Thursday, April 30, 2009

Excuse, has your turtle gone missing?

BRONX. (Metro NY) Animal rescuers found a 60-pound African tortoise in the Bronx on Tuesday. Of course, they named her “Shelly.”

“She’s in very good condition,” said Richard Gentles of the Center for Animal Care and Control. “She’s very active.”

Shelly is a Sulcata tortoise, a legal pet. A Baychester women spotted the tortoise in her yard. No one has claimed Shelly, who is 10 to 15 years old.

Today in History:
April 30 , 1900 -

John Luther "Casey" Jones was born March 14, 1863 in southeast Missouri. While he was still a small child, his family moved to Cayce, Kentucky, which is how he got his nickname. As a boy, he liked trains - HE really liked trains. In 1878, at the age of 15, he went to work for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad as an apprentice telegrapher. By 1890, "Casey" had reached the pinnacle of the railroad profession as a crack locomotive engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad.

In 1899, Jones was given a regular passenger run on the Cannonball route which ran between Chicago and New Orleans. On April 29, 1900 Jones was in Memphis, Tennessee, from the northbound Cannonball when he agreed to take the southbound Cannonball because the scheduled engineer called in sick. He left Memphis at 12:50 am, 95 minutes behind schedule, but made up almost an hour between Memphis and Grenada, Mississippi, nearly 100 miles away. By Durant, 55 miles farther down, they were almost on time.

At Durant, Jones received orders to "saw by" two freights that had taken the siding in Vaughan. The two freights were too large to fit into the siding, leaving one end on the main line. If the "sawing" maneuver had been done correctly, the freights would have allowed the approaching train to pass the first switch, and then the trains on the siding would move past the other switch. However, an air hose on one of the freight trains burst, applying the brakes on the freight cars behind the break, and left them immobile on the main line. Meanwhile, Jones was traveling excessively fast, possibly up to 70 miles per hour, and did not have enough time to brake. When collision seemed imminent, Casey told his fireman, Sim Webb, to jump for it, but Jones rode the engine into the cars and was killed. It is believed that because Jones stayed to slow the train, he saved the passengers from injury and possible death (Casey himself was the only fatality of the collision). Popular legend holds that when Jones' body was pulled from the wreckage of his train his hands were still firmly latched onto the whistle cord and the brake.

April 30, 1938
Bugs Bunny first appeared, so to speak, in the cartoon short Porky's Hare Hunt, released on this date.

The short was co-directed by Cal Dalton and Ben Hardaway. The cartoon had an almost identical theme to a 1937 cartoon, Porky's Duck Hunt, directed by Tex Avery and introducing Daffy Duck. Following the general plot of this earlier film, the short cast Porky Pig as a hunter against an equally nutty prey more interested in driving his hunter insane than running away. But instead of a black duck, his current prey was a tiny, white rabbit. Bugs Bunny introduces himself with the expression "Jiggers, fellers," and Mel Blanc gave the rabbit a voice and laugh that he would later use to voice Woody Woodpecker. In this cartoon, he also quoted Groucho Marx for the first time (from the movie Duck Soup): "Of course, you know, this means war!"

April 30, 1939 -
On a very hot New York Sunday, The 1939 World's Fair had its grand opening, with 200,000 people in attendance. The April 30 date coincided with the anniversary of George Washington's inauguration as President in New York City. Although many of the pavilions and other facilities were not quite ready for this opening, it was put on with pomp and great celebration.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the opening day address, and as a reflection of the wide range of technological innovation on parade at the fair, his speech was not only broadcast over the various radio networks but also was televised. NBC used the event to inaugurate regularly scheduled television broadcasts in New York City over their station W2XBS (now WNBC). An estimated 1,000 people viewed the Roosevelt telecast from about 200 television sets scattered throughout the New York area.

Little remembered but equally important, the View-Master was introduced at the World's Fair that day.

Don't worry about those storm clouds overhead (it's just World War II).

April 30, 1945 -
Holed up in a bunker under the Reich Chancellery headquarters in Berlin(conveniently called the Fuehrerbunker), blushing bride Eva Braun has a hankering for Almond Roca. Finding none available, she decide to chew a cyanide capsule and commit suicide (she was impulsive.) Distraught honeymooner Adolf Hitler, never one to go it alone, decides to commit suicide himself by swallowing a cyanide capsule and (to gilt the lily) shooting himself in the head (he was having a very bad day for an Evil Bastard.)

Soon after, Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces, ending Hitler's dreams of a "1,000-year" Reich. Guess that didn't work out for him.

April 30, 1975 -
Fall of Saigon: Communist forces gains control of Saigon. The fall of the city was preceded by the evacuation of almost all the American civilian and military personnel in Saigon, along with tens of thousands of South Vietnamese civilians. The evacuation culminated in Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation in history.

The Vietnam War formally ends with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Duong Van Minh.

This is a really big Oops for America.

