Jan 22, 2020
January 22nd, 2020

Quiz: What does it mean when you call some knowledge arcane?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Pres. Trump is called a wannabe oligarch, and that America is becoming dominated by oligarch. What is an oligarch?
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History for 1/22/2020
St. Vincents Day- "If Vincents Day be Rainy Weather, shall rain then 30 days together.”

Birthdays: Sir Francis Bacon, D.W. Griffith, Lord Byron, August Strindberg, Andre Marie Ampere (electric Amps), 1960’s UN Secretary General U-Thant, Ann Southern, Sam Cooke, John Hurt, George McManus, Joseph Waumbaugh, J.J. Johnson, Seymour Cassell, Jim Jarmusch is 67, Linda Blair is 62, Piper Laurie is 88, Diane Lane is 55

1503- Pope Alexander VI Borgia has his enemy Cardinal Orsini poisoned while imprisoned in the Vatican.

1506- THE SWISS GUARDS. Many European monarchs hired foreign mercenaries to be their personal bodyguards. They were often more reliable than their own subjects. The most famous were the Swiss. While the Swiss homeland stayed at peace, her hardy mountaineers hired out as mercenary troops all over Europe. Swiss had a reputation as incorruptible, and tough fighters. This day the warrior Pope Julius II hired a troop of Swiss and had Michelangelo design their uniforms. The Swiss Guards still guard the Vatican today, and are still recruited from the non-commissioned officers of the Swiss Army.

1522- Andreas Carstadt, an early follower of Martin Luther, set a new precedent by being a priest who openly got married. He was forty, she was fifteen.

1552- Because Henry VIII’s child was only ten at the time of the old king’s death Edward Seymour the Duke of Somerset ruled England as regent-administrator. But Somerset’s rule was troubled with corruption and religious friction between Catholics and Protestants. His own brother Thomas Seymour the Lord High Admiral was executed for trying to become king. Somerset soon fell and was replaced by the Duke of Northumberland. He charged Somerset with treason based on evidence given by Sir Thomas Palmer. Today Somerset’s head was cut off. Later Northumberland and Palmer lost their heads too. They confessed on the scaffold that they had fabricated the charges against Somerset.

1555- THE FIRES OF SMITHFIELD. When Mary the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII became queen, at first she tried to be lenient towards her Protestant subjects. But continuous plots by Protestant nobility, and her own desire to restore England to allegiance to Rome hardened her heart. This day she began the mass trials and executions of those accused of Protestant heresy. Six clergymen including the Bishop of Gloucester were sentenced and burned at the stake. Hundreds more would follow. Even Spanish King Philip II urged Mary to cool it.
Mary’s executioners added a new twist to the old system of burning at the stake. Before lighting the bonfire, a bag of gunpowder was stuffed between your legs, so you went out with a bang. Bloody Mary and her cruelty in the name of Roman Catholicism all but convinced the English people to stay Anglican.

1787- 17 year old French cadet named Napoleon Bonaparte, on furlough in Paris, wrote in his diary that after exhausting negotiations with a streetwalker he "…sampled the joys of Woman for the first time.." Today, he’d do a Facebook post.

1840- The first English colonists reach New Zealand.

1863- THE MUD MARCH- Union General Ambrose Burnside (who created the fashion for "side-burns") tried to avenge his humiliating defeat at Fredericksburg by a winter march up the Rappahannock River to maneuver around Robert E. Lee. In so doing he discovered why all pre-industrial age armies took the winter off. Burnsides army was pelted by blinding sleet storms and bogged down in oceans of gooey mud. When Burnside finally called it quits he had as many casualties from sickness as if had he fought a battle. A bitter army joke based on a children’s prayer went:
"Now I lay me down to Sleep, In mud that’s eighteen fathoms Deep."
"If you can’t see me when we Awake, please dig me up with an oyster Rake."

1879-Battle of ISHANDLWANA- The worst defeat ever inflicted by native peoples on a modern western army. The British thought they were brushing out of the way just another African spear throwing tribe when they attacked the Zulu Empire. They were unconcerned that the Zulu marched in regiments -impis, had generals -indunas and practiced strategy and tactics. A Zulu impi was trained to run in tight formation for 20 miles barefoot then fight a battle. Lord Chelmsford had invaded Zululand searching for the Zulu army when he was tricked by a simple diversion into dividing his forces. The Zulu then flanked Chelmsford’s force in a maneuver Napoleon would have admired, fell on his camp and wiped out two regiments of the 24th Welch Fusiliers.
It was a massacre similar to Custer at the Little Big Horn.

