Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh no, run for your lives,

It's Cyborg Monday.

Wait - this just in - it's Cyber Monday. Continue to run for your lives!!!

Our Second Annual Christmas video countdown. Today is - Really bad Holiday Songs:

Oh Cliff, why, why

Warning: watch this video and this song by Wizzard will stick in your head for days, slowly driving you crazy. Fact.

Words simply cannot describe this song by Gunther & the Sunshine Girls - you have to see it to believe it.

Porky is funny for about :30 seconds then it's dreadful the rest of the way:

Perhaps this is the realy reason John died:

Sometimes you have to ask, why did they bother?

Dear friends, we here at 'Today in History' column hope that you will find today's posting a useful tool to help you count the blessing in your lives. Those who remain cynical and ungrateful might find cause for gratitude for at least one of the following historical events.

On November 30, 1935, the German government proclaimed a failure to accept the tenets of Nazism as grounds for divorce.

Be grateful you never married a Nazi.

Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667,

and Mark Twain was born exactly 170 years later, in 1835.

Be grateful that not everyone is taking everything so goddamn seriously.

Winston Churchill (one of my favorite American who became British Prime Minister) was also born on November 30, in 1874, in a coat closet of his family home (really).

Be grateful that not everyone was so grateful for Peace In Our Time.

Otherwise, here are some other events that occurred on this date

November 30, 1900 -
Celebrated Irish author/sodomite Oscar Wilde, dies in Paris of meningitis. Wilde had been charged three times with indecency, specifically "the seduction and corruption of young men." Evidence admitted against him included testimony about fecal stains on his sheets.

Be thankful that we obviously have better cleaning detergents than the French did in 1900.

And remember, "I don't think that Wilde was a homosexual or bisexual, I think he just got carried away at those orgies".

November 30, 1929 -
Dick Clark, the American Bandstander, was born on this date. We heard a rumor about extensive facial plasticizing treatments in the early 1970's. While this rumor remains unverified, we must note that before his unfortunate stroke, the man seemed to no longer age and may not even be human.

Be thankful the few of us are faced with bargaining with Satan for our careers.

November 30, 1954 -
At 1 pm, an 8.5 pound stone meteorite falls from the sky and strikes Ann Elizabeth Hodges from Sylacauga, Alabama. The housewife was seriously bruised but survived, although the meteorite destroyed her radio.

Oh the humanity!

12 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 25 more shopping days until Christmas.

And so it goes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Here's a valuable lesson to you all

Hide your golf clubs when you wife accused you of infidelity.

That's all I'm saying

November 29, 1940
W.C. Fields at his peak, The Bank Dick, premiered on this date.

I'm very fond of children. Girl children, around eighteen and twenty.

November 29, 1945 -
Remarkable for it frank portrayal of alcoholism (for it's day), The Lost Weekend, opened in Los Angeles on this date.

Upon completion, Billy Wilder confidently predicted that Ray Milland would win an Oscar for his performance. He was right.

November 29, 1950 -
Jean Cocteau's beautifully magical, Orphée, opened in the US on this date.

Both Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo were approached about playing the mysterious Princess. Both declined.

Today in History:
November 29, 1864 -
The Sand Creek Massacre occurred, on this date, when Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington massacre at least 400 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants (mostly children, women, physically- and mentally-challenged, and elders) inside Colorado Territory.

The American Government has so much to be proud of with their dealings with the Native Americans.

November 29, 1961 -
The US sends the chimpanzee Enos into space, on the Mercury Atlas 5 capsule from Cape Canaveral.

Enos returns to earth safely but dies less than a year later before he can sign with the William Morris Agency.

November 29, 1986 -
82 year old Archibald Leach, better known as Cary Grant, dies.

While rumors of Grant's sexuality have been around for years, consider in perspective the words of US congressman Bob Dornan, spoken on the House floor: "I do not think Cary Grant was a homosexual or bisexual. He just got carried away at those orgies."

I love that quote.

November 29, 2001 -
The "quiet" Beatle George Harrison silenced by cancer.

Oh yeah, millions of years ago (or at least more than half a century ago) the earth cooled and formed a hard crust, huge dinosaurs ruled the land and John was there to see it all. Happy Birthday John.

About a decade later, vast plains with wildflowers sprung up and Mary skipped along them all. Happy Birthday Mary.