April 30, 1997 -
Ellen DeGeneres's character comes out of the closet on the sitcom Ellen.

Sorry fellas, she only likes the ladies.

And so it goes

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's been 100 days

On the plus side - No Space Alien invasion, so far.
On the minus side - Baconnaise is the probable cause of Swine Flu.

Remember - underwear (clean - unless you're into that sort of thing) can be used as a face mask.

Here is your Today in History -
April 29, 1901 -
Train robber and one of the last of the Old West outlaws, Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum is unsuccessfully hanged in Clayton, New Mexico.

The executioner's poor choice of rope and Ketchum's recent increase in weight combine to produce a gruesome decapitation in the gallows.

Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum was the only person ever hanged in Clayton, New Mexico. He was also the only man ever hanged for train robbery in the entire state, a law that was later found to be unconstitutional. But, a little too late for poor Black Jack.

April 29, 1939 -
The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge connecting Bronx and Queens opens on this date.

The opening of the bridge was timed to be completed before the opening of the 1939 World's Fair.

April 29, 1945 -
Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun. The very next day she killed herself. So did he. This demonstrates the importance of not rushing into marriage. You've got to take your time, get to know the other person, and really think it through. Especially if the other person happens to be an Evil Bastard at the head of a hellish genocidal war machine on the brink of defeat.

But it's not enough just making sure your intended isn't a war-criminal-in-training. The sad truth is that if you plan to marry a human being you're in for a pretty bumpy road no matter what—which isn't to say it would be all roses if you married something other than a human.

So maybe Adolf and Eva were doomed anyway. Who knows? I'm only saying they should have given it a little more thought. Bunker marriages have a notorious failure rate.

Actually, in the United States today, all marriages have a notorious failure rate. So maybe the best advice comes from Homer Simpson: "Never try anything."

Say what you will about that bald, yellow tinged, four-fingered man—he's still married.

April 29, 1968 -
Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, the rock musical opened on this date. Hair tells the story of the "Tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired "Hippies of the Age of Aquarius" fighting against conscription to the Vietnam War and living a bohemian life together in New York City. They struggle to balance their young lives, loves and the sexual revolution with their pacifist rebellion against the war and the conservative impulses of their parents and society.

It was also a way for middle class America to see nudity on the stage without going to a strip club or porno house.

April 29, 1981 -
Marilyn Barnett publicly alleged that she had a lesbian relationship for seven years with Billie Jean King,

one of America's best-known female athletes and winner of many national and international tennis championships.

April 29, 1992 -
Rioting erupts in Los Angeles after Rodney King's assailants are acquitted by a jury. The looting and destruction begins in South Central L.A. and quickly radiates outward. By the time things are under control, 51 are dead and the city has sustained $1.5 billion in property damage.

Civil disorder manages to spread to other North American cities, through the influence of live TV coverage.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hey, I've got to get down to the local medical supply store

before all of the surgical masks are gone, so it's an abbreviated posting today.

April 28, 1941 -
Ann-Margret Olsson, actress, singer and dancer, was born on this date.

If anyone would know if Elvis was still alive, it would be Ann-Margret.

April 28, 1950 -
James Douglas Muir Leno, a truly unfunny stand-up comedian, television host and writer, was born on this date.

Beginning this fall, he will be inflicted on the American public every weekday at 10 PM - perhapswe can solve America's energy crisis by turning off all TV in the US at 9:59 PM.

Today in History -
April 28, 585 -

April 28, 1789 -
In the middle of the South Pacific, the crew of the HMS Bounty, led by either Clark Gable, Marlon Brando or Mel Gibson mutinies, setting Charles Laughton, Trevor Howard or Anthony Hopkins and 18 other crewmen adrift in an open boat, so they can hang out with topless Tahitian teens.

Sometimes history is very confusing.

April 28, 1881 -
Billy the Kid escapes from a New Mexico jail, killing jailer Bob Ollinger and a fellow prisoner in the process. Billy will survive for another three months before Pat Garrett finally kills him.

Somehow Jane Russell's braless bodaeous ta-tas are involved in this story

April 28, 1945 -
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci are captured by partisan fighters and executed (castrated and hung upside down on a meat hook).

Just because you can get the trains to run on time does not mean that the voters love you.

April 28, 1996 -
After finishing his lunch at the Broad Arrow Cafe in Port Arthur, Tasmania, 28-year-old Martin Bryant pulls out an AR15 rifle and kills 12 tourists. Then he drives to a nearby bed & breakfast and slays 23 others. Bryant surrenders himself to police the next morning, after catching himself on fire in the act of burning down the B&B.

He wasn't happy with the service.

And so it goes

Monday, April 27, 2009

You will Wash Your Hands and you will Stay Home!!!

So orders Janet Napolitano, U.S. Homeland Security Czar (or Tzar or Tsar or Führer.) Don't make her come to your home and wash your hands for you.

