Sunday, July 21, 2019

Pizza usually gets to your home before the police do

It's National Junk Food Day.

It doesn't really matter what you eat - at some point, you'll be dead.

July 21, 1984 -
President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. He also declared that the third Sunday in July would be National Ice Cream Day.

You may begin screaming for your ice cream now but heed this story - my late father-in-law threatened to shoot the local Mr. Softie man if he continued to drive his truck past the house during dinnertime.

July 21, 1951 -
I basically started performing for my mother, going, 'Love me!' What drives you to perform is the need for that primal connection. When I was little, my mother was funny with me, and I started to be charming and funny for her, and I learned that by being entertaining, you make a connection with another person.

Robin McLaurim Williams, actor and comedian, was born on this date (or was it 1952.)

July 21, 1990 -
Roger Waters staged an over-sized version of Pink Floyd's The Wall near the Berlin Wall, on this date, to celebrate the actual wall's fall several months earlier.

Waters constructed, then dismantled, a 240-foot-wide, 35-foot-tall edifice behind the stage that was actually 4 1/2-times the size of the actual Berlin Wall. Inflatable Wall-themed puppets, each of them as tall as six-story buildings, loomed over the crowd, while army helicopters swept low overhead. Watching it all were hundreds of thousands concertgoers -- and perhaps a billion more around the world.

The book that could be an all purpose gift

Today in History:
July 21, 365 -
An earthquake destroyed the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria, causing the sea to recede and then re-enter the city with tremendous force. Many of those not killed by collapsing buildings were drowned. Fifty thousand died.

It was not a good day in Ole Alexandria

July 21, 1730 -
Holland established the death penalty for acts of sodomy on this date.

I've often said, this is what comes from trolls and the lack of proper lubricant.

July 21, 1899 -
Ernest Hemingway was born on this date. He was young at the time of his birth. It was fine to be young.

He drove an ambulance in the first world war. It wasn't called the first world war then. It was called the war. It was one of those times when people shot at each other. When people were shooting at each other they didn't have time to worry about what to call it. It was only afterwards that they needed to call it something.

"What should we call that time when we were shooting at each other?"

"Let's call it the Great War."


It was a good ambulance. It was long with a red and white sign. It had flashing lights and a siren that went "wee-ooo, wee-ooo." He liked that.

After the war he lived in Paris. A lot of Americans lived in Paris after the war, but only a few of them had ever driven an ambulance. In the 30s he went to Spain. He was a journalist. They were having a war.

They called it the Spanish Civil War. It was started by an Evil Stoogie named General Franco on July 18, 1936. It was a test drive to see whether or not they should have World War II. They had fascists and socialists and anarchists. They even drank sangria. People shot at each other.

(General Franco finally gave up power on July 19, 1974, because he was sick. Maybe he had always been sick. It is sometimes hard to understand sickness. Maybe we are not meant to understand it.)

Later Hemingway lived in Cuba. He liked to fish. He liked to drink. He thought all men should fish. He wrote stories about fishing. Finally he blew his brains out at his home in Idaho. It was July 2, 1961.

He had written a lot of books but now he was dead.

July 21, 1919 -
The Wingfoot Air Express (owned by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company) caught fire and crashed into the Illinois Trust and Savings Building in Chicago, 13 people were killed. This was the worst Airship disaster in the USA until the Zeppelin Airship, Hindenburg crashed in 1937.

Of the 13 who died: one was a crew member, two were passengers whilst the remaining 10 were bank employees in the building below.

July 21, 1925 -
The so-called "Monkey Trial" ended in Dayton, Tenn., with John T. Scopes convicted of violating state law for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.

Scopes was found guilty and was fined $100. The conviction was later overturned on the technicality that the judge had set the fine rather than the jury.

July 21, 1969 -
Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin blast off from the Moon after twenty-one and a half hours on the surface and return to the command module piloted by Michael Collins on this date.

The lunar module’s lower section, left behind, has a plaque mounted upon it, reading, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.

