Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Don't forget the distribution of tzedakah

The holiday season is once again upon us and it's the third night of Hanukkah. Last year, your bathroom linens remain relatively clean but your heart and home are empty of visiting love one. This year, we're sure your home is bursting with the various mishpocha, soiling your hand towels.

Remember that ACME Eagle Hand Soap comes in a powdered form, excellent for all your laundry needs

Today is also the tenth Annual Giving Tuesday. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and standing in stark contrast of the shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a movement to create an international day of giving as a response to commercialization and consumerism.

#GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Today is the feast day of Saint Andrew, older brother of Saint Peter. In the Gospel of Matthew, it is said Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and saw Andrew and Simon Peter fishing and told them to join him and become 'fishers of men'. In many faiths, he is sometimes referred to as, 'first called', as he and his brother became the first apostles of Christ.

St. Andrew is the patron saint of fishermen and singers. He is also the patron saint to several countries and cities including: Scotland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Patras.

November 30, 1934 -
W.C. Fields was very busy in 1934 - his fifth film of the year, It's a Gift, co-starring Baby LeRoy, premiered on this date.

Harold Bissonette's grocery store sells actual brand-name products of the period, including Kellogg's Corn Flakes and 3-in-1 Oil. This was highly unusual in 1934; most movies avoided showing real products because the studios didn't want to give their manufacturers free advertising.

November 30, 1956
CBS became the first network to broadcast from videotape on this date. It was a rebroadcast to the West Coast of the 15-minute Douglas Edwards and the News program.

The program was broadcast live to the eastern U.S. from New York. It was recorded on 2-inch tape with an Ampex Mark IV machine.

November 30, 1971 -
The TV movie that makes 'real men' weep unabashedly, Brian's Song debuted on ABC-TV on this date.

Having played football in high school, James Caan was a more accomplished athlete than Billy Dee Williams. In the film, Gale Sayers is supposed to surpass Brian Piccolo in speed and playing ability, so Caan was forced to slow down considerably so that Williams could believably outplay him.

November 30, 1977 -
Bing Crosby's last Christmas special premiered on this date. The program was recorded in September, and Crosby died that October.

The show is remembered for Crosby's unusual duet with David Bowie, where they sing a modified version of Little Drummer Boy, with Bowie singing the new Peace On Earth lyrics composed by the show's writers. Even more strange is, when Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in 2010, filmed a shot-for-shot remake, even sticking to the original dialogue.

November 30, 1979 -
Pink Floyd released its album The Wall on this date.

Pink Floyd rarely released singles that were also on an album because they felt their songs were best appreciated in the context of an album, where the songs and the artwork came together to form a theme. Producer Bob Ezrin convinced them that Another Brick In The Wall part II could stand on its own and would not hurt album sales. When the band relented and released it as a single, it became their only #1 hit.

November 30, 1982 -
Michael Jackson’s second solo album, Thriller, produced by Quincy Jones, was released on this date.

Most homes had VCRs in 1983 and sales of videos were big business. Along with the Jane Fonda workout tapes, you could buy a VHS or Beta copy of Michael Jackson's Thriller, which included the full video and also The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller, a behind the scenes documentary. This tape became the best selling music video at the time, and was later certified by Guinness World Records as the top selling music video of all time, moving nine million units. Part of its appeal was the price, a mere $24.95 at a time when movies on tape cost much more.

November 30, 1990 -
Rob Reiner's adaptation of Stephen King's thriller, Misery, premiered on this date.

James Caan once showed up to the set hungover, and all of the scenes he shot that day were unusable. Rob Reiner told Caan he had to do the scenes again because there was "a problem at the lab." When Caan learned it had nothing to do with labs, he offered to cover the money he lost the studio.

November 30, 1994 -
The Beatles' first album in 25 years, Live at the BBC, is released in Britain on this date.

BBC producer Peter Pilbeam meet an unknown group through their young manager Brian Epstein in February of 1962. He was impressed the group’s four-song audition and thus began a relationship that would span roughly three years, with the Beatles delivering 52 performances for the BBC between 1962 and 1965. Decades later, recordings from these shows would make up the compilation album Live at the BBC.

Today's moment of Zen

The focus of Today in History on this date should be used as a guide to help you realize the blessings you should find in life:

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 almost 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 Peas In Our Time.

Otherwise, here are some other events that occurred on this date
November 30, 1858 -
The Mason Jar was invented and patented (U.S. patent #22,186) by Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason.

I wonder if he knew his jar would be used as a cocktail glass.

November 30, 1886 -
George Westinghouse opens the first commercially successful alternating current power plant in the U.S. in Buffalo, New York to compete against Edison’s direct current ventures.

Alternating current power can be transmitted much further than direct current power by using transformers at the source for a higher voltage, which decreases the loss of energy.

November 30, 1900 -
Celebrated Irish author and noted card carrying sodomite Oscar Wilde, died in Paris of meningitis on this date. 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 British did back then.

November 30, 1929 -
Dick Clark, the American Bandstander, was born on this date.

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

November 30, 1936 -
The Crystal Palace, originally built by Sir Joseph Paxton in London's Hyde Park for the 1851 Great Exhibition, burnt to the ground on this date.