Apparently we're all going to die from Swine Flu in the US before we go broke.

Dammit, if only bacon didn't taste so wonderful - looks like it was a bad day to give up being Kosher (or Muslim for that matter.)

A brief message to Governor Rick Perry of Texas - guess you picked a fine time to talk of secession.

Let's see how long it takes to get that call back from Washington about federal aid to deal with the upcoming pandemic.

Ulysses S. Grant would have been 187 today.

And if the rumors are true, he is still buried in Grant's Tomb.

It's the last shopping day before Saddam Hussein's birthday!

Check to see if Macy's is running their Memorial Tyrant's Day sale.

Today in History:
April 27, 4977 BC -
Today should have been Earth Day,

God creates the universe, according to calculations by mystic and part-time astronomer Johannes Kepler.

April 27, 1509 -
The entire state of Venice is excommunicated by Pope Julius II for an entirely secular reason:

the refusal to place parts of Romagna under the Pope's control.

Oh, those wacky Pre-counterreformation Popes.

April 27, 1521 -
In an hour long battle with Philippine islanders, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his men are repeatedly jabbed with sharpened bamboo spears. After Magellan finally succumbs to his wounds, the natives hack him to pieces with their swords, barbecued and consumed him.

They were surprised that they were not hungry an hour after eating him as they had been after eating some Asian explorers previously.

April 27, 1861 -
In a blatantly unconstitutional act, President Abraham Lincoln suspends habeas corpus inside a zone between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The government may now detain citizens indefinitely without ever filing charges. A year and a half later, Lincoln expands the scope of his order to the entire nation.

If you're like me, I'm sure that you are greatly relieved that the previous resident of the White House didn't read much history.

April 27, 1865 -
The worst steamship disaster in the history of the United States occurs on this date. The 'Sultana', carrying approximately 2,300 passengers, the majority being freed Union POWs from the notorious Andersonville and Cahaba Prisons, exploded in Mississippi River, while en route to Cairo, Illiois.

Neither the cause of the explosion nor the final count of the dead (estimated at between 1,450 and 2,000) was ever determined. Today, the 'Sultana' disaster remains the worst of its kind .

Talk about bad luck.

April 27, 1871 -
The American Museum of Natural History opened to the public in New York City, New York. With a series of exhibits, the Museum’s collection went on view for the first time in the Central Park Arsenal, the Museum’s original home, on the eastern side of Central Park.

The museum began from the efforts of Albert Smith Bickmore, one-time student of Harvard zoologist Louis Agassiz, who was successful in his proposal to create a natural history museum in New York City, New York, with the support of William E. Dodge, Junior, Theodore Roosevelt, Senior, Joseph Choate, and J. Pierpont Morgan. The Governor of New York, John Thompson Hoffman, signs a bill officially creating the American Museum of Natural History on April 6, 1869.

April 27,1963 -
Comedian Lenny Bruce is arrested in Miami for illegal possession of hypodermic needles.

They were, however, for legally-prescribed prescription drugs.

Apr 27 1986 -
Someone interrupts the HBO satellite feed during the movie The Falcon and The Snowman. For five minutes, two-thirds of their customer base receives the message: Good evening HBO from Captain Midnight. $12.95 a month?

No way! (Showtime-Movie Channel Beware.) Three months later, the FCC arrests Florida satellite dish retailer John R. MacDougall for the crime.

Apr 27 1987 -
After determining that Kurt Waldheim had "assisted or otherwise participated in the persecution of persons" during his Nazi years, the Department of Justice places him on a watch list of undesirable aliens. As such, the sitting President of Austria is disallowed entry into the U.S. It is the first time that a foreign head of state is legally forbidden from visiting America.

I suppose that he suffered from Waldheimer's Disease - it's when you have difficulty recalling that you're a Nazi

And so it goes

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Please leave my computer alone.

April 26, 1452 -
Leonardo da Vinci was born on this date. Mr. da Vinci was one of the great minds of the Renaissance. Sadly, he is best known for having painted the "Mona Lisa" (in Italian, "La Joconde,"), in which he accurately and exquisitely captured the unmistakable smile of a dignified woman who's just farted.

For some reason, many lonely computer geeks celebrate this day by releasing computer virii in hopes that female FBI agents will break down their doors.

Today in History:
On April 26, 1923, the Duke of York married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in Westminster Abbey, (This wedding might have slipped into the ephemeria of time had the Duke's brother not wanted to marry a woman reported so ugly, many thought her a man in drag. And calling a woman ugly in England is really saying something, as many of the British upper crush often marry their horses out of confusion.) That's British royalty.

Count Basie died on April 26, 1984; Duke Ellington was born on April 29, 1899; Ella Fitzgerald, the "First Lady of Song," was born on April 25, 1918.

That's American royalty.

