Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - Penguin poop produces laughing gas
Scientists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark were investigating the effect of glacier retreat and penguin activity on greenhouse gas emissions. They discovered when these penguins poop, fueled by a diet of fish, squid and krill, nitrogen is released from their feces into the ground. The bacteria in the soil then converts the nitrogen into nitrous oxide -- a greenhouse gas commonly known as laughing gas.
Once again, if you're keeping score, you currently have, three French hens, four turtledoves and three partridges with their trio of pear trees (10 gifts.)
Tonight's the second night of Kwanzaa.
December 27, 1937 (some sources site the broadcast date as December 12, 1937) -
Middle aged, slightly overweight and possible transvestite performer, Mae West and Don Ameche appeared on the radio show The Chase and Sanborn Hour as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. She told Ameche in the show to "get me a big one...I feel like doin' a big apple!"
The FCC later deemed the broadcast vulgar and indecent and far below even the minimum standard which they should control in the selection and production of broadcast programs. West would not perform in radio for another twelve years until January 1950, in an episode of The Chesterfield Supper Club hosted by Perry Como.
December 27, 1940 -
Universal Pictures released The Invisible Woman, directed by A. Edward Sutherland and starring Virginia Bruce and John Barrymore on this date.
Due to his long term alcoholism, John Barrymore had difficulty remembering his lines. In order to perform, his lines had to be written on cue cards and attached to walls, the floor, or any other object off camera so he could read them. When you watch his performance as he talks to another character, you will notice his eye line moves in various directions as he reads.
December 27, 1941 -
20th Century Fox released John Ford's film, How Green Was My Valley, starring Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara and Roddy McDowall on this date.
Roddy McDowall had only been in America for two weeks before being cast in the leading role of Huw. He had been evacuated from Great Britain with his mother and sister to keep out of harm's way of Nazi bombardments of the islands.
December 27, 1947 -
Hey kids, what time is it?
This was the first nationally televised American children's television show.
December 27, 1967 -
Future Nobel Laureate Robert Zimmerman returned to his acoustic roots with the release of his John Wesley Harding album on this date.
On the cover of John Wesley Harding, on either side of Dylan (who was wearing the same jacket he'd worn on the sleeve of Blonde On Blonde) is Luxman and Purna Das of the Bengali Bauls music collective, who were staying with Dylan's manager Albert Grossman at the time. Standing behind them is Charlie Joy, a Woodstock carpenter and stonemason. The foursome all sport a rather disheveled "common man" look and the whole arrangement was possibly a dig at the Beatles and their Sgt. Pepper cover with the Fab Four placed at the center of a group of famous personalities.
December 27, 1979 -
Knots Landing, CBS' spinoff of Dallas, premiered on this date. The show went on for 14 seasons, making it one of the longest running prime time drama, in television history.
Two cast members remained with the series from the first episode in 1979, until the final episode in 1993: Michele Lee and Ted Shackelford.
December 27, 1980 -
Weeks after his death, John Lennon's (Just Like) Starting Over goes to #1 in America.
This was one of the last songs recorded for the album, Double Fantasy. Lennon was not sure he should record it, but his producer and session musicians convinced him it would be a hit. It became the first single from the album, released in the US on October 27, 1980, which was the same day Mark David Chapman bought the gun he would use to kill Lennon on December 8.
December 27, 2002 –
The very long planned adaption of the 1975 musical (with the same name,) Chicago, starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere premiered in the US on this date.
The play Chicago was Maurine Dallas Watkins' retelling of two very public murder trials that occurred in Chicago in 1924, those of Beulah Sheriff-Annan and Belva Gaertner. Watkins covered these trials for the Chicago Tribune and wrote the character of Mary Sunshine as a self portrait. For Belva Gaertner (better known as Velma Kelly), she had a much less glitzy fate. She was acquitted and went on to have a few run-ins with the law, but ended up living a semi-normal life before dying of natural causes in California in 1965 at the age of eighty. Although in the case of Beulah Sheriff-Annan (a.k.a. Roxie Hart), it was more of a grisly end. It's true she was acquitted of murdering her lover, thanks to the skills of her highly paid attorney, who was bankrolled by her stunningly loyal husband. She repaid that debt by publicly divorcing him after her release. She married two more times before her death from tuberculosis four years later.
An actual book I'm actually reading
Today in History:
December 27, 1703 -
The Methuen Treaty was signed between Portugal and England, giving preference to the import of Portuguese wines into England.
So now you know.
December 27, 1831 -
For some unknown reason, naturalist Charles Darwin began his famous voyage on-board a beagle, on the date.
He immediately swam back to shore and boarded the HMS Beagle after the dog drowned.
December 27, 1845 -
Dr. Crawford W. Long first used as an anesthetic, ether, for childbirth on his wife ether while she gave birth to their second child, on this date.
The birth was a success, and it is considered the beginning of modern anesthetics.
December 27, 1900 -
Carrie Amelia Moore Nation had been a member of the Women's Christian Temperance organization until she became fed up with their non-violent tactics, and decided to smash up pubs instead. With her cry, “Smash! Smash! For Jesus’ sake, smash!,” the radicalized Nation first picked up her famous hatchet and raided the swank bar at the Hotel Carey in Wichita, Kansas, destroying the interior on this date.
While Nation went on to greater fame after the attack, her plans for the bar backfired; the hotel bar gained nation-wide recognition after the militant prohibitionist waged her attack.
December 27, 1901 -
I had no desire to be an film actress, to always play somebody else, to be always beautiful with somebody constantly straightening out your every eyelash. It was always a big bother to me.
Marie Magdalene Dietrich, German-born singer and actress best known for her roles in Shanghai Express and Witness for the Prosecution, was born on this date.
The 12 acre complex in midtown Manhattan known as Rockefeller Center developed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., on land leased from Columbia University opened to the public on December 27, 1932.
Unfortunately, the show bombed and on January 11, 1933, the Music Hall rushed to show the first film on the giant screen, installed in the theatre: Frank Capra's The Bitter Tea of General Yen starring Barbara Stanwyck.
Again, the film was not critically well received
December 27, 1961 -
Tony Bennett, playing in the Venetian Room of the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel, made his first solo public performance of I Left My Heart in San Francisco, on this date. The song was written by George Cory and Douglass Cross in 1954 (Cory wrote the music and Cross wrote the lyrics) and had languished in obscurity for years.
They pitched the song to Bennett's pianist and musical director, Ralph Sharon, who was looking for new material for Bennett to sing at the Fairmont Hotel. The crowd in the hotel loved the song and Bennett went on to record the song on January 23, 1962.
The rest, as they say, is history.
December 27, 1971 -
Charles Schulz’ famous Peanuts comic strip made the cover of Newsweek magazine this day.
December 27, 1985 -
Dian Fossey, famous for her efforts to study and save mountain gorillas in Africa, was murdered in her hut in Rwanda with a machete she had confiscated from a poacher some months earlier.
No suspects were ever found; no charges were made.
And so it goes.