It was said that over 75,000 people came to watch the blaze, among them Winston Churchill, who said, "This is the end of an age". The glow was visible across eight counties.

Be thankful that you weren't down wind from this one.

November 30, 1940 -
Comic actress Lucille Ball first met Cuban-born bandleader Desi Arnaz while filming the Rodgers and Hart stage hit Too Many Girls. At first, Arnaz was not fond of Lucy. When they met again later that day, the two connected immediately and eloped the same year.

They got married in Greenwich, Connecticut on this date. Lucy said "It wasn't love at first sight. It took a full five minutes."

November 30, 1954 -
At 1 pm, an 8.5 pound stone meteorite fell from the sky and struck Ann Elizabeth Hodges from Sylacauga, Alabama. She was the first reported person in modern times to be struck by an object from outer space.

The housewife was seriously bruised but survived, although the meteorite destroyed her radio.

Oh the humanity!

And so it goes

Monday, November 29, 2021

Breaking news! -

We have just been notified that it is Cyborg Monday, oh no, run for your lives.

Wait - an update - it's Cyber Monday. Continue to run for your lives!!!

The term "Cyber Monday" was dreamt up in 2005 by by a young public relations executive named Ellen Davis at Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation. Monday is the day of the week when most people do their online shopping. I’d hazard a guess to say that’s a lot of unproductive, demotivated, bored employees shopping online at work!

Today is Electronic Greetings Day. So sending your greetings are now just a click away. Why not send someone a second night of Hanukkah greeting.

The day celebrates the fact that you can send someone a card from one office bathroom to another.

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

Universal's censors initially objected to W.C. Fields' script and demanded many changes. Director Edward F. Cline suggested that Fields should go ahead and film it their way, ignoring the censors' changes, and that the front office wouldn't notice the difference. They didn't.

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

It was only in later years that Billy Wilder discovered that the title of Charles R. Jackson's novel is actually a typo. It was supposed to have been called "The Last Weekend".

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

Orphee's obsession with deciphering hidden messages contained in random radio noise is a direct nod to the coded messages that the BBC concealed in their wartime transmissions for the French Resistance.

November 29, 1975 -
Silver Convention's single Fly, Robin, Fly hits #1 on the Billboard Charts for the first of three weeks. The disco tune has very few lyrics because the German group can't speak English.

This was the first #1 US hit with a species of bird in the title. Rockin' Robin - both the Bobby Day original and Michael Jackson cover - stalled at #2. The next bird song to reach the top was When Doves Cry by Prince in 1984.

November 29, 1992 -
U2's first TV special, called U2's Zoo TV Outside Broadcast, aired on Fox-TV on this date.

The show contains footage from their concerts at Yankee Stadium in New York and the Houston Astrodome, earlier that year.

Word of the Day.

Today in History:
November 29, 1777 -
José Joaquín Moraga proved that he knew the way to San Jose on this date,

when he established, for Spain, el Pueblo de San Jose de Guadelupe, the first civil settlement in California.

November 29, 1864 -
The Sand Creek Massacre occurred, on this date, when Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington, in retaliation for an Indian attack on a party of immigrants near Denver, massacred at least 400 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants (mostly children, women, physically- and mentally-challenged, and elders) inside Colorado Territory.

It also generated two Congressional investigations into the actions of Chivington and his men. The House Committee on the Conduct of the War concluded that Chivington had "deliberately planned and executed a foul and dastardly massacre which would have disgraced the varied and savage among those who were the victims of his cruelty."

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

November 29, 1924 -
Italian composer Giacomo Puccini died in Brussels before he could complete his opera Turandot. Franco Alfano finished it.

His death marked the end of a 300-year tradition of Italian opera.

November 29, 1929 -
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd (on a break from his experiments with frozen vegetables) radioed that he'd made the first airplane flight with pilot Floyd Bennett, over the South Pole: "My calculations indicate that we have reached vicinity of South Pole."

After briefly loitering around the Pole, Byrd and his crew headed back to their home base, Little America and more intense testing of frozen zucchini.

November 29, 1935
Once the cat is in the box, do you know if it really alive, or dead? (Don't tell the PETA people about this.)

Physicist Erwin Schrödinger published his famous thought experiment ‘Schrödinger’s cat’, a paradox that illustrates the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

November 29, 1951 -
The United States set off the first underground nuclear explosion named "Uncle" at Frenchman Flats in Nevada on this date.

It was a great success, except for the giant spiders, ants, grasshoppers and other insects left in the aftermath.

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

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

November 29, 1972 -
Pong, the first commercially successful video game, was released on this date by Nolan Bushnell (who was also the co-founder of the video game company, Atari.)

Pong is similar to digital tennis or ping-pong, and its great success was a big part of the early beginnings of the video game industry.

November 29, 1986 -
I do not think Cary Grant was a homosexual or bisexual. He just got carried away at those orgies - US congressman Bob Dornan, spoken on the House floor (I love that quote.)

82 year old Archibald Leach, better known as Cary Grant, suffered a major stroke in his hotel room prior to performing in his one man show An Evening With Cary Grant at the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa, on this date. He died later that night at St. Luke's Hospital.