April 26, 1865 -
Discovered hiding in a farmer's tobacco shed, John Wilkes Booth is shot in the neck by a complete lunatic. Dying and paralyzed from the neck down, he whispers: "Tell my mother I did it for my country."

As his hands are held up to his face, Booth mutters "useless...useless..." They are his last words.

April 26, 1933 -
Hermann Goering founds the Geheime Staatspolizei, otherwise known as the Gestapo.

Banned Cartoons - Bugs Bunny - Herr Meets Hare

The original purpose of this "Secret State Police" is to disrupt and harass opponents of National Socialism, but it will later come to adopt many additional responsibilities.

April 26, 1954 -
Godzilla debuted in American :

With the ashes of World War II only recently cooled, Japan is plagued by a sudden wave of maritime disasters: Without warning, ships are exploding into flame and sinking beneath the waves. The few survivors are able to shed little light on the situation, as they quickly die from radiation and strange burns. (Hmmm, sound familiar) A group of investigators, including prominent paleontologist Dr. Yamane and American reporter Steve Martin, are sent to Odo Island to investigate. The natives warn that the ships are being destroyed by Gojira (Godzilla), a legendary monster. These claims are verified when a gigantic, dinosaur-like creature comes ashore and demolishes the native village. Dr. Yamane concludes that Godzilla is a prehistoric creature that has been awakened and mutated by atomic bomb tests. It's just the same conclusion you'd come to having just seen the ruins of a Japanese fishing village.

The military decides to use depth charges on the monster. However, the attack is unsuccessful, and Godzilla follows the ships back to Tokyo Bay. (Again, probably just what you would do - annoy a giant radioactive monster.) Coming ashore at night, Godzilla razes Tokyo. The destruction left in his wake is comparable to an atomic bomb. Military firepower proves useless against the monster. It is feared that Godzilla will continue to lay waste to the cities of Japan, and perhaps the entire world.

It is up to Emiko Yamane (Dr. Yamane’s daughter) to convince her former fiancé, Dr. Serizawa, to use his Oxygen Destroyer against Godzilla. Serizawa is skeptical; he fears that this terrible device might be more dangerous than the monster. However, he finally decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to rid the world of Godzilla. So here in a nutshell, you have the greatest fever dream movie ever re-edited - a very good Sci-Fi film intercut with Raymond Burr, the undisputed king of deadpan delivery.

Remember -- don't panic, be deadpan!

April 26, 1986 -
44 seconds into a late-night experiment at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, reactor number four sustains two large explosions. A plume of dangerous radioactivity looms three kilometers high, making it the worst catastrophe in the history of nuclear power.

The Soviet news agency TASS holds off reporting the incident for almost 48 hours.

And so it goes

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Get Out

and enjoy this beautiful day!

April 25, 1917 –
Ella Jane Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Song, considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century, was born on this date.

Singing doesn't get better than this.

Today in History:
April 25, 1792 -
French highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier is beheaded by the guillotine, after extensive testing during its development with corpses and sheep, making him its first victim. The speed that the guillotine worked was “quick as lightening” and in the twinkling of an eye,” it was over.

The outcome was not well received by the crowd who called for the return of the gallows.

April 25, 1972 -
"And if you covered him with garbage,
George Sanders would still have style...."

George Sanders actor and husband of not one but two Gabor sisters, kills himself leaving this great suicide note, "Dear World, I am leaving you because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool - good luck."

Short and to the point.

April 25, 1974 -
Jim Morrison's 'widow', Pamela Courson dies of a heroin overdose.

April 25, 1980 -
In Iran, a commando mission to rescue hostages was aborted after mechanical problems disabled three of the eight helicopters involved. During the evacuation, a helicopter and a transport plan collided and exploded. Eight U.S. servicemen were killed.

The mission was aimed at freeing American hostages that had been taken at the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.

Still as lovely as ever, Andrea once again celebrating her 39th birthday.

And so it goes

Friday, April 24, 2009

Word of the day

Dionysiac ( die-uh-NIS-ee-ak ), [Latin Dionysiacus, from Greek Dionusiakos, from Dionusios.], (adjective) 1. Of or relating to Dionysus, the god of wine and of an orgiastic religion celebrating the power and fertility of nature. Of or relating to Dionysia, ancient Greek festivals held seasonally, chiefly at Athens, in honor of Dionysus. 2. Often dionysiac. Ecstatic or wild; Dionysian.

Keep it in mind

Today in History:
April 24, 1479 BC (this is an approximated date.

Most of the people who could have verified this date were busy smearing olive oil on each other and inventing Greco-Roman wrestling in the nude, so the creation of an accurate calendar wasn't a high priority.

Think Dionysiac)

"Is this the face that launched a thousand ships...?"

Ok kids, here's your quick Lit Hum course.

Once upon a time, a pretty naked Greek girl was lolling around a limpid pool (lots of pretty naked Greek girls were doing that back then) and she saw a beautiful swan.