While all of the world is celebrating the success of the Apollo 11 mission; a little remembered incident also occurred 50 years ago this week, the Soviets nearly landed an unmanned vehicle on the Moon first, Luna 15. The USSR had ambitious lunar landing and exploration plans. The country’s “Luna” space program – envisaging the launch of interplanetary spacecraft to the Moon – appeared in 1958, earlier than NASA’s Apollo program. Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight in 1961 only strengthened the Soviet belief that it was their destiny to dominate space. And for a while, it seemed they would.  The five-ton Soviet station (Luna 15 was launched Sunday, July 13,) approached the Moon on July 17, three days before the now airborne Apollo 11, and went into near-lunar orbit. But then, the unforeseen happened. For some reason, the spacecraft got stuck in lunar orbit, allowing Apollo 11 to sneak past.

As the first men on the Moon prepared to launch from the lunar surface, astronomers at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Manchester  heard commands being sent up to Luna 15 from Moscow. The Soviet spacecraft was beginning its 52nd orbit and preparing to descend towards the surface… it wasn’t until this moment the English astronomers realized the craft was designed to land. They tracked the spacecraft in real time as it sped towards the surface, listened as it gained speed and finally crashed right into Mare Crisium, the Sea of Crises, about two hours before Armstrong and Aldrin we set to leave the lunar surface.

I say, this has really been drama of the highest order,” remarked one Jodrell Bank astronomer when it was all over.

July 21, 1972 -
In Milwaukee, George Carlin was arrested for obscenity and disorderly conduct for performing his "Seven Dirty Words" routine on a Summerfest stage in Milwaukee. (Tits is still the funniest.)

He was released after posting $150 bail.

July 21, 1981 -
Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the shooting of John Lennon. His only response is to read a passage from Catcher in the Rye.

After New York State prescribed bouts of forced sodomy (without the proper lubricant,) with irate Beatles fans,  Mr. Chapman has had a chance to rethink his crime. (Mr Chapman has been denied parole eight times and still remains behind bars.)

And so it goes.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Hope you don't get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

Shhh, I believe today's holiday is a huge conspiracy perpetrated by a large Big Sugar Syndication. (They're the real power in Washington D.C.)

It's National Lollipop Day; but don’t go too overboard on the sugary treats. (Last time I checked; it's about 251 licks.)

July 20, 1950 -
Fred Zimmermann's film about wounded WWII veterans, The Men, starring Marlon Brando (in his first feature film), Teresa Wright and Everett Sloane, premiered on this date.

To accustom himself to his role as a paraplegic, Brando remained in a wheelchair on and off the set for the duration of the shoot. He reluctantly made an exception to this "method" in order to attend a Hollywood party where he wanted to meet Charlie Chaplin. His date, Shelly Winters, through whom he had access to the party, insisted he come dressed nicely and sans wheelchair or not come at all.

July 20, 1984 -
20th Century Fox releases the comedy film Revenge of the Nerds, starring Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards on this date.

Robert Carradine moved to the University of Arizona two weeks before shooting to get into character as Lewis Skolnick. He brought only his "nerd" clothes to wear. He couldn't bring himself to leave his hotel room for three days.

July 20, 1986 -
The Alex Cox biography Sid and Nancy, starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, premiered in London, on this date.


Gary Oldman lived on a diet of steamed fish and melon to lose enough weight to play the emaciated, heroin-addicted Sid, and was hospitalized when he went too far and became malnourished.

July 20, 1990 -
In one of the late (good) performances of Marlon Brando, the TriStar Pictures' The Freshman, directed by Andrew Bergman and co-starring Matthew Broderick, Bruno Kirby, Penelope Ann Miller, and Frank Whaley, premiered on this date.

According to director Andrew Bergman, Matthew Broderick was having a problem shooting a scene with Brando and as a nervous habit, he began chewing Bazooka bubblegum. Brando asked him for a piece to which Bergman replied, "I'll tell you what, you do this scene in one take and I'll give you a piece." They shot the scene in one take and Brando immediately went behind the camera with his hand out. Good to his word, Bergman gave Brando a piece of Bazooka bubblegum.

July 20, 2007 -
The musical version of John Waters 1988 cult classic film (and the 2002 Broadway musical of the same name,) Hairspray directed by Adam Shankman and starring  John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron, and Nikki Blonsky premiered on this date.

It took John Travolta four hours to put on the 30-pound fat suit and five gel-filled silicone face prosthetics to become Edna Turnblad.

Don't forget to tune into The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today

Today in History:
July 20, 1402 -
At the Battle of Angora, Tamerlane led his huge army of Taters against the Ottomans (or Ottomen). Tamerlane captured the Sultan (Head Ottoman), and this is why we call some sweaters Angoras to this day.