November 29, 2001 -
The Beatles will exist without us.

The "quiet" Beatle, George Harrison was silenced by cancer on this date.

November 29, 2004 -
Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on this date.

In honor of the event, the Toho star was allowed to run rampant through Little Tokyo that afternoon.

And on a personal note:
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.

And so it goes

Sunday, November 28, 2021

8 days are better than 1

Tonight is the start of Hanukkah.

This year, my first Hanukkah gift to you is to remind you that there is no pressure to buy Hanukkah Seals. (Don't forget to tune in to the start of our 14th Annual Holiday Spectacular.)

Today is the first Advent Sunday of this season. Advent means 'Coming' in Latin.

Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas (those trying to figure out their Advent Calendars, you may open the first window on the first of December). It is a time to "get ready" for the celebration of Christmas.

(I didn't just joke around at St. John's; once in a blue moon I paid attention.)

It's National French Toast Day

Eating your French Toast (Pan Perdu) as you are served it, is always the best bet.


November 28, 1944 -
Vincente Minnelli's gift to his future wife, Judy Garland, the musical film Meet Me In St. Louis, opened in NYC on this date.

Following Margaret O'Brien's rapid ascent to stardom, her mother believed they were entitled to a significant raise, and she used this film as leverage, realizing how integral the role of Tootie was to the story. MGM raised the ante by announcing the casting of Sharon McManus in O'Brien's place. McManus was the daughter of a studio electrician and the brass went so far as to fit her with costumes, assuming this would pressure O'Brien's mother into accepting their terms. But she held fast, and MGM was ultimately forced to concede to her demands for the salary increase. Once production was underway, O'Brien was filming a scene when McManus' father, who was employed on the film, intentionally dropped a heavy lighting instrument from the catwalk to the sound stage floor, narrowly missing the pint-sized star. He was taken away and briefly admitted to a mental institution for his deed.

November 28, 1951 -
The British film Scrooge (aka A Christmas Carol,) starring Alastair Sim, Kathleen Harrison, George Cole, Hermione Baddeley, Mervyn Johns, Jack Warner, and Patrick Macnee, premiered in NYC on this date.

Changes to the screenplay from the Charles Dickens book were made, mostly in the Christmas Past sequence. Among these changes are: reversing the birth order of Scrooge and his sister, so as to add that Scrooge's mother died giving birth to him; creating a character named "Mr. Jorkin" and flashbacks of several incidents in Scrooge's past (his sister's death, meeting Jacob Marley, taking over Fezziwig's warehouse, and Marley's death) which do not appear in the book.

November 28, 1969 -
The Rolling Stones released their eighth British album Let It Bleed on this date.

It is the follow-up to 1968's Beggars Banquet and the last album by the band to feature Brian Jones as well as the first to feature Mick Taylor.

November 28, 1974 -
John Lennon makes his last-ever concert appearance when he joins Elton John on stage at Madison Square Garden, reciprocating for Elton's appearance on Whatever Gets You Thru The Night and making good on a bet he lost: Elton wagered that Whatever Gets You Thru The Night would hit #1 in the US, and when it did, Lennon owed the appearance.

The pair perform that song and also do The Beatles' I Saw Her Standing There and Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds that evening.

November 28, 1984 -
Prince releases the song, I Would Die 4 U, on this date

On the Purple Rain tour, this was a showcase song for Sheila E., who served as Prince's opening act and also joined him on stage. Her live percussion on I Would Die 4 U compensated for the beats that couldn't be generated outside of the studio, due to Prince's use of a drum machine to create the rhythm on this track.

November 28, 1987 -
Coming out of the surprise hit film Dirty Dancing, the Jennifer Warnes' duet with Bill Medley (I've Had) The Time Of My Life, went to No.1 on the US singles chart on this date.

Most pop songs don't start with the chorus, but this song had to fit some specific criteria for the movie: it had to start slow, finish fast, and have a mambo beat.

November 28, 2012 -
Peter Jackson's first of the Hobbit film series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, starring Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen, premiered in Wellington, New Zealand on this date.

In The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the scale illusion was accomplished by placing Hobbit or Dwarf actors and actresses further away from the camera than Ian McKellen, but still live on the same set. This time, however, the illusion had to be accomplished by having the other actors and actresses on a completely different set, while McKellen performed his part, all alone, on a greenscreen set, with only an earpiece connecting him to the performance being provided by the rest of the cast. McKellen ended up feeling lonely and frustrated. To cheer him up, the cast and crew snuck into the tent in which he stayed during breaks and decorated it with mementos from the Lord of the Rings films (mainly old props and tapestries from Rivendell and Lothlórien), as well as fresh fruit and flowers.

Another book from the back shelves of the ACME Library

Sorry boys and girls but it's not all a pleasant day in History Today -
November 28, 1942 -
A fire at the overcrowded and sleazy Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, killed 491 people on this date. 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, 1943 -
Randall Stuart Newman, singer/songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist was born on this date.

Newman has been nominated for twenty Academy Awards, winning twice. He has also won three Emmys, five Grammy Awards, and the Governor's Award from the Recording Academy.