Before you could said By Zeus, Leda lays an egg and out pops Helen - another pretty naked Greek girl. But Helen wasn't just any pretty naked Greek girl, she was the MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD.

So when it was time for Helen to marry (at about 12), literally everyone who was anyone wanted to marry her, including Odysseus(who doesn't marry her but Penelope but that's another story), Menestheus, Ajax the Great, Patroclus and Idomeneus, Agamemnon (who doesn't marry her but her sister, Clytemnestra and lives (or dies) to regret it, but that again is another story). It doesn't hurt to mention at this point that her 'father' was the King of Sparta or the fact that he never noticed that she was hatched from a egg.

Yadda, yadda yadda, Helen marries Menelaus. Yadda, yadda, yadda, three more naked Greek goddesses, handsome naked Greek youth named Paris (how the French got into this story even I can't explain) and a golden apple.

Also, I bet you never realized how much nudity plays into this story. Yadda, yadda yadda, an abduction and a promise extracted - bang zoom, you have the Trojan war. I have just saved you from reading Edith Hamilton's Mythology and the first third of the Iliad.

The Greek siege of Troy had lasted for ten years. The Greeks devised a new ruse: a giant hollow wooden horse. It was built by Epeius and filled with Greek warriors led by Odysseus. Meanwhile, a Greek spy, Sinon, convinced the Trojans that the horse was a gift despite the warnings of Laocoon (who gets to utter the line, "Beware Greeks bearing gifts" moments before being strangled by sea-serpents with his two sons - but that's another story)

and Cassandra (who has the gift of prophecy because of the God Apollo as a token of his love has snakes lick her ears clean but that again is another story) ;

Helen and Deiphobus (who won Helen in a game with his brother after the death of Paris but that's another story) even investigated the horse; in the end, the Trojans accepted the gift. In ancient times it was customary for a defeated general to surrender his horse to the victorious general in a sign of respect.

It should be noted here that the horse was the sacred animal of Poseidon; during the contest with Athena over the patronage of Athens, Poseidon gave men the horse, and Athena gave the olive tree. It should also be noted that after living ten years under a siege, one's reasoning seems to go out the window.

The Trojans have a huge orgy, I mean, party (think sodomy on a grand scale) the end of the siege, so that, when the Greeks emerged from the horse, the city was in a drunken stupor. The Greek warriors opened the city gates to allow the rest of the army to enter, and the city was pillaged ruthlessly, all the men were killed, and all the women and children were taken into slavery.

And so ends the Iliad.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

April 24, 1913 -
The "Cathedral of Commerce" built one nickel at a time, the Woolworth building opens.

The Five and Dimes are long gone but the skyscraper remains.

April 24, 1969 -
Paul McCartney has to being denying rumors he was dead.

His two and hour hour performance last week at Cowochilla went a long way in putting those rumors to rest.

April 24, 1986 -
'Her Royal Highness' The Duchess of Windsor, Bessie Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson Windsor former maitresse en titre (official mistress), horse-faced, twice-divorced American, possible transvestite and Nazi sympathizer dies.

And the House of Windsor breathes a sigh of relief -

until Princess Diana.

And so it goes

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A note to all would-be Serial killers.

Stop keeping articles of your your victims clothing (especially their panties!!!)

It's always a clue

On a much lighter note:
April 23, 1936 -
Roy Orbison, the coolest singer in sunglasses,was born on this date.

Allow yourselves to wallow in the voluptuousness of despair!

Here is your Today in History -

Today is believed to be the birthday of William Shakespeare, born in Stratford-on-Avon, England (1564). He was a playwright and poet, and is considered to be the most influential and perhaps the greatest writer in the English language. His tragedies have been celebrated for centuries. For example, there’s the Tragedy of Julius Caesar, in which a Roman general thinks he’d like to be emperor, other people disagree, and everyone dies in the end. There is the Tragedy of Macbeth, in which a Scottish Thane thinks he’d like to be king, other people disagree, and everyone dies in the end. There is the Tragedy of Richard II, in which a hunch-backed noble thinks he'd like to be king, other people disagree, and everyone dies in the end. There is even the Tragedy of Hamlet, in which a young prince thinks and everyone dies in the end.

(That last is naturally set in Denmark, where the relationship between thinking and dying has been most famously chronicled by Soren Kierkegaard, who called life itself "the sickness unto death." He was a very happy fella)

He gave us many beloved plays, including Romeo and Juliet (1594), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595), Gay Boys in Bondage (1601), Othello (1604), and King Lear (1605). Only a few scattered facts are known about his life. He was born and raised in the picturesque market town of Stratford-on-Avon, surrounded by woodlands. His father was a glover and a leather merchant; he and his wife had eight children including William, but three of them died in childbirth. William probably left grammar school when he was thirteen years old, but continued to study on his own.