13 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 26 more shopping days until Christmas.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hey it's only Saturday

We still have a whole weekend in front of us - that's something to really give thanks for.

November 28, 1943 -
Randall Stuart Newman, singer/songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist was born on this date.

Disney apparently can't release an animated feature without Randy Newman writing a song for it. The Princess and the Frog, Disney's 49th animated feature, contains music from the birthday boy.

November 28, 1962
Jon Stewart, comedian, television host, and political satirist, was born on this date.

Such a nice boy.

We're going to start our Christmas video countdown on Monday - so hang on

Today in History -
Sorry boys and girls but it's not a pleasant day in history today -

November 28, 1942 -
A fire at the sleazy Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, kills 491 people. Flammable artificial palm trees aided the spread of the fire.

The numerous dead were crushed, burnt, and asphyxiated, all within minutes.

There's a lesson here boys and girl - sleazy nightclubs kill!!!

November 28, 1953 -
Frank Olson, government scientist, jumps to his death from the Statler Hotel in New York City.

In 1975 it is revealed that Olson had been administered LSD by Dr. Sidney Gottlieb in a CIA experiment.

Only bad CIA agents kill!!!

November 28, 1981 -
A drunk Natalie Wood topples off her yacht near Catalina Island and drowns. Her husband Robert Wagner, and melodramatic friend Christopher Walken, were on board and unaware of her predicament, apparently having some sort of argument in the cabin -

possibly about whether or not a drunken Natalie Wood could float (you know that's still an awful joke.)

November 28, 1994 -
Jeffrey Dahmer is beaten to death with a broomstick by inmate Christopher Scarver while cleaning the prison bathroom.

Dahmer's brain was to be preserved in formaldehyde at the request of Mom, but a court ordered its destruction in late 1995.

There's yet another lesson here boys and girls, dirty prison bathrooms kill!!!

27 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 14 more shopping days until Christmas.

And so it goes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Black Friday

I hope you enjoyed watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. The first Macy's parade occurred on this date back in 1924 (since they didn't have TV's back then, you had to get their fat ass off the couch to watch it.)

As most of you know, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year in the US. Hopefully you are still well into your cups from yesterday.

StoryCorps is still sticking with the Friday after Thanksgiving being 'a day of listening' so today is the second annual National Day of Listening.

This holiday season, ask the people around you about their lives: it could be your grandmother, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood. By listening to their stories, you will be telling them that they matter and they won’t ever be forgotten. It may be the most meaningful time you spend this year. (It's a good lie to tell yourself when you are listening to your drunk old uncle tell you for the umpteenth time how much he could by with a nickel in his day.)

Even though Hallmark has not yet put out a card totally devaluing the holiday, it still remains to be seen whether or not the event will catch on.

November 27, 1948 -
This is not a Looney Tunes I'm all that familiar with (as much as you care), Riff Raffy Daffy, premiered on this date.

I had to open my big beak!

November 27, 1967 -
The Beatles release Magical Mystery Tour on this date.

Are you really the Egg man? Coo, coo, kachoo.

While you read this today on your computer, let us ruminate upon the life of Ada Lovelace, who died on this date in 1852. Ada would have seemed to have been born into a charmed life. She was the only child of a titled lord and a very wealthy mother. Unfortunately for her, her father was the notorious, womanizing homosexual (let your mind rattle that around for a second) and not half bad poet Lord Byron. She was named after Byron's half-sister, Augusta Leigh, by whom he was rumoured to have fathered a child (oh yeah, I forgot that - he slept with his half sister). It was Augusta who encouraged Byron to marry to avoid scandal, and he reluctantly chose Annabella Milbanke (very wealthy heiress and noted stick-in-the-mud). On January 16, 1816, Annabella left Byron, taking 1-month old Ada with her. On April 21, Byron signed the Deed of Separation and left England for good a few days later. He was never allowed to see either again.

Ada lived with her mother, as is apparent in her father's correspondence concerning her. Lady Byron was also highly interested in mathematics (Lord Byron once called her "the princess of parallelograms"), which dominated her life, even after marriage. Her obsession with rooting out any of the insanity of which she accused Lord Byron was one of the reasons why Annabella taught Ada mathematics at an early age. Ada was privately home schooled in mathematics and science by William Frend, William King and Mary Somerville. One of her later tutors was Augustus De Morgan. An active member of London society, she was a member of the Bluestockings in her youth.