Angora, however, is now called Ankara.

(Co-incidentally in 1991, on this date President Bush, visiting Turkey, was cheered by thousands of people in Ankara.)

July 20, 1801 -
According to legend, a 1,235 pound cheese ball was pressed at the farm of Elisha Brown Jr. and taken to Washington D.C. by a horse-driven wagon.

He presented it as a gift to President Thomas Jefferson at the White House on this date.

(Or it could have been given to him on January 1st, 1801; I don't know, I wasn't there.)

July 20, 1903 -
The Ford Motor Company took its first order for a two-cylinder Model A car on July 15th 1903 and shipped the car on this date.

In early July of 1903, Ford’s cash balance was just $223.65 and it was doubtful if payroll could be fulfilled long enough to complete the existing works-in-progress. Chicago dentist named Ernst Pfenning bought the car for $850. His purchase and two other orders that week, kept the Ford Motor Company in business.

July 20, 1944 -
In an attempt on Hitler's life, a time bomb explodes in the situation room of the Wolf's Lair, killing four Nazi officers but only wounding the Fuhrer. After his close call, Hitler becomes even more paranoid. A massive purge is to follow, resulting in the execution of thousands of officers.

Hollywood's favorite 'frequently married little person (not Mickey Rooney)' starred in a film version of the event.

July 20, 1951 -
In Jerusalem at the al-Aqsa Mosque, King Abdullah of Jordan was shot three times in the head and chest by Mustapha Shukri Usho, a Palestinian opposed to peace with Israel.

Abdullah died on the spot.

July 20, 1968 -
The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held on this date, a joint venture between the Kennedy Foundation and the Chicago Park District.

The first games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, and more than 150 countries worldwide sent more than 1,000 athletes competed.

July 20, 1969 -
50 years ago today,  in a live transmission from the Moon, viewed by 720 million people around the world, Neil Armstrong stepped foot onto the Moon. It was a brave thing to do (and unfortunately caused Buzz Aldrin to have his post-Apollo 11 period of alcoholism and depression.)

It was also the first mission to bring back samples from a foreign planetary body — the samples dated back 3.7 billion years.

And whatever you do, don't ask Buzz if it was faked.

July 20, 1973 -
In Hong Kong, martial artist Bruce Lee fell into a coma and died of cerebral edema on this date. He had been experiencing brain problems beginning in May, which included sporadic loss of consciousness (I've always hated when that happens.)

Lee's death happened shortly before the release of Enter the Dragon, his most successful film.

July 20, 1976 -
Hank Aaron, considered one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history, hit his last home run (#755) off the California Angels' Dick Drago at Milwaukee County Stadium, on this date.

He is perhaps most famous for breaking the record for career home runs, which he held until Barry Bonds topped him on September 23, 2006. (Aaron did it without being on the juice, that's all I'm saying.)

July 20, 1976 -
The US spacecraft Viking 1 was the first craft ever to land on Mars on this date. It holds the record for having the second longest mission on Mars' surface: 6 years and 116 days.

NASA terminated communications with the craft on August 17, 1980.  So technically, it's still there (unless the martians have stripped the craft and have it up on blocks.)

July 20, 1994 -
O.J. Simpson offered a $500,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the Real Killers on this date.

To this day progress remains elusive, although Simpson continues his search throughout the gated community that he calls home.

And so it goes.


Friday, July 19, 2019

Time Flies When You're Having RUM

It's National Daiquiri Day.

It's just about the middle of the summer, so it more than appropriate to celebrate.

Today is Flitch of Bacon day. Every year on this day, since about 1104, any married couple who could prove they had been faithful and loving to one another for one year was awarded half a pig, known as a flitch of bacon.

(I want to know how that couple is going to bring home that side of pork.)

July 19, 1941 -
MGM released the Hanna/ Barbera cartoon, The Midnight Snack, starring Tom and Jerry, on this date.

William Hanna and Joseph Barbera originally had the cat named Jasper and the mouse was Jinx, in 1940's Puss Gets the Boot cartoon. This is the first cartoon with their names, Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse.

July 19, 1960 -
The initial pilot for what would become The Dick Van Dyke Show, Head of the Family, premiered on this date.