He went to London around 1588 to pursue his career in drama (or to sleep with actresses or men who dresses like women) and by 1592 he was a well-known actor. He joined an acting troupe in 1594 and wrote many plays for the group while continuing to act. Scholars believe that he usually played the part of the first character that came on stage, but that in Hamlet he played the ghost.

Some scholars have suggested that Shakespeare couldn't have written the plays attributed to him because he had no formal education. A group of scientists recently plugged all his plays into a computer and tried to compare his work to other writers of his day, such as Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and the Earl of Oxford. The only writer they found who frequently used words and phrases similar to Shakespeare's was Queen Elizabeth I, and although Shakespeare had been seen in women's clothing several times, the Queen was eventually ruled out as well.

Shakespeare used one of the largest vocabularies of any English writer, almost 30,000 words, and he was the first writer to invent or record many of our most common turns of phrase, including "foul play," "as luck would have it," "your own flesh and blood," "too much of a good thing," "good riddance," "in one fell swoop," "so is your mother," "play fast and loose," "up your nose with a rubber hose," "dyn-o-mite," "I know you are but what am I" and "in the twinkling of an eye."

Shakespeare wrote a lot of other plays and died in the end—on April 23, 1616. His accomplishments are all the more remarkable when you consider that he died on the same day he’d been born.

April 23, 1616 -
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra died the very same day as Shakespeare. Mr. Cervantes was a brilliant Spanish humorist, best known for his novel Don Quixote, in which an old man suffering from acute mental illness rides around the Spanish countryside hallucinating, then dies.

Sometimes that's all there is.

April 23, 1988 -
"There is no dark side in the Moon really... matter of fact it's all dark"

Pink Floyd's album Dark Side Of The Moon, after spending the record total of 741 consecutive weeks (over 14 years) on the Billboard 200, left the charts for its first time ever.

How will they ever make ends meet.

And so it goes

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Remember, the planet you save may be your own.

It's Earth Day today, everybody goes out and hug a tree. If you don't want to be that familiar with nature, politely shake hands with your house plants.

Here's a little poem you can remember to help on this Earth Day -

If it's yellow, let it mellow,
If it's brown, flush it down,
And if it's blue, seek medical attention.

April 22, 1950 -
Peter Frampton, musician, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, was born on this date.

If you were a teenager in the mid 70's, you were issued your standard copy of "Frampton Comes Alive" to face your 'awkward' years.

Here's your Today in History -
April 22, , 1451 -
Isabella I, Queen of Castille, was born. She also became Queen of Aragon in 1479.

She was Christopher Columbus's patron, and must therefore share some of the responsibility for the many thousands of casinos across America.

April 22, 1870
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov was born on this date He later became Lenin, invented the Communist Party in Russia, and made himself first Head Bastard of the Soviet Union.

It's interesting that Alexander Kerensky, the leader of Russia's provisional revolutionary government in 1917 until overthrown by Lenin, was born on the same day as Lenin, only eleven years later.

Well, it's interesting to some people.

April 22, 1904 -
Robert Oppenheimer was born on this date. Mr. Oppenheimer is known as the father of the atomic bomb.

The bomb's mother has never been identified to anyone's satisfaction, which only underscores the lax security at Los Alamos.

April 22, 1923 -
Kinky center fold model Bettie Mae Page born in Nashville, Tennessee.

As she describes herself, "I was never the girl next door."

April 22, 1946 -
John Waters, famed indie film director, was born on this date.

Waters announced that the production of his newest proposed film, Fruitcake, a children's Christmas film starring Johnny Knoxville and Parker Posey, had been cancelled. "I can't get it made...I thought it would do well, but it's not. In this economy, I'm going to have to do a puppet show."

It's a sad day in America when John Waters can't get a movie financed.

April 22, 1954 -
Porn star and onetime Ivory Snow model Marilyn Chambers is born in Westport, Connecticut,

behind a rather ordinary hospital white door. Marilyn died unexpectedly about two weeks ago.

April 22, 1964 -
President Johnson opened the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadow, Corona Park, New York .

The Fair also is remembered as the vehicle Walt Disney utilized to design and perfect the system of "audio-animatronics," in which a combination of sound and computers[citation needed] control the movement of life-like robots to act out scenes. In the "It's a Small World" attraction at the Pepsi pavilion, animated dolls and animals frolicked in a spirit of international unity on a boat-ride around the world.

Once the fair was over, Walt feverishly pushed his 'imagineers' to build him an 'actual' President. Historians argue that this was the beginning of Ronald Reagan campaign for the Presidency.

April 22, 1994 -
Richard M. Nixon suffers a fatal stroke. His body is laid to rest on the grounds of his Presidential Library.

Wooden stakes were driven through his heart to make sure he is dead.

And on a personal note, I was remiss not to wish a Happy Anniversary to Sharon and George yesterday.

And so it goes

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Very stupid youth want to know...

Newsweeks cover story spends too many pages questions why former Governor Spitzer was reckless with prostitutes.

