band of Lenape known as the Canarsee, who were actually native to what is now Brooklyn - to "sell" the island for a handful of trade goods worth approximately 60 guilders (appx. $24.)

I've often said that there are those in Congress looking to give New York back to the Indians.


May 24, 1686 -
Gabriel Fahrenheit
was born on the date. Mr Fahrenheit did pioneering work in the field of temperature. It was his dream to develop a more sophisticated temperature measurement system than the accepted worldwide standard of his era, which consisted of only seven gradations: brr!, cold as hell, chilly, warm, hot, hotter than hell and ow!.

Hard at work on the same problem was his colleague Anders Celsius. Mr Fahrenheit eventually discovered the "degree." It took 32 of Mr Fahrenheit's degrees to freeze water and 212 of them to boil it. Mr Celsius, meanwhile, had discovered a different kind of "degree."

It took only a hundred of his degrees to bring water to a boil, and, even more impressively, he discovered that water would freeze without any degrees at all.



By requiring fewer degrees to get things done, and less tick marks on thermometers, Mr Celsius's system was more compact and economical than Mr Fahrenheit's. This made it a natural for the crowded lands of Europe, where storage came at a premium. In the great unsettled expanse of the New World, however, space was not an issue and Mr Fahrenheit's system took hold.


May 24, 1819 -
Today is International Tiara Day because of Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria was born as Princess Alexandria Victoria at Kensington Palace, London on this date. Through a series of accidents, debauched living and bad planning on the part of her uncles, she became Queen. She reigned for 64 years, and lent her name to an era best remembered for its prudery and chastity.



Remember, this was the time when one put skirts on piano legs for fear of arousing the passions of young men. This pent up frustration resulted in so many citizens having to stay home and care for their children, since Victoria's reign also saw the largest population explosion in British history.


May 24, 1844 -
Samuel F. B. Morse
formally opens America's first telegraph line, when he demonstrated a magnetic telegraph, sending a message from the chambers of the Old Supreme Court courthouse in Washington D.C. to his partner, Alfred Vail, at the Mount Clare Depot of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in Baltimore, Maryland, on this date.



Vail responded by retransmitting the same message back to Morse.  The message, "What hath God wrought?" was the first message sent on a commercial telegraph line.


May 24, 1856 -
A small gang led by abolitionist John Brown murdered five unarmed pro-slavery homesteaders in Franklin County, Kansas, on this date, hacking them to pieces with swords.



The event comes to be known as the Pottawatomie Massacre.


May 24, 1883 -



The Brooklyn Bridge (originally the New York and Brooklyn Bridge), one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, stretches 5,989 feet (1825 m) over the East River connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn opened for business today. On completion, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. Since its opening, it has become an iconic part of the New York Skyline and is still considered one of the Wonders of the Modern World.



The first person to jump from the bridge was Robert E. Odlum (and not Steve Brodie) on May 19, 1885.



Robert, a swimming teacher, made the jump in a costume bearing his initials. He survived the pre-announced jump, but died shortly thereafter from internal injuries. Apparently, no one told him taking the high dive off the bridge would get him killed.

This showed him.


May 24, 1920 -
Senile French President Paul Deschanel fell off a train bound for Montbrison, and was later discovered wandering along the track in his pajamas. The Station master's wife later commented that she knew he was a gentleman because he had such "clean feet."

Soon afterwards, Deschanel walked out of a state meeting, straight into the fountains at the Rambouillet chateau, fully clothed.

As I mentioned yesterday, The French, they are a strange race. (Interesting side note - the actress Zooey Deschanel is related to the former president.)


May 24, 1927
-
The final levee breach of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 occurred at McCrea, Louisiana, on the east bank of the Atchafalaya levee. The flood, which began several weeks earlier, along the Mississippi killed some 500 people and displaced thousands.



The levee system broke in 145 places and caused 27,000 square miles of flooding in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.


May 24, 1928  -
The airship Italia, commanded by General Umberto Nobile, crashed while attempting to reach Spitzbergen, during its return flight from the North Pole on this date.



Nine men, including Nobile survived the initial crash.


May 24, 1941 -
Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham Zimmerman
, a young boy from a small shtetl called Duluth, in the great state of Minnesota, don't ya know, who has been a major figure in popular music for nearly six decades, was born on this date.







Even Zigman and Anna's grandson, Shabtai can still write a good song, now and then.


May 24, 1941 -
During the Battle of the Denmark Strait (World War II,) the German battleship Bismarck sank the HMS Hood on this date



More than 1,400 crewmen died; only three survived.