November 28, 1953 -
Frank Olson, government scientist, has a particularly bad dream and jumped to his death from the Statler Hotel in New York City on this date.

It was later revealed in 1975 that Olson had been administered LSD by Dr. Sidney Gottlieb in a CIA experiment.

That really must have been one bad trip.

November 28, 1962 -
If you don't stick to your values when they're being tested, they're not values: they're hobbies.

Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, comedian, television host, political satirist and formerly, America's most trusted newscaster, was born on this date.

November 28, 1966 -
One of most famous parties of the 20th century, Truman Capote’s Black & White Ball was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on this date.

The masquerade ball was held in honor of The Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and cost Capote a total of $16,000. The Black and White Ball was credited with starting an immediate upsurge in masquerade and costume parties.

November 28, 1981 -
A drunken Natalie Wood toppled off her yacht near Catalina Island and drowned. 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 was beaten to death with a broomstick by inmate Christopher Scarver while cleaning the prison bathroom.

(Bunkies, here's a tip from your old pal - don't go poking around for photos about Jeffrey Dahmer, there are some sick pixs out there. I'm going to disinfect my eye balls.)

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!!!

And so it goes

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Another gap in my religious education

November 27 is the Feast of St. Josaphat, a Middle Age prince who renounced his wealth to do charitable work.

Well, St. Josephat, turns out to be a Christianized version of a legend about Buddha (yeah Siddhartha Gautama.)

As the years slip by more swiftly, I can remember some things clearly, others only dimly; I don't remember them telling me about this back at St. John's.

Oh, that wacky Catholic Church!

November 27, 1920 -
United Artists released the silent film The Mark of Zorro, starring Douglas Fairbanks on this date. The film will go on to be extremely influential in the world of comics.

In the Golden Age of Comic Books, this was the film to which Thomas and Martha Wayne took their young son Bruce on the night that they were murdered in front of him in Gotham City in 1920, the experience which led him to become Batman.

November 27, 1948 -
You see what some ducks will do for money!

Another (less familiar) Daffy and Porky pairing, Riff Raffy Daffy, premiered on this date.

November 27, 1967 -
The Beatles released Magical Mystery Tour album the US on this date.

Unfortunately, Charles Manson used to refer to life as A Magical Mystery Tour after hearing the title song. He later warped other Beatles songs (Helter Skelter, Piggies, Blackbird) to explain a race war named Helter Skelter. He used to say that the Beatles were telling it like it is.

November 27, 1979 -
For those so inclined, you could start spending time in the boys locker room of Carrver High School when The White Shadow premiered on this date.

Ken Howard was nicknamed "The White Shadow" while he played for Manhasset High School 's basketball team. He was the only white starter on his team. Howard based his performance on his high school basketball coach, Fritz Mueller. Carver's team colors, orange and blue, were based on the the colors of Howard's school.

November 27, 1980 -
The sitcom Bosom Buddies, staring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

(Yes, I know, this is not the original theme song - the production company lost the rights to the song.) The producers pitched the series to ABC as a relatively straightforward buddy comedy in the spirit of Billy Wilder's comedy films. When they used the film Some Like It Hot as an example, the network agreed to the series, but only if the main characters were disguised as women. Although the producers had to change the series quickly, they were able to produce it with little network creative interference.

November 27, 2013
The Walt Disney's film, Frozen, the highest-grossing animated film of all time, starring Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell, went into general release in the US on this date.

In a magazine interview, Idina Menzel told the story about her young son boasting to his classmates that his mom sings the songs in Frozen. To this, another child replied, "So does everyone else's."

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

Today in History:
November 27, 1835 -
On this date, a crowd gathered outside Newgate Prison in London to witness a macabre, notorious and historic event – the hanging of the last two men in England to be executed for the ‘abominable crime of buggery’ - sodomy.

Londoners James Pratt, also known as John Pratt, and John Smith were arrested in August 1835 after being observed having sex in the room of another man, William Bonill. Pratt and Smith were hanged in front of Newgate Prison.

November 27, 1852 -
Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, was bled to death to cure her uterine cancer on this date. (In a strange coincidence, her father was also bled to death to cure a fever.)

She is often thought of as the world's first computer programmer, due to her interest in mathematics and her work on Charles Babbage's analytical engine.

Alfred Nobel signed his last will, which established the Nobel Prize on this date in 1895. (Yes, this is the second reference to Alfred in the same week.)

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, 1910 -
Although the Pennsylvania Station had already begun service for the Long Island Rail Road several months earlier (September 8th); it was on this date that trains from the Pennsylvania Railroad entered Manhattan for the first time by way of tunnels under the Hudson River.

The famed station was demolished in 1963, which sparked the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which has preserved thousands of historic buildings in New York City and across the country.

November 27, 1924 -
Macy's sponsored its first Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (called Macy's Christmas Parade) in New York City on this date. The three-hour parade is held annually and is the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade along with Detroit's "America's Thanksgiving Parade," which began on the same day.

Three floats (pulled by horses), four bands and zoo animals from the Central Park Zoo - camels, donkeys, elephants and goats - starred in the parade (balloons didn't show up until 1927.)

Santa Claus was last in the lineup, a tradition that continues to this day.