In 1835 she married William King, 8th Baron King, later 1st Earl of Lovelace. Her full name and title for most of her married life was The Right Honourable Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace. She is widely known in modern times simply as Ada Lovelace, or by her birth name, Ada Byron.

She knew Mary Somerville, noted researcher and scientific author of the 19th century, who introduced her in turn to Charles Babbage on June 5, 1833. Other acquaintances were Sir David Brewster, Charles Wheatstone, Charles Dickens and Michael Faraday. She apparently ran in heady circles for her day.

During a nine-month period in 1842-1843, Ada translated Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea's memoir on Babbage's newest proposed machine, the Analytical Engine. With the article, she appended a set of notes which specified in complete detail a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers with the Engine, recognized by historians as the world's first computer program.

Lovelace's prose also acknowledged some possibilities of the machine which Babbage never published, such as speculating that "the Engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent."

Ada Lovelace was bled to death at the age of 36 by her physicians, who were trying to treat her uterine cancer, on this day. Thus, she perished, coincidentally, at the same age as her father and from the same cause - medicinal bloodletting. So while she considered the possible of the computer, doctors were still using leeches to cure their patients.

At her request, Lovelace was buried next to the father she never knew at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottingham.

Alfred Nobel signed his last will, which established the Nobel Prize on this date in 1895.

Mr Nobel is interesting because his fortune was founded in large part on the commercial success of something he invented in 1866: dynamite. Dynamite proved so lucrative for Mr Nobel that he was able to spend most of the rest of his life blowing things up in the interests of world peace. World peace was not achieved in his lifetime, however, and he therefore endowed a foundation with millions of dollars to give prizes to the men and women of future generations who helped bring the world closer to peace by blowing things up.

Sadly, in recent years the foundation appears to have forgotten its roots and has begun awarding prizes to men and women whose work for peace has resulted in things blowing up.

I encourage you all to write the Nobel Committee to take immediate corrective action, lest they continue to mislead people into thinking that Peace can be achieved by anything other than the blowing up of Evil Bastards.

November 27, 1978 -
City Supervisor Dan White enters San Francisco City Hall through an open basement window (avoiding metal detectors), walks into the office of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, and shoots him dead. Then White continues to kill Supervisor Harvey Milk .

Apparently, Mr. White consumed too many Twinkies.

28 more shopping days until Christmas, 15 more shopping days until Hanukkah. Shop til you drop. Remember, if you don't, we won't have an economy.

And so it goes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's Turkey Day folks

Remember, it's about 20 minutes per pound for a frozen turkey and 15 minutes for a fresh one.

November 26, 1942 -
"Round up the usual suspects", Casablance, premiered in NYC on this date.

I came to Casablanca for the waters.

Today in History:
November 26, 1789 -
The first national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress.

Thanks George.

As you know, the immigrant scum that settled this country discomfited the uncivilized savages that had lived here before them (having themselves discomfited still other savages). Landing on the east coast and gradually moving west, the wave of aliens pressed the wild savages further and further west until at last they reached the Pacific Ocean and there was nowhere left for them to go.

Or was there?

The Indians clearly continued their westward expansion, because it was just 60 years ago this very day that they finally approved their Constitution . On January 26, 1950, the Constitution took effect On January 26, 1979, "Le Freak" was on the top of the American charts.

It's nice to think there's a connection.

(India should not be confused with the East Indies, which is a consortium of independent film companies on the Lower East Side and which in turn should not be confused with the Yeast Undies - a disgusting concept.)

November 26, 1865 -

Oxford Don and nude child photographer Charles Dodgson, sends the manuscript for the psychedelic novel "Alice in Wonderland" to his 12 year old special friend Alice Liddell.

For some reason her parents did not notify the authorities.

November 26, 1976 -
Anarchy in the UK, (as a single) by theSex Pistols is released.

The song later appeared on Never Mind the Bollocks.

Here is a brief history of the holiday you may wish to share with your loved ones:

In the winter of 1620-1621, a group of immigrants in Massachusetts experienced a devastating winter. The weather was fierce. Food was scarce. Many died. At last spring came, then summer, and by the time of the autumn harvest things were looking about as rosy as they ever look in Massachusetts.

At a fundraising dinner that fall, Governer Bradford stood up and gave a speech.