Lord Chelmsford and his staff were eating lunch several miles away when an aide noticed in his telescope flashing and running around the base camp. Lord Chelmsford dismissed it as nothing but sent a courier to investigate. The courier at first saw men in red coats and white pith helmets walking amongst the tents. As he got closer he noticed that they all had black faces….

1901- Queen Victoria died after a reign of 64 years, the longest for a British monarch until Elizabeth II just a few years ago. When she assumed the throne at age 19 in 1837 there were still many alive who remembered the Battle of Waterloo and white periwigs. She died in a world of electric lights, telephones, autos and motion pictures.

1912- The first bridgeway connecting Key West and the Florida Keys opened.

1912- U.S. Marines occupied the Chinese city of Tientsin to "protect American commercial interests".

1918- A Manitoba judge tries to outlaw movie comedies, because they tend to make the public "too frivolous".

1930- Work began on the foundation of the Empire State Building in New York.

1938- On a bare stage, Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town premiered.

1939- At Columbia University for the first time scientists split a uranium atom.

1944-Argentine Colonel Juan Peron first met radio actress Eva Duarte or Evita.

1944- ANZIO- The Allied armies advancing up the Italian boot had been fought to a standstill by fierce German resistance around Monte Cassino north of Naples -the Gustav Line. So the decision was made to amphibiously land a large invasion force in the rear of the German army with the intention of taking Rome. They completely surprised the enemy and their scouts reported the road into Rome was wide open. But the American commander General Lucas hesitated.
In the meantime the Germans recovered and rushed up elite SS divisions that turned the battle into a bloody stalemate. Churchill said: "I thought we were hurling a wildcat onto the shore, but all we got was a beached whale!" Instead of two days, the allies didn’t take Rome until June 4th, five months later.

1947- Hollywood first commercial television station KTLA went on the air for regular broadcasting. At the time in all of Los Angeles there were only 350 TV sets.

1949- Mao Zedong and the Communist army capture Peking (Beijing).

1949- Tex Avery’s cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie".

1950- Preston Tucker tried to compete with the big auto giants like Ford and Chrysler with his revolutionary designed Tucker Automobile. But the giants bogged him down in court with charges of fraud. This day he was acquitted of all charges but the legal expenses ruined him. Only 40 Tuckers were ever made. Francis Ford Coppola made a movie about his life.

1951- During Winter baseball tryouts a promising young left-handed pitcher from Cuba was scouted by the New York Yankees. But after losing a game for the Washington Senators and getting dropped from their roster, he gave up on sports to pursue a career in politics- Fidel Castro.

1954- The Los Angeles Fire Department is ordered by federal courts to integrate.

1968-T.V. comedy review show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In premiered. It launched the careers of Lilly Tomlin, Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan. You bet your sweet Bippy!

1972- In an interview with Melody Maker magazine, rocker David Bowie outed himself and said he was gay. Technically he would be bi-sexual since his wife Angela did catch him in bed with Bianca Jagger. Others called him a closet-heterosexual.

1973- While President Richard Nixon celebrated his second inaugural with a concert, Leonard Bernstein conducted a Concert for Peace at the Washington Cathedral. While Nixon’s orchestra played his favorite classical piece Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812 with real cannons, Bernstein played Haydn’s Mass in a Time of War to 15,000 people against the War in Vietnam.

1973- The Roe Vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision 7-2 legalizing abortion. Before 1880 most abortion practices were legal, they were referred to as "quickening". The first prohibitions were more about banning dangerous quack drugs used in the process.

1975- Hollywood agents Ron Meyer and Michael Ovitz leave William Morris and form the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA.

1977- The day after his inauguration President Jimmy Carter was shown the first pictures from the KH-11, the first imaging orbital spy satellite. An American mole sold the technology to the Russian KGB a year later and soon France, Britain and Israel also had spy satellites in orbit.

1984- Amazon Indians attack an oil drilling crew with blowguns.

1984- Apple released the Macintosh I personal computer.
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Yesterday’s Question: Pres. Trump is called a wannabe oligarch, and that America is becoming dominated by oligarch. What is an oligarch?

Answer: An Oligarchy is when things are run by a few thugs, with no legitimacy than their power and wealth. An oligarch is someone who things he is meant to rule due to his money.


Jan 21, 2020
January 21st, 2020

Quiz: Pres. Trump is called a wannabe oligarch, and that America is becoming dominated by oligarch. What is an oligarch?