(Yes, yes, I know the parade in Philadelphia is older.)

November 27, 1934 -
Notorious US murderer and bank robber Baby Face Nelson was killed in a gun battle with the FBI on this date. Known as the Battle of Barrington, the shootout occurred in Barrington, Illinois. Two FBI officers also were killed.

During his criminal career, Nelson, whose real name was Lester Joseph Gillis, killed more FBI agents than any other US citizen in history.

November 27, 1978 -
City Supervisor Dan White entered San Francisco City Hall through an open basement window (avoiding metal detectors), walked into the office of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and shot him dead. Then White went on to kill Supervisor Harvey Milk on this date.

Apparently, Mr. White consumed too many Twinkies. (Given there has been no noticeable increases in incidents of Twinkie induced rages, the Hostess Company may have changed the formula since their resuscitation.)

Don't forget:

Coming soon to your Dr. Caligari channels

And so it goes

Friday, November 26, 2021

Life is nothing without friendship

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. - Oscar Wilde

While you are still digesting last nights meal, you may have to start getting ready for Friendsgiving (whether or not you ask to see their vaccination cards is between you and them.)

As most of you know, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year in the US.

I'm not quite sure you're going to get the best deals in the world today,

so why not sleep in (after you finish reading the blog of course.)

November 26, 1922 -
The Toll of the Sea, starring Anna Mae Wong, the second two-strip Technicolor feature (it was the first one able to be projected through a normal movie projector and consequently the first to be given a wide release) was released on this date.

The film was believed to have been lost in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Vault fire in 1967. It was found and restored in 1985 from the original camera negative.

November 26, 1934 -
John M. Stahl's adaptation of Fannie Hurst's novel, Imitation of Life, starring Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson, Louise Beavers, and Fredi Washington, premiered on this date.

At the time of its initial release in 1934, this film was considered ground-breaking in its depiction of race relations and its implied endorsement of racial tolerance. But by today's standards, it seems quite patronizing toward the African-American characters of Deliliah and her daughter Peola.

November 26, 1938 -
Michael Curtiz's crime drama, Angels with Dirty Faces, starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, and The Dead End Kids, premiered on this date.

The Dead End Kids terrorized the set during shooting. They threw other actors off with their ad-libbing, and once cornered co-star Humphrey Bogart and stole his trousers. They didn't figure on James Cagney's street-bred toughness, however. The first time Leo Gorcey pulled an ad-lib on Cagney, the star stiff-armed the young actor right above the nose. From then on the gang behaved.

November 26, 1942 -
One of the classic films of the 40s - Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premiered at the Hollywood Theatre in New York City, on this date.

When this film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Jack L. Warner was first on stage to accept the award, beating the film's actual producer, Hal B. Wallis, who was incensed at this slight and never forgave Warner. Wallis, at the time regarded as the "wunderkind" at the studio, left Warner Bros. shortly afterwards.

November 26, 1945 -
David Lean 's adaptation of Noël Coward's one-act play Still Life, Brief Encounter, starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard went into general release in the UK on this date.

After the success of this movie, David Lean was accosted by an angry man in a train station, who told him how much he hated the movie. "Do you realize, Sir, that if Celia Johnson could contemplate being unfaithful to her husband, my wife could contemplate being unfaithful to me?" he stammered.

November 26, 1952 -
In Thrilling Color!

The first modern 3-D movie Bwana Devil, viewed with special glasses, premiered in Hollywood.

Arch Oboler traveled to Africa in 1948 to make audio recordings of native peoples. While in Africa, Oboler met William D. Snyder, a 16mm cameraman with his own industrial filmmaking company in Fargo, North Dakota. During their travels throughout Africa, Mr. Snyder shot the African footage that appears in Bwana Devil.

November 26, 1953 -
MGM released the first musical in 3-D, Kiss Me Kate on this date.

Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore neglected to rehearse their Brush Up Your Shakespeare number more than once or twice because they thought it was silly. When it came time to shoot it they made numerous fumbles and mistakes which the director thought was on purpose. He later complimented them on making it look like something a couple of thugs would perform. They never told him the truth.

November 26, 1988
Russian cosmonauts took the Pink Floyd cassette version of Delicate Sound Of Thunder and play it in orbit, making Pink Floyd the first rock band to be played in space.

David Gilmour and Nick Mason both attend the launch of the spacecraft. The cosmonauts had requested the album to listen to as they completed their mission of docking with the orbiting Mir space station. Delicate Sound Of Thunder was also the only Pink Floyd album to receive an official release in the Soviet Union. “To say that we are thrilled at the thought of being the first rock band to be played in space is something of an understatement,” said Gilmour.

Another unimportant moment in history

(we are running around the rest of the week with the girls, home from college, so today is an abbreviated posting)
Today in History:
November 26, 1789 -
The first national Thanksgiving Day was observed in the United States in 1789, when recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress on this date, but we spoke all about this the other day.

The holiday wouldn't become an annual event until 1863 and wouldn't be signed into law until 1941 when US President Franklin D. Roosevelt made it an official, national holiday.

November 26, 1865 -

Oxford Don and nude child photographer, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, sends the manuscript for the psychedelic novel Alice in Wonderland to his 12 year old special friend Alice Liddell as an early Christmas present.