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God this harvest gives us a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to the Committee to Re-Elect the Governor, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

The ensuing winter didn't turn out too badly, so the superstitious immigrants concluded that Governor Bradford's magic spell of "Thanksgiving" had done the trick.

The holiday was intermittently celebrated for years, with an enthusiasm scaled to the previous winter's weather, until November 26, 1789, when President Washington issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide day of thanksgiving for the establishment of the Constitution.

Washington's proclamation wasn't much different from Bradford's.

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God we've got a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. Thank God we've got our own damn country now and don't have to put up with a bunch of meddling European bastards. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to Federalists for Washington, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

Washington, the Constitution, and many of the immigrants (who were now Americans) survived the winter, so this new spell was also deemed effective.

President Lincoln later proclaimed the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day in 1863, but President Roosevelt moved it back to the fourth Thursday of the month in 1939 to extend the time available for holiday shopping.

President Ford proposed making it the third Wednesday in September, in order to really extend the time available for holiday shopping, but he only made the proposal to his golden retriever, Liberty, so the suggestion never reached congress.

And so we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year, in honor of having survived last winter, having got rid of those meddling European bastards, having invented our own rules, having bitch-slapped the Confederacy, and having plenty of time to shop before the holidays.

29 more shopping days until Christmas, 16 more shopping days until Hanukkah. Shop til you drop. Remember, if you don't, we won't have an economy.

And so it goes

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Remain calm (it soon will be all over)

Hey, Turkey day is a day away. Begin thinking about all the creative ways to consume 3 or 4 types of pies. Here's today's tip for all cooks - continue drinking today but pace yourselves - you want to make it to Thursday without a trip to the emergency room.

Here's another holiday tip: Don't let your pet dog and his pet bird set your holiday table. The poop stains are difficult to get out.

Word of the day:
Egrote: verb, to feign an illness. She was a master of egroting in order to avoid taking tests.

Today in History:
11/25 -
According to Biblical scholars, a powerful rain storm began on this date in BC 2348. It rained an inch every ten seconds. Imagine that. An inch every ten seconds. The sheer volume and velocity of the deluge, comparable to rapid-fire artillery, ought to have been enough to kill every living thing on the planet in seconds, and yet it reportedly continued at this rate for a full 960 hours.

The only human survivors were a crotchety six-hundred-year-old man and his family. Fortunately, these sturdy souls had had the foresight to gather up two to seven specimens of every species on the planet (excepting, one assumes, the undaunted creatures of the sea) and load them onto a wooden boat before the storm began.

It may not sound like much, put like that, but considering the far-flung distribution of all the various creatures of the earth, and the difficulty of tracking down, say, all the varieties of paramecium without the benefit of a microscope, or sustaining desert flora on a water-logged ship, it was a considerable accomplishment.

I applaud the foresight, initiative, and ambition displayed by Noah and his family, but remain a little wary of the person or persons behind all that rain.

November 25, 1867 -
Patent granted to Alfred Nobel for dynamite. To quote Big Jim McBob and Billy Sol Hurok , "May the Lord take a liking to you and blow you up real good!!!"

I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize - George Bernard Shaw

On November 25, 1914, Joe DiMaggio was born. In addition to leading the New York Yankee to ten World Series championships, Joe DiMaggio also got to marry Marilyn Monroe.

Be grateful for role models.

November 25, 1970 -

Japanese playwright, poet, novelist, nationalism and patron of transvestite bars, Yukio Mishima commits seppuku (self disembowelment) after an aborted coup attempt in Japan.

He had authored over 100 works and was deemed by Life magazine the "Japanese Hemmingway".

One has to ask themselves - what is it that requires "true manhood" to face one's own death willingly.

On November 25, 1977, Greece announced the discovery of the tomb of King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great.

On November 26, 1922, archeologists Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter opened the tomb of Egypt’s King Tutankhamen.

Be grateful that the high point of your job isn’t digging up people who’ve been dead for thousands of years.

November 25, 1987 -

Fawn Hall, Oliver North's assistant, removes documents from sealed National Security Council offices inside the White House by hiding them inside her skirt, causing President Ronald Reagan to form a task force which eventually put both North and Hall on trial.

Another true American Patriot

30 more shopping days until Christmas, 17 more shopping days until Hanukkah. Shop til you drop. Remember, if you don't, we won't have an economy.

And so it goes

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I suspect somewhere swines are laughing.