Simple answer - He wanted to 'sleep with' whores.

Make of this what you will that the following people were born today:
Catherina II the Great, writer/empress of Russia (and no she didn't do it with the horses, just the horse men) (1729),

Alexandra Mary Windsor II (1926),

Iggy Pop [James Newell Osterberg] (1947) ,

Patti LuPone (1949),

Tony Danza (1951)

& Robert Smith (1959)

It's Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Today in History -
April 21, 753 -BC-
Traditional date of the foundation of Rome (they are hoping to finish building it any day now).

But since the Gregorian Calendar was just a gleam in Pope Julius eye - who knows.

April 21, 1836 -
With the battle cry, 'Remember the Alamo!' Texan forces under Sam Houston defeated the army of Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, assuring Texas independence .

According to legend, Santa Ana was astride a mulatto, or "yellow" prostitute, Emily Morgan, who came to be celebrated in song as "The Yellow Rose of Texas"

Now you know.

April 21, 1918 -
German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as "The Red Baron", is shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme in France.

There is no truth to the rumor that Snoopy fired the fatal shot.

April 21, 1997 -
Ashes of Timothy Leary and Gene Roddenberry launched into orbit .

I guess this is the highest Dr. Leary will ever get.

And so it goes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's 420

If you or your kid cuts work or school today, he just might have a chemical dependency.

That's all we're gonna say. (And it has nothing to do with the Anniversary of Columbine.)

April 20, 1977-
Annie Hall, at 93 minutes, the shortest film to ever win the Best Picture Oscar, premiered on this date.

The film's working title was "Anhedonia" - the inability to feel pleasure. United Artists fought against it (among other things, they were unable to come up with an ad campaign that explained the meaning of the word) and Woody Allen compromised on naming the film after the central character three weeks before the film's premiere. Other titles suggested were "It Had to Be Jew", "A Rollercoaster Named Desire", and "Me and My Goy".

Today in History:
Apr 20 1233 -
Pope Gregory IX places the Inquisition, in existence since 1227, under the aegis of the Dominican Order. Torture is apparently sometimes necessary to save souls, and the office continues to exist today as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

And until a few years ago, the congregation was headed by Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Apr 20 1889 -
In Braunau, Austria, Klara Hitler gives birth to a bouncing baby little evil bastard named Adolf.

Apr 20 1979 -
President Jimmy Carter is attacked by a Killer Swamp Rabbit, while on vacation in Plains GA. The rabbit swam menacingly towards him, and he had to repel the ferocious creature with a paddle. There were no injuries.

Press Secretary Jody Powell leaked the story to the press, and the White House had a lot of explaining to do.

Apr 20 1992 -
Alone in his apartment watching TV, British comedic legend Benny Hill suffers a fatal heart attack.

His bloated toupeeless body with his underwear around this ankles are found four days later

And so it goes

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Fourth Anniversary

April 19, 2005 -
Cliff from Cheers was elected the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church on this date.

It's amazing how far an someone in the Hitler youth group can go (Oops, I wasn't supposed to mention the war.)

April 19, 1961 -
La Dolce Vita, premieres in the United States on this date.

The famous scene in the Trevi Fountain was shot in March when nights were still cold. Fellini claimed that Anita Ekberg stood in the cold water in her dress for hours without any trouble while Mastroianni had to wear a wetsuit beneath his clothes - to no avail. It was only after "he polished off a bottle of vodka" that Fellini could shoot the scene with a drunk Mastroianni.

Today in History:
April 19, 1775 -
The American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.

In New York, Lexington seems to have won as there is no Concord Avenue.

April 19, 1824 -
Notorious drug user, buggerer, sister sleeping, club footed man about Europe, oh yeah, and poet, Lord George Gordon Byron, dies from fever in Greece.

His body is set back to England for burial (his heart, literally remains in his beloved Greece, buried under a tree in Messolonghi) but he is so imfamous that neither the deans of Westminster and St Paul's will accept his body for proper burial. His family at last buries him in a small fault vault in Northern England.

April 19, 1910 -
Halley's comet reappears, last seen in 1835.

The Earth passes safely through the comet's tail with no perceptible effect, not counting the death of Mark Twain.

This time, the reports were not exaggerated.

April 19, 1927 -
Mae West, suspected transvestite, was jailed for her performance in Sex, the Broadway play she wrote, directed, and starred in. She was sentenced to ten days in prison. While incarcerated on Roosevelt Island, she was allowed to wear her silk panties instead of the scratchy prison issue and the warden reportedly took her to dinner every night.

She served eight days with two days off for good behavior. Media attention to the case enhanced her career - it didn't make her change her act, but it did bring her national notoriety—and helped make her one of Hollywood's most memorable, and quotable, stars. She said: "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."

April 19, 1943 -
During an early-morning operation to exterminate the residents of the Warsaw Ghetto, Nazi troops experience heavy casualties and are forced to retreat before nightfall. Jewish resistance fighters, armed with rifles and molotov cocktails, manage to kill or wound at least 200. The battle will rage on for another three weeks.