For some reason her parents did not notify the authorities.

November 26, 1948 -
The first instant Polaroid cameras went on sale at Jordan Marsha, a Boston department store for $89.75 ($900 in today’s money) on this date.

All 57 had sold by the end of the day. Its inventor, Edwin Land was inspired to come up with the camera by his daughter, Jennifer, who asked why she had to wait so long to see her vacation photos.

November 26, 1965 -
After cleaning a church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where they had Thanksgiving dinner the day before, Arlo Guthrie and a friend clean up the place, but toss the trash down a hill when they can't find an open dump. They are arrested, fined $25 each, and forced to pick up the garbage.

When they return to the church, Guthrie writes Alice's Restaurant Massacree about the incident, embellishing some details. The director of the film, Arthur Penn, who owns a home in Stockbridge where the story takes place, realized it was for the most part based on events that had actually taken place. Therefore, what appears to be a continuity problem is in fact a correct representation of the facts. The movie portrays the actual photos used as evidence at the trial. The real life "blind judge" in Guthrie's song, Judge James Hannon, was played by James Hannon, himself in the film. Sheriff William Obanhein demanded that he play the role himself. His reason: "If anyone is going to make a fool out of me, it might as well be me!"

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

This was the Sex Pistols' first single, and it caused quite a stir in England with its lyrics advocating violence against the government. Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols was not released until a year later, partly because of distribution concerns: after hearing Anarchy In The UK, some organizations refused to ship the album.

And so it goes

Thursday, November 25, 2021

But all that too shall pass.

While you're sitting around the table with your family this Thanksgiving, opine this - Americans sometimes eat as much as 5,100 calories today! The average person eats enough each Thanksgiving to gain 1.3 pounds. That would breaks down approximately as:

2 turkey legs (with the skin on)
6 oz. turkey breast (with the skin on)
2 cups mashed potatoes (made with butter and whole milk) plus 1 cup turkey gravy
½ cup cornbread stuffing
2 slices canned cranberry sauce
1 cup candied sweet potatoes with marshmallow
1 cup Brussels sprouts with walnuts
1 cup green bean casserole
2 crescent rolls
1 piece pumpkin pie with 1 cup vanilla ice cream
2 pieces pecan pie each with 2 Tbsp whipped cream
and 1 slice apple pie

(And now you know why people in the plumbing industry refer to tomorrow as Brown Friday.)

Each year, the president of the U.S. pardons a turkey and spares it from being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner.

The first turkey pardon ceremony started with President Truman in 1947, (however, the Truman Library and Museum disputes the notion that he was the first to do so or even if he pardoned the bird.) In December 1948, Truman accepted two turkeys and remarked that they would "come in handy" for Christmas dinner. President Biden pardoned Peanut Butter and Jelly turkeys the other day. They will live out the rest of their days at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., unless the price of turkeys continues to rise.

(Literally, something completely different,)

Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day. The day was established in 1999. The United Nations designated the day partly in reverence to the anniversary of the murder of three sisters in the Dominican Republic.

A report issued from the World Bank a few years earlier stated that about one in four women in the world would be, or had been, raped and that violence against women is as prevalent a cause of death as cancer.

(Let's take a moment and change gears)

November 25, 1933 -
An almost forgotten horror film, The Ghoul, starring Boris Karolff , Cedric Hardwicke, and Ralph Richardson (in his film debut) opened in the U.S. on this date.

For years this was regarded as a "lost film" with no prints or elements known to exist. A nitrate release print was discovered in the Czech National Archives in Prague. This print was a subtitled edited version that was in poor condition and contained numerous splices. Years later, a print of the uncut British version was finally discovered.

November 25, 1937 -
William A. Wellman's wonderful screwball comedy, Nothing Sacred, starring Carole Lombard and Fredric March, premiered in NYC on this date.

The snooty society matron who berates Hazel and Wally for "besmirching the memory of that gallant girl Hazel Flagg" is played by a well-known character actress whose acting career was on the skids when she accepted this role. The following year, she would take up the assignment for which she became famous - "Hedda Hopper's Hollywood" debuted in the Los Angeles Times in 1938 and eventually would be syndicated in hundreds of newspapers across America, making Hopper the rival (and equal) of William Randolph Hearst's popular gossip maven Louella Parsons

November 25, 1940 -
Walter Lantz's introduced Woody Woodpecker with the release of Knock Knock on this date.

Although Woody made his first appearance in this film, he doesn't have a name until his next film, Woody Woodpecker.

November 25, 1942 -
Raoul Walsh's bio-pix about the boxer, James Corbett, Gentleman Jim, starring Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Alan Hale, William Frawley, and Ward Bond, went into general release in the U.S. on this date.

Errol Flynn did all of his own boxing stunts in the film, and although production was shut down for a time after Flynn suffered a mild heart attack, he came back and finished the picture without ever using a double.

November 25, 1987 -
The now classic John Hughes' Thanksgiving film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, starring Steve Martin and John Candy, premiered in the US on this date.

