Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Sorry to burst you bubble

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19  - the Sahara Desert is neither the sandiest nor the largest.



Only a quarter of the Sahara Desert is sandy. Most of this gargantuan desert is covered in gravel, although it also has its own mountain ranges and oases. Also, it isn’t the world’s largest desert, because Antarctica is the world’s largest desert. The Antarctic Polar Desert covers the Antarctica continent and covers roughly 5.5 million square miles. The Sahara Desert covers roughly 3.6 million square miles.


In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed September 16, the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.



This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer following the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (it was at this meeting, that the famous 'hole in the ozone' above the Arctic was announced,) an important milestone in the protection of the ozone layer. This year's theme is supported by the slogan, “Ozone for Life.”


September 16, 1932 -
RKO
released the B-film  thriller, The Most Dangerous Game, which was shot alongside King Kong, using the same sets and much of the same talent in order to defray costs.



The trophy room scenes were much longer in the preview version of 78 minutes; there were more heads in jars. There was also an emaciated sailor, stuffed and mounted next to a tree where he was impaled by Zaroff's arrow, and another full-body figure stuffed, with the bodies of two of the hunting dogs mounted in a death grip. Preview audiences cringed and shuddered at the head in the bottle and the mounted heads, but when they saw the mounted figures and heard Zaroff's dialog describing in detail how each man had died, they began heading for the exit - so these shots disappeared.


September 16, 1953 -
The first movie filmed in the widescreen process CinemaScope, The Robe, premiered at the Roxy Theater in New York on this date.



Richard Burton hated making the film so much that he turned down a contract from 20th Century-Fox. He was amazed to receive an Oscar nomination after critics had almost universally described his performance as "wooden". Still, Burton would make more films at Fox than at any other studio.


Sept 16, 1964
-
The first of Sergio Leone’sMan with No Name” westerns, Fistful of Dollars, opened in Italy, three years before it would arrive in the United States. The term 'Spaghetti Westerns' was coined by Spanish journalist Alfonso Sánchez. As pointed out by one of our more astute bunkies, most 'Spaghetti Westerns' were shot in Spain.



The film was a remake of Yojimbo, which itself was based on the as yet unadapted 1929 novel Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. In fact, the film's US release was delayed when Yojimbo's screenwriters Akira Kurosawa and Ryûzô Kikushima sued the filmmakers for breach of copyright. Kurosawa and Kikushima won, and as a result received 15% of the film's worldwide gross and exclusive distribution rights for Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Kurosawa said later he made more money off of this project than he did on Yojimbo.


September 16, 1963 -
The science-fiction anthology series The Outer Limits premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



The original title for The Outer Limits was Please Stand By. But, America was facing the Cuban Missile Crisis and the executives thought it might make people fearful of an air raid. This is why, in the new series when the show would cut to a commercial, the Control Voice said, "Please stand by." A tip-of-the-hat to the original series title.


September 16, 1965 -
NBC-TV
finally put that little ole' wine drinker ... on the air when The Dean Martin Show premiered on this date.



Throughout the run, Dean Martin never knew who would come walking through the door at the beginning of each show. This was to make it a lot funnier.


September 16, 1967 -
The TV series Mannix, starring Mike Connors, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.



The role of Peggy Fair was intended for Nichelle Nichols, but she was forced to withdraw due to her commitment to Star Trek: The Original Series .


September 16, 1972 -
Everybody's favorite therapist, before Frasier (see below) walked through his front door as The Bob Newhart Show premiered on CBS-TV on this date.



Suzanne Pleshette was cast after she appeared by accident on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson seated next to Bob Newhart. Producers thought she and Bob clicked together and asked her to read for the show.


September 16, 1977
-
The eponymously named debut LP, Talking Heads: 77, was released.



It has long been considered one of the best debut albums of the CBGB habitués


September 16, 1984
-
In case you you looking for the official date that the 80s began - Miami Vice premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



The series' commitment to the visual quality of every episode made it one of the most expensive shows to produce at the time. In fact, the cost to produce one episode of the show was greater than that of the entire annual budget of the Miami Police Department's Vice Unit.