Celebrity chef Paula Deen discovered that the road to hell is paved with good intentions Monday at a charity event when she was hit in the face with a flying pork product.

Deen was relatively unharmed and had her revenge as she soon cooked and ate the ham.

Word of the day:
Obrumpent: adjective, breaking; bursting. The obrumpent dam certainly put a damper on Lauren's soiree; several guests were washed away, never to be seen again.

Today in History:
November 24, 1740 -
William Duell was hanged for rape and murder. A few hours later, whilst being prepared for dissection by medical students, he awakens .

The authorities took pity on him and commuted his sentence to one of transportation to Australia.

Wow that's had to freak him out.

November 24, 1859 -
Charles Darwin publishes "On the Origin of Species" 150 years ago today.

And depending on your point of view, either this is a seminal work in scientific literature and arguably the pivotal work in evolutionary biology or

you're a monkey's uncle.

November 24, 1871 -
National Rifle Association is established (in New York City.)

Who knew?

November 24, 1963 -
Extra-terrestrials used mass-hypnosis to persuade the world that someone resembling Jack Ruby had fatally shot someone resembling the person alleged to have been Lee Harvey Oswald. This also becomes the first actual murder captured on live TV.

The next day, November 25, a coffin containing the purported remains of the man many Americans believed to have been John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. And on November 29, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren the head of a commission to investigate the alleged assassination of the person believed to have been John F. Kennedy.

Be grateful the CIA, the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians, extraterrestrials, and the Children’s Television Workshop don’t give a damn about you.

November 24, 1971 -
D.B. Cooper hijacks a Northwest Orient 727 and parachutes into the freezing rain over Washington state from the rear stairway of the plane with $200,000 in cash.

Currency from the ransom is eventually located, but his body isn't.

31 more shopping days until Christmas, 18 more shopping days until Hanukkah.

And so it goes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ouch. Feel better, J. Lo!

Jennifer Lopez fell during her performance at the American Music Awards, making this the only reason you care about the American Music Awards.

I know many of you would like to apply salve or unguent upon her injuries area, I believe that job has already been taken.

I understand people love their pets but,

this is either TMI or a love that REALLY dare not speak its name.

Today is the birthday of both Boris Karloff (1887)

and Harpo Marx (1888).

And that makes this a good day.

Today in History:
November 23, 1910 -
English murderer Hawley Crippen an American physician is hanged in Pentonville Prison, London, England, after he was caught aboard the SS Montrose attempting to escape to Britain, on this date.

It was the first use of wireless radio for the apprehension of a criminal.

November 23, 1963 -
The first episode of Doctor Who, The Unearthly Child, premiered on the BBC, on this date.

William Hartnell was the first Doctor Who.

November 23, 1976 -
Jerry Lee Lewis has been a bad boy again. On this date, he was arrested in front of Graceland in Memphis for public drunkenness, and carrying a chrome plated .38.

Looking for Elvis, I bet.

32 more shopping days until Christmas, 29 more shopping days until Hanukkah.

And so it goes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

You should not be allowed to use the good scissors,

If you need this product.

or cook for that matter.

November 22, 1940 -
This is Bette Davis at her best - The Letter, premiered in NYC on this date.

Due to the restrictive the Production Code, the film ending is different from the original play because it would not allow one of its characters be seen to get away with adultery and murder.

Today in History
November 22, 1888 -
Tarzan of the Apes (Lord Greystoke) was born on this date, according to Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel.

November 22, 1928 -
"Bolero" by Maurice Ravel has it's first public performance in Paris.

Forget about Bo Derek, sex itself, is never the same.

November 22, 1963 -

A covert CIA operation privately funded by a plutocratic cabal of multinational industrial interests acting in conjunction with extraterrestrial forces and the Knights Templar succeeded in making it appear that Lee Harvey Oswald had assassinated President John F. Kennedy, on this date.

Or this this is too much for you, you can always believe in the MAGIC BULLET.

November 22, 1968 -
Many a KKK member and Daughter of the Civil War were given the vapors on this date in history.

Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) share the first interracial kiss in TV history on Star Trek.

November 22, 1975 -
Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias is proclaimed king of Spain after he confirms with advisers that Francisco Franco planned to be dead for a while.

Juan Carlos is related to both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (and as you know they are related to each other.) To confuse matters even more, his wife Queen Sofia, is related to all three of them.