Carl Reiner has said that he let this pilot sit for about a year after it didn't sell, and then he showed it to Sheldon Leonard who told him he liked it and it had potential, but it "needs better actors, including you!"

July 19, 1980 -
Billy Joel's hit, It's Still Rock and Roll to Me, topped the charts on this date.

Billy Joel was making a comment on musical styles and trends. At the end of the disco era, the music press began touting the "New Wave" sound, which included bands like The Police and The Cars. Joel thought that this new sound was just a variation on power-pop that had been around since the '60s. He didn't have a problem with the music, just the way it was being categorized. "I like it, but it's not particularly new," he said.

July 19, 1996 -
Danny Boyle’s brilliant adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s equally celebrated novel, Trainspotting, starring  Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and Kelly MacDonald premiered on this date.

There has been some confusion over the film's title, as none of that particular activity actually takes place in the film (apart from Renton forced to stay inside his bedroom which has train-themed wallpaper). Irvine Welsh has since gone on record to explain the title, stating that it started out as a euphemism for taking drugs (often done at a train station).

After a week like this - we all need it to be 5 pm

Today in history:
July 19, 1692 -
Five Salem witches were hanged for the crime of witchcraft on this date, based primarily on the accusations of little girls who were bewitched.

Eventually, the village executed a total of 20 witches.

Those were some nasty little girls.

July 19, 1870 -
France attempted to declare war on Russia. Due to a typographical error, however, France inadvertently declared war on Prussia on this date and caused the Franco-Prussian War. This eventually led to the creation of Germany, which led to World War I, World War II, and the Volkswagen.

Moral: always proofread.

July 19, 1919 -
Raymonde de Laroche, the first woman to pilot a plane in 1909 and first woman to receive a pilot's license, died in an plane crash at Le Crotoy airport in France, on this date.

Raymonde de Laroche had miraculously survived three serious crashes before the fourth one claimed her.

July 19, 1937 -
The Nazis opened Entartete Kunst, the Degenerate Art show, in Munich on this date. The traveling exhibition offers up Expressionism for ridicule, carefully arranged by (offensive) subject.

The German youth were not admitted, lest they become tainted.

July 19, 1941  -
Prime Minister Winston Churchill launched his "V for Victory" campaign in Europe on this date.

The BBC World Service began regular broadcasting throughout Europe with the opening four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, which in Morse Code spell V for "Victory."

July 19, 1950 -
Australian Ben Carlin, with his wife, Elinore, set out from Montreal in an amphibious jeep; the craft took to the water off Nova Scotia and crossed the entire Atlantic Ocean, making landfall at the Canary Islands after a stop in the Azores.

The Carlin’s continued their journey by land, eventually stopping in England and going to Malmo, Sweden. Carlin tried to interest British auto manufacturers in his heavily modified vehicle, but there were no takers.

July 19, 1952 -
Keep watching the skies.

During a series of UFO sightings in Washington, D.C. occurring over July 13-29, unidentified objects are picked up on D.C.'s National Airport radar system. Sightings in the region are so extensive the Air Force was prompted to hold a press conference. Conveniently, these were all "radar mirages" resulting from "temperature inversions."

July 19, 1966 -
Frank Sinatra married Mia Farrow in Las Vegas on this date.

Ava Gardner's famous comment on the union: Hah! I always knew Frank would end up in bed with a little boy!


July 19, 1969 -
John Fairfax, after an amazing 180 days alone at sea, became the first person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. (When Fairfax was asked what he did for a living, he would usually answer, "I'm a professional adventurer. I not only enjoy it, I try to make money off it.")

Two year later he rowed across the Pacific with his then-girlfriend Sylvia Cook; the trip took them 361 days. They became the first people to accomplish that feat.

July 19, 1984 -
I stand before you to proclaim tonight, America is a land where dreams can come true for all of us.

35 years ago today,  U.S. Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro of New York won the Democratic nomination for vice president at the party's convention in San Francisco. (Co-incidentally,  the first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY on this date in 1848.)

And so it goes.


Before you go - We've had a lot of rain in the past few days (and we're about to head into quite an intense heatwave.) I saw this wonderful animated version of the classic ELO song, Mr Blue Sky and though I had to share it with you bunkies, to start your day off right:

So take it slow the next few days and keep hydrated - with water (I actually do drink water, every now and then.)