May 24, 1962 -
Scott Carpenter becomes the second American to orbit the Earth when he is launched into space aboard NASA's Aurora 7 space capsule, on this date.



Carpenter circles the globe three times, reaching a maximum altitude of 164 miles before his spacecraft splashes into the Atlantic Ocean about 1,000 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral about five hours later.


May 24, 1976  -
In France, on this date, two California wines won a tasting event over several French classics for the first time. Stephen Spurrier, English owner of a wine shop and wine school in Paris, held a competition tasting of French and American wines.



The best red wine was a 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. The best white wine was a 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, owned by Jim Barrett.



And so it goes.


Tomorrow is Towel Day,

you know what you need to do - DON'T PANIC!


And so it goes


241

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Perhaps you enjoyed 5pm a little too much

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - After a long night of drinking you swear that small beings with elongated limbs and wide staring eyes abducted you:

1.) You friends creatively shaped you drunken experience.
2.) You were abducted, a relatively pleasant experience that nearly four million Americans claim happened to them.
3.) You are suffering from a symptom of Korsakoff's psychosis, which follows postalcoholic tremors, and really believe that last night's repeat of the X Files happened to you.


It's World Turtle Day (again.) The purpose of World Turtle Day, sponsored yearly since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.







It's celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles to saving turtles caught on highways, to research activities.


May 23, 1929 -
Walt Disney
released the ninth film in the Mickey Mouse film series, The Karnival Kid on this date



This is first cartoon in which Mickey Mouse speaks. His first words are "Hot dogs!"


May 23, 1966 -
The Beatles
released the single Paperback Writer on this date



At the time, The Beatles were about to cease touring and couldn't make many TV appearances to perform the song. This made it very difficult to promote the single, so they commissioned a film clip that could be shown on these programs, unwittingly creating one of the first music videos. The clip was shot at Chiswick House in London, which is famous for its lavish gardens. The setting made an interesting backdrop, but the focus was on the band, with the guys getting lots of close-ups and appearing in various cool poses. A video for the flip side of the single, Rain, was shot at the same time.


May 23, 1969 -
... A son! A son! A son!? ....



The Who released Tommy, the first rock opera on this date. (Don't forget to check out ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour.)

Somehow this may or may not be connected with the fact that



the BBC gave the go-ahead for 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus on this date as well.


May 23, 1973 -
Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
, starring James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, James Coburn and in his film debut, Bob Dylan, premiered in New York City, on this date. (While his acting as a knife-wielding stranger named Alias is derided, Dylan scores a hit with the Knockin' On Heaven's Door.)



Sam Peckinpah's alcoholism was so advanced during the making of this film that he would have to start the day with a large tumbler of neat vodkas to stop his shakes. By mid afternoon, he would have moved onto grenadine. After that, he was too drunk to work. James Coburn recalled that Peckinpah was only really coherent for four hours a day.
   

May 23, 1980 -
Stanley Kubrick's
classic horror thriller The Shining, opened on this date (I remember seeing it at the midnight showing on this date in Time Square.)



Because Danny Lloyd was so young, and since it was his first acting job, Stanley Kubrick was highly protective of the child. During the shooting of the movie, Lloyd was under the impression that the film he was making was a drama, not a horror movie. In fact, when Wendy carries Danny away while shouting at Jack in the Colorado Lounge, she is actually carrying a life-size dummy, so Lloyd would not have to be in the scene. He only realized the truth several years later, when he was shown a heavily edited version of the film. He did not see the uncut version of the film until he was seventeen, eleven years after he had made it.


May 23, 1984 -
Sergio Leone's
epic crime drama, Once Upon a Time in America starring Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young, Tuesday Weld, and Treat Williams premiered at the Cannes Film festive on this date.



When filming was completed, the footage ran to a total of eight to ten hours. Director Sergio Leone and editor Nino Baragli trimmed the footage to around six hours, with the plan of releasing the film as two three-hour movies. The producers refused this idea, and Leone had to further cut the film down to three hours and forty-nine minutes.
   

May 23, 1984 -
Steven Spielberg/ George Lucas' theme park thrill ride film, Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom, opened on this date.



D.R. Nanayakkara
, cast as the Indian village Shaman, did not speak a word of English. He delivered his lines phonetically by mimicking Steven Spielberg who was prompting him off-camera. The pauses in his dialogue were therefore not for dramatic effect, but rather waiting for his next line.