November 22, 1995 -
Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.

33 more shopping days until Christmas, 20 more shopping days until Hanukkah.

And so it goes

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Remember to say hello to everyone you meet (that way they'll know you're crazy.)

Today is the 35th annual World Hello Day. Anyone can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people. This demonstrates the importance of personal communication for preserving peace. World Hello Day was begun in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in the Fall of 1973. Since then, World Hello Day has been observed by people in 180 countries.

I'm still trying to transform this day into World Hello and give Kevin 10 bucks day.

November 21,1946 -
One of the greatest films about vets returning home after WWII, The Best Years of Our Lives, premiered in NYC on this date.

To avoid awkwardness when he first met his fellow cast members, Harold Russell made a point of reaching out with his hooks and taking their hands, thus putting them at ease with his disability.

November 21, 1976 -
Ok everybody, "...Gonna Fly Now, Flying High Now..", Rocky, premiered in NYC on this date.

This was the first sports film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

Today in History -
November 21, 1694 -

Jean Francois Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) was born on this date. Voltaire is best known for having said things. Here are some of the witty things he said:

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."

"To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."

"Anything too stupid to be said is sung."

"God created sex. Priests created marriage."

"It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge."

"He was unhappy only when he thought: and that is true of the majority of mankind."

"People who believe in absurdities will eventually commit atrocities."

And most significantly:

"A witty saying proves nothing."

November 21, 1921 -
U.S. President Warren G. Harding signed the Wills Campbell Act, which prohibited the medical prescription of beer and liquor on this date.

He was killed - probably by his wife - two years later and nobody seemed to mind (remember, this was the clown who lost the White House China in a poker game.)

Enough said.

November 21,1964 -
The upper deck of The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opens to traffic (at the time it was the world's longest suspension bridge).

And it still takes forever to get to Jersey through Staten Island.

November 21, 1973 -
A gap of 18-1/2 minutes is revealed in one of the Watergate tapes, a conversation between Richard M. Nixon and Haldeman. The erasure is blamed on an accident by Nixon's private secretary Rose Mary Woods, but scientific analysis determines the erasures to be deliberate. Later, Chief of Staff Alexander Haig blames the erasure on "some sinister force".

Forensic experts are now working on Haldeman's notebook to see if they can find the imprint of any notes he may have taken that day but later destroyed.

November 21, 1980 -
The third deadliest hotel fire in history occurs at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, caused by faulty wiring; 84 people dead. Helicopters were used to rescue stranded guests from the top floors.

No more pu-pu platters with charcoal grills in the suites.

November 21, 1993 -
Death of actor Bill Bixby, who played David Banner (The Incredible Hulk's mild mannered persona, before the gamma radiation) and also starred in The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Cancer at age 51.

November 21, 1997 -
Lead singer of INXS Michael Hutchence found hanged in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Sydney Australia. Police have denied that his death was due to Autoerotic Asphyxiation.

The fact that his pants were around his ankles and copies of the magazines "Hot Chicks in Tubs of Pudding" were scattered around the room, did not enter into it.

34 more shopping days until Christmas, 21 more shopping days until Hanukkah.

And so it goes

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hey - it's going around

The disturbance in the force that you felt was not the destruction of another planet and millions of voices crying out as one - Oprah is leaving her syndicated talk show in September of '11 to concentrate on her all Oprah , all the time network.

Coming up in '11 on The Oprah Network - the special Oprah's Pap Smear show and Colon Cleansing with Oprah,"I've never felt so alive" special.

November 20, 1965 -
Michael Louis Diamond, better known as Mike D, member of the Beastie Boys, was born on this date.

We are all getting old.

Today in History -
November 20, 1917 -
T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was held prisoner, whipped, and repeatedly raped by Turkish Army officers. He apparently thoroughly enjoys the experience.

Shades of Midnight Express.

In 1975, Generallismo Francisco Franco started his brave and courageous mission to remain dead.

He is still working at it today.

November 20, 1984 -
McDonald's made its 50 billionth hamburger .

Mrs. Edna Bulgewards has just finished digested that meal.

November 20, 1985 -
Windows 1.0, a 16-bit graphical operating environment was released on this date. It was Microsoft's first attempt to implement a multi-tasking graphical user interface-based operating environment on the PC platform. Windows 1.0 was the very first version of Windows launched.