On instruction from John Hughes, Edie McClurg's role as the St. Louis rental car agent was partially improvised. Hughes told her to simply riff a fake phone conversation with someone about Thanksgiving plans while Steve Martin remains waiting in line staring at her to finish up. McClurg came up with the idea to speak with her sister about who was going to make what adding "You know I can't cook!". Hughes asked her how she came up with those lines so quickly and she replied that, like his scripts, she just drew it from her own life. McClurg claims to this day that random people ask her to tell them they're fucked.

November 25, 1992 -
Neil Jordan's controversial (for the time) thriller, The Crying Game, starring Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, Jaye Davidson, and Forest Whitaker, went into limited release in the US on this date.

Producer Stephen Woolley owned a repertory cinema in London called the Scala. When the film ran into funding issues Woolley borrowed money from the Scala to keep the production afloat.

Another moment of edifying culture -

Today in History:
November 25, 2348 BC -
According to Biblical scholars, a powerful rain storm began on this date. 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 -
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

A patent was granted to Alfred Nobel for dynamite on this date.

To quote Big Jim McBob and Billy Sol Hurok, "May the Lord take a liking to you and blow you up real good!!!"

November 25, 1914 -
Joe DiMaggio was born on this date. In addition to leading the New York Yankees to ten World Series championships, Joe DiMaggio also got to marry Marilyn Monroe.

Be grateful for role models.

November 25, 1920 -
Contrary to popular belief, Macy's didn't host the first Thanksgiving Day parade (Macy's held their first parade in 1924, tied for second in the nation with the J.L. Hudson's Dept. store Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit) - that honor goes to their longtime (and now defunct) rival Gimbel Brothers (Gimbels), in Philadelphia, which started the tradition on this date.

The first parade featured 50 costumed store employees leading a fireman dressed as Santa to the store on Eighth and Market Streets. Santa Claus, upon reaching Gimbels, would scale a fire truck ladder to the store’s eighth floor, conveniently the home of Gimbels Toyland themed dept.

November 25, 1944 -
On this date, a carrier pigeon Paddy was decorated for his effort in the war against Nazi Germany. In the service of Royal Air Force, Paddy had achieved to get a message from Normandy to England in the fastest crossing of the English Channel: 4 hours and 50 minutes.

When receiving his Order of Merit Paddy was described as "exceptionally intelligent". Unfortunately for Paddy and his compatriots, wartime rationing was still on-going and they were broasted and served at a White House holiday luncheon soon therefafter.

November 25, 1963 -
The flag draped 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.

Once again, be grateful the CIA, the Cuban exile community, the Rosicrucians, extraterrestrials, and the Children's Television Workshop don't give a damn about you.

November 25, 1970 -
Japanese playwright, poet, novelist, nationalist, body building enthusiast and patron of transvestite bars, Yukio Mishima (Kimitake Hiraoka) committed seppuku (self disembowelment) after an aborted coup attempt in Japan on this date.

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

One has to ask themselves - why is perfect purity only possible when you turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of blood. (I don't know, maybe you don't ask yourself these type of questions.)

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, archaeologists 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. Be grateful you're not called upon to assist your boss by shoving stuff in your panties.

And so it goes

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Should you run out of safe Thanksgiving dinner conversation

A demanding yellow and orange hedonist, with zero qualifications was elected as a protest despite having no experience, no platforms to speak of, no real power — and no opposable thumbs. Mayor Stubbs the cat, was the leader of Talkeetna, Alaska for nearly 20 years (from July 18, 1997 until his death on July 21, 2017.)

Talkeetna lies about halfway between Anchorage and the foothills of Denali National Park, in southern Alaska. A quirky community, the town of Cicely in Northern Exposure was based after Talkeetna.

November 24, 1948 -
Vittorio De Sica's masterful neorealist drama, Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves), starring Lamberto Maggiorani and Enzo Staiola premiered in Italy on this date.

It took careful planning and rehearsing to give the film its realistic look. Crowd scenes were meticulously staged and drilled, including one for which Vittorio De Sica hired 40 street vendors. The Roman fire department provided a "surprise" rainstorm for another scene. In addition, De Sica shot with as many as six cameras at once to get the untrained actors' spontaneous performances from several angles. Although the film looked like a documentary in places, the director's painstaking methods drove him over budget.

November 24, 1958 -
A precursor episode to the science fiction television series The Twilight Zone, The Time Element aired on this date as part of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse anthology series on CBS-TV.

Though not the pilot episode of Rod Serling's series, The Twilight Zone, it was Rod Serling's production that lead to The Twilight Zone TV series. Because TV viewers at the time were not used to the kind of surprise, twist endings that for which the show ultimately became noted (and which this episode featured), Desi Arnaz appeared on-screen after the episode was finished and offered his "explanation" of what "really happened."

November 24, 1965 -
NBC aired the Frank Sinatra: A Man And His Music to honor Sinatra, on this date.

According to the April 1966 Esquire article Frank Sinatra Has a Cold by Gay Talese, Sinatra was suffering from a cold, when he started recording this special. If you pay close attention, you can see him wiping his nose with his hand while singing.

November 24, 1966 -
Captain Pike has an illusion, and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant.

The Star Trek episode The Menagerie, Part II first aired.

(The whole unaltered episode is now behind various pay walls.)