September 16, 1993 -
Kelsey Grammer
continued playing Dr. Fraiser Crane as Frasier, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



The series was originally going to cast an actress to portray Niles' (David Hyde Pierce's) wife Maris, but after the first couple of seasons, the writers found they had too much fun writing her as an unseen character, and as the descriptions of her became more outlandish and contradictory, they felt finding the right actress would be close to impossible.


Another failed ACME Product


Today in History:
September 16, 1498
-
Tomas de Torquemada, the notorious Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, died in Avila, Spain on this date.

More than 2,000 heretics were burned to death and 9,654 otherwise tortured under his aegis before all the Jews were expelled in 1492. In 1836, vandals break into Torquemada's tomb, cremate the bones, and scatter his ashes upon the winds.


At precisely twelve noon on September 16, 1893 a cannon's boom unleashed the largest land rush America ever saw.



Carried by all kinds of transportation - horses, wagons, trains, bicycles or on foot - an estimated 100,000 raced to claim plots of land in an area of land in northern Oklahoma Territory known as the Cherokee Strip.


September 16, 1810
-
No tequila for you if you thought Mexican Independence Day was Cinco de Mayo.



Today is Independence Day in Mexico.



Mexico began its revolt against Spanish rule on this date. Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla issued "El Grito de Dolores" (Cry of Freedom), which claimed the end of Spanish rule.


September 16, 1908
  -
General Motors Holding Company was formed in Flint, Mich., by William Durant on this date. (Within 12 days the company generated stocks that generated $12,000,000 cash.)



Psst, something else your teachers didn't tell you - Nazi armaments chief Albert Speer told a congressional investigator in 1974 that Germany could not have attempted its September 1939 Blitzkrieg of Poland without the performance-boosting additive technology provided by Alfred P. Sloan (long-time president, chairman, and CEO of General Motors Corporation.)


September 16, 1920 -
A horse-drawn carriage loaded with dynamite exploded in front of the J.P. Morgan and Company headquarters at 23 Wall Street in New York's financial district, on this date. 30 people were killed in the blast. More than 400 were injured.



Although the crime was never solved, it was believed to have been the work of the Anarchists, angry internationalists who believed the only good institutions were smoldering ruins. Anarchist Leon Czolgosz had assassinated President McKinley two decades earlier, on September 6, 1901, in Buffalo - an assassination that caused Teddy Roosevelt and the bully pulpit.

(Despite similarities in spelling, Anarchists should not be confused with Antichrists, Arachnids or Pimentos.)


It was perhaps no accident that the Morgan bombing took place on the 300th anniversary of the Mayflower's departure from England. Passengers were mostly members of a separatist Protestant congregation (Puritan Party Poopers) separating from the Church of England. They were from the English Midlands. They had gone at first to a village near Amsterdam, lived in Holland for ten years (generally bringing everybody down) and then decided to start their own society from scratch. They had two boats for the trip across the Atlantic: the Speedwell and the Mayflower. The Speedwell was leaky, and they spent time trying to repair it.



So when they finally set sail on September 16 (September 6th on the OC), they were way behind schedule. The journey took 66 days. It was rainy, it was cold, and the ocean was rough (They loved it). The boat was 90 feet long and carried 102 passengers. There were no separate cabins. They all had to live in the cargo area. But the Mayflower had previously been used to transport wine, and so the hold smelled wonderful (They hated it).



The Mayflower (and the Speedwell) carried its cargo of Puritan Party Poopers (Pilgrims) to Massachusetts, where they became the first tourists in history to visit Plymouth Rock.

Anarchists hate tourists.


September 16, 1968
-
Presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon appears on the NBC comedy show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and asks Sock it to me? on this date.



George Schlatter, the creator of Laugh-In, unsuccessfully chased after Vice-President Hubert Humphrey to offer him the same opportunity to appear on the show.  Humphrey was unable to make room in his schedule and always regretted it, stating that he believed it was one of the reasons he lost the election.


September 16, 1977
-
Maria Callas, American-born prima donna famed for her lyric soprano and fiery temperament, died in Paris on this date.



From October 1971 to March 1972, Callas gave a series of master classes to 25 students at The Juilliard School in New York, who auditioned for the opportunity to be critiqued by her. They were open to the public and the sold-out crowds included opera greats Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Tito Gobbi, Plácido Domingo, Grace Bumbry, and Bidu Sayão, actors Lillian Gish and Ben Gazzara, and director Franco Zeffirelli.



And so it goes


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