If you think I'm going to make fun of Bill Gates, you're mistaken. Hooray for Big Brother!!!

35 more shopping days until Christmas, 22 more shopping days until Hanukkah.

And so it goes

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hey, butt out.

For over 3 decades, The Great American Smokeout, the third Thursday of November has been designated a day dedicated to helping people quit smoking, and a day which has helped many addicted smokers give up on their daily light-up habit.

The event has been around since the 1970s and is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Quit smoking - stick around a little longer to read this blog.

November 19, 1975 -
One of Jack Nicholson's greatest performances, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, opened in the US on this date.

Kirk Douglas, who owned the rights, planned to star himself, but by the time they got around to making the film he was too old.

Word of the day
Improcerous: adjective, low; short. The coffee table was much too improcerous to be of any real use.

Today in History -
November 19, 1581 -
Russian Czar Ivan The Terrible kills his son, Ivan, The Merely Petulant. The younger Ivan interrupted the elder Ivan, who was beating Ivan Jr's pregnant wife because of her inappropriate garb. Still in a fit of range, dad smote his son with a staff, killing him.

This is what passed for family life amongst the Royals in the Middle Ages in Russia.

On November 19, 1620, a group of maniacal religious fanatics reached North America and stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock. Because America did not yet have a Puritan Government, they developed the Mayflower Compact while still at sea. (William Bradford had argued for a Sporty Coupe, but the more practical John Alden had carried the day.)

Eventually the descendants of these frugal and passionately religious people would invent the Internet and enable the transmission of pornography around the world at light speed.

November 19, 1703 -
The Man in the Iron Mask dies in the Bastille. He was a prisoner of Louis XIV, forced to wear a black velvet mask, and his identity has never been revealed.

Seven score and six years ago today (i.e., November 19, 1863), President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.

The speech remains an important part of American history on account of its having been written on the back of an envelope despite stringent postal requirements that addresses be printed clearly on the front.

November 19, 1954 -
Driving to Los Angeles, Sammy Davis, Jr. is in a serious automobile accident in San Bernardino.

He lost his left eye, but the resultant publicity greatly accelerated his career.

November 19, 1961 -
Michael Rockefeller, 23 year old son of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller (later Vice President), disappears while searching for Asmat wood carvings in the jungles near Atsj, Papua New Guinea. He was probably eaten by the Asmat.

Hence the motto, " Eat the Rich".

36 more shopping days until Christmas, 23 more shopping days until Hanukkah. Shop til you drop. Remember, if you don't, the terrorists have won.

And so it goes

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another great find on the internet.

Here is a clip of an unfinished documentary about Las Vegas lounge acts from the late 60's through the early 70's.

Go on youtube and encourage the maker to finish it (I don't know him but this is just too good not to complete.)

November 18, 1959 -
The Biblical spectaculars to end all spectaculars, Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston, had its world premiere in New York, on this date.

Paul Newman was offered the role of Judah Ben-Hur but turned it down because he said he didn't have the legs to wear a tunic.

November 18, 1987 -
Bernardo Bertolucci's magnificent take on Pu Yi, The Last Emperor, premiered in NYC on this date.

This was the first feature film granted permission by the Chinese government to be filmed in the Forbidden City. John Lone has to make more movies.

November 18, 1992 -
The biopic of the influential Black Nationalist leader, Malcolm X, premiered on this date.

This was the first non-documentary production that was given permission to film in Mecca.

Senticous: adjective, prickly; thorny. Naughty Larry pricked himself on a senticous bush as he peeked through the neighbor's window.

Today in History
November 18, 1307 -
Local Child Services authorities in Uri, Switzerland report that a William Tell shoots apple off his son's head . Charges may be pending.

November 18, 1421 -
A seawall at the Zuiderzee dike breaks, in the Netherlands, flooding 72 villages and killing somewhere between 4,000 and 10,000 people.

Let the joke commence about the killer dikes.

November 18, 1477 -
William Caxton published the first book printed in England, on this date. The book was a translation of The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, by Frenchman Guillaume de Tignoville. The translation to English was performed by Anthony Wodville, Earl Rivers, who had devoted a considerable portion of his life to the study of philosophers' dictes.

Wodville first formulated the theory that the length of a philosopher's dicte was less important than its thrust. He has also been credited with originating the theory that a philosopher's dicte was commensurate with his shoe size. Neither theory is given much credence by contemporary philosophers, most of whom appear to be dicteless anyway.