This episode incorporate most of the unseen (at the time) pilot episode of Star Trek, The Cage, featuring Jeffrey Hunter, as Christopher Pike, captain of the USS Enterprise.

November 24, 1968 -
Diana Ross and The Supremes song Love Child hit No.1 on the US singles chart, their 11th No.1 in the US, on this date.

Motown founder Berry Gordy wrote this with staff songwriters Deke Richards, Pam Sawyer, R Dean Taylor and Frank Wilson. Instead of writing about love, they came up with a much more controversial song about a child born to unmarried parents.

November 24, 1972 -
Produced by Don Kirshner, the TV series In Concert debuts on ABC as a competitor to NBC's Midnight Special premiered on this date.

Guests on the first episode include Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Allman Brothers Band, and Poco. Alice Cooper’s appearance in the show caused the series to have their subsequent episodes sent to the networks in advance for approval before airing because Alice Cooper sort of freaked out the audience during their live performance.

November 24, 1988 -
The first episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Invaders from the Deep, premiered on KYMA, in Minneapolis, Minnesota on this date.

Tom Servo appears as "Beeper", and only Joel and Crow are present during the movie segments. The only broadcast episode in which Beeper is mentioned. He does not appear onscreen and by the next episode he had been modified to become Tom Servo.

November 24, 1996 -
Crowded House played their farewell concert, performing on the steps of the Sydney Opera House to a crowd of over 100,000 (with some estimates of 250,000 people in attendance) on this date.

In 2007, they get back together.

November 24, 2012
Gangnam Style by PSY became the most viewed YouTube video surpassing 808 million views on this date.

Park Jae-sang is a South Korean singer/rapper, who is better known by his stage name, PSY, which stems from the first three letters of the word psycho. PSY is popular in his home country for the satirical slant of his songs and humorous videos and stage performances.

Another failed ACME Product

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

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

Wow that must have freaked him out.

November 24, 1835 -
The provisional government of Texas authorized the creation of the Texas Rangers (Corps of Rangers) police force.

While it's nice to think so, there's no truth to the rumor that Chuck Norris was there at the beginning.

November 24, 1859 -

Charles Darwin was one of the first to formulate an argument for the scientific theory of evolution by means of natural selection, which he wrote about in his book On the Origin of Species. It was first published on November 24, 1859, priced at fifteen shillings with a first printing of 1250 copies.

Though some intellectuals latched onto Darwin's work with great enthusiasm, it generally caused controversy and outrage among Victorian society and he was vehemently attacked and ridiculed by the church.

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 (I certainly am, as my sister's four boys prove, time and again.)

November 24, 1874 -
Joseph Glidden was granted a patent (US patent no 157,124) for barbed wire on this date.

Glidden designed a simple wire barb that attached to a double-strand wire, as well as a machine to mass-produce the wire.

November 24, 1947 -
The House of Representatives votes 346 to 17 to approve citations of contempt against 10 Hollywood writers, directors, and producers. These men had refused to cooperate at hearings dealing with communism in the movie industry held by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

The Hollywood 10, as the men were known, are sentenced to one year in jail. The Supreme Court later upheld the contempt charges. The fallout resulted in the famous Hollywood "blacklist," which was a list of movie industry professionals suspected of either being communists themselves or supporting communist activities.

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 on this date. This also became the first actual murder captured on live TV.

The next day, November 25, the flag draped 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, 1966 -
The smoggiest day in the history of New York City occurred on this date, killing about 400 people.

The thick smog settled into the city, causing deaths from heart attacks and respiratory failure.

November 24, 1971 -
On Thanksgiving eve, DB Cooper boarded Flight 305 in Portland, Oregon, and demanded $200,000 with the threat of a bomb. He parachuted from a Northwest Airlines 727 with the money over the Cascade Mountains near Ariel, Washington, and was never seen again.

No trace of Cooper is found during a massive search. In 1980, an eight-year-old boy will uncover a stack of nearly $5,880 of the ransom money in the sands along the north bank of the Columbia River, five miles from Vancouver, Washington. Cooper left several lasting contributions ... the mystery: why did he do it, did he survive, and if so, where did he go and what did he do with the rest of the money; and a new aircraft design called the 'Cooper Vane,' a device that prevents the tail stairways on Boeing 727s from being lowered while in flight.

November 24, 1974 -
Coincidentally (see Origin of the Species), today should actually be Mother's Day.

An international team of scientists working in northeastern Ethiopia has found the partial skeleton of a three-million-year-old hominid on this date, that it claims is the most complete early man discovery ever made in Africa, the skeleton is better known and referred to as Lucy (after The Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds).

November 24th, 1991 -
Freddie Mercury (45) the lead singer of Queen died, just one day after he publicly announced he was HIV positive.

In 2013, Gigwise readers named Mercury the best frontman ever.

Before you go - Kids, don't let anybody fool you - Turkey is merely the excuse to have delicious stuffing. There are those who will make their stuffing with wild rice, oysters, saltines - I am not here to judge. I will merely present to you the stuffing that has been passed along on my mother's side of the family for more that 60 years - so good or bad, it's fed a lot of very hungry people.

And so it goes