May 23, 1997 -
Steven Spielberg's
sequel monster movie, The Lost World: Jurassic Park opened nationally, on this date (this date must be a lucky day for Steve.)



Steven Spielberg had to attend an early screening for Swingers in order to give approval for the use of the Jaws theme. He was so impressed by Vince Vaughn that he offered him a part in this movie.



Don't forget to tune in to ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour Today


Today in History:
May 23, 1430 -
The French, they are a strange race
.

A little french shepherdess goes out into a field for a picnic. And instead of getting food poisoning, which was common, heard the voice of God, which is not.



Joan, heeding God's command, heads the army of France to rout the English and help crown a new French King. And for her troubles, Joan of Arc was captured by Burgundians today at Compiegne, who sold her to the British. The British, known for their sense of humor, gave Joan the ultimate hot foot.



This is what comes from being the messenger of God.


May 23, 1498 -
What a day for an auto da fé...

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7f/66/19/7f6619adc87c74078bad3817c6c02798.jpg
Religious fundamentalist Girolamo Savonarola was executed in Florence, Italy, on this date, for his many heresies, after being excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI. The Catholic Church had already excommunicated the Dominican friar the year before, but Savonarola continued to preach for radical reforms. Among other things, he held bonfires of the vanities for his parishioners' worldly possessions, because they competed with the word of God for attention.



Brother Savonarola was first hanged along with two accomplices and their bodies burned. He was burned on the same spot as his famous 'bonfire of the vanities.'

This is what comes from trying to follow your own understanding of God's words. (Karma's a bitch.)


May 23, 1618 -
In what is later called the Second Defenestration of Prague, (yes there was a First) three men representing the soon-to-be Emperor Ferdinand II were thrown from a window in the Hradshin Palace by Protestant noblemen.



Luckily for the imperial emissaries, they land on a large pile of manure and survive (Catholics immediately proclaimed that God’s angels had saved them from certain death.) But when Ferdinand assumes the throne the following year, all hell breaks loose in Europe, starting with Bohemia.



Thus begins the horrific religious conflict that comes to be known as the Thirty Years War. Shockingly, given the European sense of time, the war actually lasted 30 years. It is generally agreed that the war set back the continent a full century.


May 23, 1701
-
Captain William Kidd was hanged in London on this date. After the first attempt fails when the rope snaps, Kidd was brought right back to the gallows and the process repeated. After death, the body is slathered in tar, chained up, and suspended over the Thames where it remains for years as an example to others considering a life of piracy.



Again, the British and their sense of humor.


May 23, 1734 -
Friedrich Anton Mesmer
was born on this date.

Mr. Mesmer was a physician and hypnotist who developed a peculiar method of therapy-by-suggestion that bears his name to this day: Antonism.



(Antonism should not be confused with antonyms, an antonym for synonyms. Synonyms should not be confused with cinnamon, which is used on hot buns. It will spare embarrassment at the breakfast table if hot buns are confused with hot buns.)


May 23, 1873 -
The Northwest Mounted Police were founded on this date.  The Northwest Mounted Police was one of the first police forces in the Northwest Territories - present day Alberta and Saskatchewan - and the predecessor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, also known as the Mounties.



Please rise for the playing of the Mounties Anthem



Yes, this has nothing to do with that fine organization but isn't your day just a little better for having heard this again?


May 23, 1900 -
Sergeant William Harvey Carney from Company C of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, was the first African-American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, on this date, (although he did not get his medal until nearly 40 years after the battle.)

Carney was a soldier in the Civil War, and received the medal for saving the Union flag during a fierce battle, the Battle of Fort Wagner outside of Charleston, S.C. on July 18, 1863, despite the fact that he was severely wounded.


May 23, 1911 -
More than one million books were set in place for the official dedication of The New York Public Library (on Fifth Avenue on the site of the old Croton Reservoir and the largest marble structure in the US) on this date – exactly 16 years to the day since the historic agreement creating the Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations had been signed.

The ceremony was presided over by President William Howard Taft and was attended by Governor John Alden Dix and Mayor William J. Gaynor.

Please, all of you who forgot to return your books from the opening day, return them. All is forgiven.

No questions asked.


May 23, 1934 -
A group of FBI agents and police officers from two states ambush the notorious Bonnie and Clyde on a highway near Gibsland, Louisiana, on this date.



The men open fire as the bank robbers drive past the concealed posse, unloading hundreds of rounds into the car.


May 23, 2005
Today in pharmaceutical history -



Tom Cruise famously jumped around on Oprah Winfrey’s couch, proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes.



And so it goes


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