November 18, 1686 -
King of France Louis XIV's anal fistula is operated on by surgeon Charles Francois Felix, with great success, in front of the horrified yet fascinated court. To prepare for the operation Felix practiced his surgery on anuses of the peasantry, with some fatalities at first but improving his technique in time for the royal bung.

You know what they say, "if at first you don't succeed..."

November 18, 1928 -
Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse (according to the Disney corporation and I wouldn't mess with them.)

Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, is released on this date (it's the third appearances of Mickey and Minnie Mouse).

November 18, 1970 -
Singer/polygamist Jerry Lee Lewis divorces his third wife Myra Gail, after 12 years of marriage. Not only was she jailbait when they got married (being 13 at the time), but Lewis was married to Jane Mitcham at the time.

It's so hard to keep details like the number of wives you have straight in your mind.

November 18, 1978 -
Congressman Leo Ryan is slain at the People's Temple compound in Guyana, after which over 900 members of the cult led by the Reverend Jim Jones drank cyanide laced Flavor Aid (a Kool Aid knockoff), including over 270 children. It was probably not a pretty sight.

Also, The Kraft Foods Company would like you guys to stop making those damn 'drink the Kool Aid' jokes

- it wasn't them. So go 'drink the damn Flavor Aid and drop dead'.

November 18, 1985 -
The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, created by Bill Waterson, is first published.

(in my humble opinion, the world's greatest strip)

37 more shopping days until Christmas, 24 more shopping days until Hanukkah. Shop til you drop. Remember, if you don't, the terrorists who are going on trial in NYC have won.

And so it goes

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And no people were injuried in the making of this video.

The Penn Coach Yard chimney in the 30th Street Station railyards in Philadelphia, or the more colloquial term amongst students at Drexel University for the structure, the Drexel Shaft, was imploded on Sunday morning

Either this is emblematic of the decline of America or sometimes a cigar is just a good smoke.

November 17, 1942 -

Martin Scorsese, Academy Award-winning American film director, writer, producer, actor, film historian and asthmatic

November 17, 1933 -
The unbelievable box office flop (at the time), Duck Soup, opened on this date.

The film did so poorly when it opened, Paramount canceled the boys contract and MGM promptly signed them, where they produced two of their classic films, A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races.

(This film marks the last appearance of Zeppo Marx in a Marx Brothers film.)

November 17, 1951 -
Another in the series of Daffy and Porky buddy flicks, Drip-Along Daffy, opened on this date.

Slight pause while I adjust my acuetruments!

Today's word of the day -
Oncethmus: noun, braying. Stop your oncethmus, Joe - you're sounding like a jackass more and more every day.

Today in History -
November 17, 1558 -
Elizabeth I of England ascended to the throne, on this date.

She is best known for her imperfect application of the cosmetic sciences, a flaw that is strikingly evident in all her portraits but that courtiers were apparently reluctant to address.

November 17, 1796
Empress Catherine the Great dies of a stroke while sitting on the commode and not while astride her steed (or something like that) on this date.

So dammit, stop making those jokes.

November 17, 1903 -
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's stubbornness split his Russian Social Democratic Labor Party into two factions: the slim majority who sided with him, and the vast minority who opposed him, on this date.

The Russian terms for majority and minority are Bolshevik and Menshevik, respectively, and so these factions took their names.

Later the Mensheviks became the majority party, meaning that the Mensheviks had become Bolsheviks and the Bolsheviks Mensheviks.

This was confusing. If you asked someone what they were and they said "Bolshevik," you'd have no way of knowing whether they meant Bolshevik (Menshevik) or Menshevik (Bolshevik). This state of affairs quickly became intolerable. All sorts of remedies were suggested — placards, ID bracelets, hats, tattoos—but it was impossible to arrive at a consensus until Lenin clarified matters by having all the Mensheviks shot.

It was easy after that.

November 17, 1968 -
NBC preempts the final 1:05 from a very close Jets-Raiders NFL football game with "Heidi". Two touchdowns were scored during this missing time.

Sports fans everywhere applaud and understand the network's decision.

November 17, 1973 -
"People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook".

Thus spoke Richard M. Nixon on this date.

38 more shopping days until Christmas, 25 more shopping days until Hanukkah.

And so it goes