April 19, 1987 -
The Simpsons make their television debut in the short "Good Night" a segment for The Tracey Ullman Show. I wonder whatever happened to The Simpsons.

(I'd like to show you the clip but the goons, I mean lawyers from Fox would break my legs and I've just about gotten used to walking.)

April 19, 1993 -
More than 80 Branch Davidians burn to death in Waco, Texas as the FBI stages a disastrous final assault on their compound. This brings a sudden end to the 51-day siege.

They really pissed off Janet Reno.

April 19, 1995 -
Timothy McVeigh kills 168 Oklahomans when his truck bomb detonates in front of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.

And so it goes

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Record Store Day

Do yourself a favor and go to your local record shop (Yes kids, music sometimes is sold on vinyl) and buy something - your ears will thank you for it.

Here is your Today in History -

It was a tense April in Boston in 1775. The colonists were simmering with resentment toward the motherland, on account of King George III having strewn the colonies with excessive tacks, painful to step on and bothersome to the horses. Furthermore, British cabbies had refused to unionize, and the colonists were adamantly opposed to taxis without representation.

King George III tried to assuage the riled colonists by sending them boatloads of tea. (King George III was insane.) The colonists dressed up like Indians and poured all the king’s tea into Boston harbor, proving they could be perfectly insane without any help from the king.

Meanwhile, a network of colonists had been secretly meeting for some time. They reasoned that since they preferred coffee to tea, liked salad before rather than after the entree, and couldn’t make any sense whatever of cricket, they were obviously no longer British. Perhaps they had become French, or Portuguese. Finally they took a vote, which proved they were American.

The king’s colonial representatives overheard some of these discussions, and decided to arrest as many of these patriots as possible, unless they could kill them first.

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere got wind of the British officers’ plan to arrest John Hancock and Sam Adams in Lexington that very night--arrests that would have been calamitous to the colony’s fledgling insurance and beer industries.

Anticipating colonial unrest, British officers had deployed Regulars on all the key roads between Boston and Lexington. (The Regulars had previously proved effective even where the Irregulars and Extra Longs had failed.)

Revere told some friends to hang two lanterns in Boston’s Old North Church, in order to signal his wife that he’d be late for dinner, and immediately set out for Charlestown. Once there, he mounted a horse and began the ride to Lexington.

He found himself almost immediately pursued by Regulars, whom he eluded by means of wily Boston riding tactics: he took a series of lefts from the right lane and a series of rights from the left, utterly confounding his pursuers, who were anyway accustomed to riding on the other side of the street and still weren’t sure what to do at a blinking red light. One of the Regulars rode straight into a fruit stand and ended up covered in produce. Another rode through a big plate glass window that two workmen were carrying across the road. It was pretty funny.

Just before midnight, Revere finally arrived at Jonas Clarke’s Lexington home, where he breathlessly informed Adams and Hancock that the British were coming. This confounded Adams and Hancock, who, like Revere, were themselves British.

Once the confusion was cleared up, Adams and Hancock fled for safety while Revere and two others rushed on to Concord. Many memorable and important historical events ensued, such as the American Revolution, but by then it was April 19th, and therefore no longer appropriate to this date's entry.

April 18, 1906 -
A devastating earthquake strikes San Francisco at 5:13 a.m., followed by a major aftershock three hours later. More than 3,000 people are killed from either collapsing structures or any of the 59 separate fires which burn over the next three days.

In the downtown area, the U.S. Army is forced to dynamite whole city blocks in order to contain the flames, due to the lack of water pressure.

April 18, 1955 -
Nobel Prize recipient Albert Einstein dies in his hospital bed from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Seven hours later, his brain is plunked into a jar of formalin and taken away by the pathologist.

Those began a 40 year journey of "They Stole Einstein's Brain".

April 18, 1983 _
62 people are killed and more than 100 injured in a suicide bombing against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. The attacker used a van packed with one ton of high explosives.. Included among the dead is the CIA's entire Middle East bureau.

The group Islamic Jihad claims responsibility, although the intelligence community believes it was actually the work of Hezbollah.

April 18, 1988 -
American auto worker John Demjanjuk is convicted of crimes against humanity by an Israeli court. They determined that he was Treblinka's notorious "Ivan the Terrible." The court sentences him to hang one week later, but the conviction is later overturned when it appears to have been a case of mistaken identity.

In 2002, a U..S. federal court later strips Demjanjuk of his citizenship after it rules that he did in fact work as a Nazi prison guard, although at Sobibor, Majdanek, and Flossenburg. As late as Thursday, Mr Demjanjuk is still vigorously fighting his extradiction to Germany to stand trial in Munich on charges he helped kill 29,000 Jews as a Nazi prison guard at the Sobibor death camp in 1943.

And so it goes