Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - Three types of Australian birds deliberately spread wildfires.
Black kites, whistling kites and brown falcons all purposefully aid the spread of wildfires by picking up and dropping flaming sticks just so the fire will flush out their prey and make it easier for them to catch.
Today is National Pasta Day. Pasta is one of America’s favorite foods. Last year, 1.3 million pounds of pasta were sold in American grocery stores. If you lined up 1.3 million pounds of 16 oz. spaghetti packages, it could circle the Earth’s equator almost nine times!
According to the National Pasta Association, Americans consume about 20 pounds of pasta per person each year. Italians eat more than 3 times that amount. 77% of Americans, surveyed by the National Pasta Association, eat pasta at least once a week, and 1/3 eat pasta 3 or more times a week.
October 17, 1916
A Daughter of the Gods opens in New York City. It contained what is considered the first complete nude scene by a major star.
The character Anitia, played by Australian swimming star Annette Kellerman, is shown nude in a waterfall; however, her body is mostly covered by her hair. It is the first U.S. film production to cost $1 million to produce. Although a few stills remain, the film has been lost.
October 17, 1939 -
Frank Capra's contribution to the Golden age of Hollywood, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, premiered in Washington D.C. on this date.
Bitterly denounced by Washington insiders angry at its allegations of corruption, yet banned by fascist states in Europe who were afraid it showed that democracy works.
October 17, 1944 -
The little known and under appreciated drama directed by Clifford Odets, None But the Lonely Heart, starring Cary Grant, Ethel Barrymore and Barry Fitzgerald, was released on this date.
This film marked a return to the big screen after an 11-year absence by star Ethel Barrymore. Prior to making this film, Barrymore had considered movie appearances an inferior art to the stage. However, her time on set, her critical acclaim, and her hefty paycheck changed her mind. After making this film, she moved from New York to California so she could concentrate on making movies instead of Broadway plays
October 17, 1956 -
Producer Michael Todd's adaptation of Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days, starring David Niven, Shirley Maclaine, Cantinflas and just about every other actor in Hollywood, premiered in New York on this date.
After winning the Oscar, producer Mike Todd rented Madison Square Garden and threw a huge party. Over 18,000 guests attended, and the celebration frequently threatened to degenerate into all-out chaos. Todd himself called the party a disaster.
October 17, 1957 -
MGM released the film that contained the sequence that some have called, "Elvis Presley's greatest moment on screen," when Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis premiered in Memphis, Tennessee, on this date.
Originally choreographer Alex Romero created a dance for the song Jailhouse Rock that was in a style apropos for a more classically trained dancer than Elvis Presley. When Romero realized that his plans for the number were never going to work, he asked Elvis how would he normally move to the song, leading Elvis to become the uncredited choreographer for what many consider his most famous dance number in all of his movies.
(Please note: this is the film that Elvis is scourged for your sins. Only you know how much clothing you should remove to receive the healing benefits from St. Elvis. As always, place one hand upon the screen and the other upon your bare (or nearly bare) afflicted region.)
October 17, 1958 -
What is considered a comeback special, An Evening with Fred Astaire premiered on NBC-TV on this date.
The special was the first color show pre-recorded on videotape at NBC's new state-of-the-art "Color City" studios in Burbank, California.
October 17, 1966 -
Another iconic film from the 60s, Georgy Girl, starring James Mason, Lynn Redgrave and Alan Bates, premiered in the US on this date.
This movie was released one year after its source novel of the same name by Margaret Forster was published.
October 17, 1968 -
One of the defining police crime dramas of the 60's, Bullitt starring Steven McQueen premiered on this date.
Steve McQueen based his character on San Francisco Homicide Inspector Dave Toschi, made famous for his work on the Zodiac killings. McQueen had a copy made of Toschi's custom fast-draw shoulder holster.
October 17, 1998 –
The first big hit for Barenaked Ladies, One Week hit No.1 on this date
The band has said that this song is about a big fight in a relationship. The lyrics are essentially meaningless, but wildly entertaining, showing off their clever wordplay in a rapid-fire interplay between their lead singers, Ed Robertson and Steven Page. Robertson wrote the song.
October 17, 2005 –
Stephen Colbert brilliant takes on cable-news punditry, The Colbert Report premiered on Comedy Central on this date.
On the set, there is an artificial fireplace with the engraving "Videri Quam Esse", meaning, "to seem to be rather than to be". It is a play on the traditional Latin phrase "esse quam videri", or, "to be, rather than to seem to be", reflecting Colbert's mock right-wing personality.
Don't forget to tune in to The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today
Today in History:
The Sixth Crusade ended on this date in 1244 after the Saracens ("Infidels") defeated the Franks ("Infidels") at Gaza.
October 17, 1777 -
At one of the turning points of the American Revolution, British General John Burgoyne surrendered to American General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, N.Y. on this date.
The surrender demonstrating American determination to gain independence. After the surrender, France sided with the Americans, and other countries began to get involved and align themselves against Britain.
October 17, 1814 -
Late on a Monday afternoon on this date, one of the 800lb iron restraining hoop fell off one of the two giant porter vats at the the Meux and Company Brewery on London’s Tottenham Court Road. A clerk made a note of the occurrence but thought no more of it until about an hour later when the wooden staves of the vat burst.
The vat, which was full to the brim with 3,550 barrels (more than a million pints) of finest 10-month-old Meux’s Porter, created a tsunami of beer, bursting the other behemoth vat. The resulting flood, weighing close to 600 tons, plus wood and metal from the vat knocked out the wall of the brewery and gushed into the street, drowning eight and injuring dozens more. A ninth final victim actually succumbed some days later of alcohol poisoning.
What a way to go!
October 17, 1961 -
Henri Matisse's Le Bateau went on display at New York's Museum of Modern Art. 47 days later, the curator learned from an art student the painting had been hung upside down.
October 17, 1967 -
The play Hair, full of dancing naked people, unshaven armpits, and body odor, opens at the 299-seat Anspacher Theater on Broadway on this date. At the time, the musical's depiction of the use of illegal drugs, sexuality, profanity, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy.
The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of the "rock musical", utilizing a racially-integrated cast, and by inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-in" finale.
October 17, 1979 -
... so let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love, and once we begin to love each other naturally we want to do something.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a Roman Catholic nun who cared for the sick and poor, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, on this date.
She may have been canonized but what she really wanted to do was direct.
October 17, 1984 -
The New York Times ran an article entitled CIA Primer Tells Nicaraguan Rebels How to Kill. The story describes the secret manual Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare which the CIA furnished to the Contras in Nicaragua.
The booklet instructed how to kidnap and assassinate civil officials, such as judges and police.
Most people do not have access to the CIA's gift shop and Barnes and Noble no longer sells the primer but you can order it from Amazon.
(You didn't hear it from me.)
October 17, 1989 -
The Loma Prieta earthquake struck San Francisco on this date. The damaging earthquake was notable for being the first in history to be broadcast on live TV.
The World Series was being played there at the time and cameras covering the event live were able to capture the devastating scenes.
And so it goes