Question: Why is a heroic story called a saga?
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History for 1/21/2020
Birthdays: Leadbelly (Harlan Ledbetter), Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, J. Carol Naish, Tele Savalas, Christian Dior, Placido Domingo, Wolfman Jack, Paul Scofield, Robby Benson, Jack Nicklaus, Benny Hill, Emma Bunton- Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, Gena Davis is 64, Ken Leung is 50

1188- THE THIRD CRUSADE DECLARED- In reaction to the news of Saladin's capture of Jerusalem, King Henry II of England, Phillip Augustus of France and Conrad the Emperor of Germany "take the Cross", to invade the Holy Land. Henry died before the army departed and was replaced by his son Richard the Lionhearted. Every morning before breakfast and every night before retiring, all the knights of the Crusade would raise one steel-clad fist towards the east, and to the sound of massed trumpets they would all shout: " AEIDEUVA! AEIDEUVA! SANCTUS SEPULCHORUM!!" Help, Help to the Holy Sepulcher!

1535- Fun-loving King Francis I of France had been tolerant to the Reformation until over-zealous French Protestants tried to kill him. This day he responded by holding a solemn Catholic Mass in Notre Dame. The highlight of the show was the burning of six heretics. Francis had them tied to ladders and raised and lowered over a slow fire, to prolong their suffering.

1649- King Charles I was put on trial by the English Parliament for treason.

1789- The first American novel published- The Power of Sympathy: An Epistolary Romance by William Hill Brown.

1793- KING LOUIS XVI GUILLOTINED- For three years since the Bastille fell the French King tried to play a constitutional monarch while conspiring with the other European monarchs to crush the French Revolution. It was a game that was too subtle for him. When foreign armies invaded France, and declared their intention to remake Louis an absolute ruler, the revolutionary government condemned him to death.
Citizen Capet, so named for an old family name of French kings, mounted the scaffold at Place de La Concorde currently where the U.S. Embassy is. He tried to speak to the people but the drummers were ordered to drown him out. As the blade fell his chaplain shouted: "Son of Saint Louis, ascend to Heaven!" SPLAT!
The revolutionaries then stuck his head between his legs and threw him in a hole. Where the site of the Chapel Expiatore is today. The court executioner, Charles Henri Samson, wore pistols under his coat in case people tried to rush the guillotine. He usually never felt remorse for his victims ("I am not killing them, the State is") but this one bothered him. He stayed away from home for two nights and would later hide escaped political prisoners in his cellar.

1850- THE CLAY COMPROMISE. Senator Henry Clay crossed dark snow covered Washington streets for a late night meeting with Daniel Webster. President Zachary Taylor had just put forward in Congress California's application for admission to the Union as a non-slave holding state. Now the South was angrily threatening secession and civil war. Clay and Webster worked out a deal, called the Clay Compromise, which would grant concessions to both sides in exchange for cooperation. Northern man Webster probably sacrificed his last chance to be President by backing the controversial deal but the Compromise of 1850 succeeded in delaying the Civil War for ten more years.

1861- SECESSION! COLLAPSE! President-elect Lincoln was still packing his bags in Springfield and writing out the luggage tags in his own hand "A. Lincoln, White House, Washington, D.C.", while state after state of the South voted to leave the Union and join the new Confederacy. On this date Mississippi senator and former Secretary of War Jefferson Davis resigned from the Congress. As he left the Senate, Georgia senator Robert Toombs turned around and declared out loud to the Speakers chair:" The Union sir, is Dissolved!" Toombs had to hire a carriage to take him South because his personal slaves had run off to be free.
The Mormons of Utah were in an open state of rebellion, New Jersey and New York City talked of secession, California talked of pulling out of the union and joining Oregon to make a new country called TransPacifica. Mobs in Baltimore proclaimed Abe Lincoln would never get to Washington alive. Outgoing President James Buchanan said gravely: "I fear I may be the Last President of the United States.."

1899- The Opel motorcar company opened for business.

1916- The National Board of Review outlawed nudity in Hollywood movies.

1923- LENIN DIED. The Soviet dictator died of respiratory failure and cerebral hemorrhage at 54. The lack of a reliable system of succession plagued Communist states. As Lenin lay dying Leon Trotsky, Zioniev, Kamieniev, Krupskaya and a dozen others began a backroom scramble for power. Finally a minor bank robber and terrorist from Tblisi in Georgia who had risen rapidly in the last two years came out above them all- Comrade Kobal, also called Josef Stalin.

1930- Walt’s top animator Ub Iwerks quit The Walt Disney Company.

1935- the conservation group The Wilderness Society created.

1935- Disney animator Ollie Johnston’s first day at the studio, at $17 a week.

1938 -Max Fleischer told his New York cartoon studio they were relocating to Florida.

1938- George Melies, the father of Motion Picture Special Effects, died, He had been reduced selling trinkets in a little store in a Paris train station, but had a bit of the rediscovery by the film community in his final years. On his deathbed he gave his friends a drawing he made of a champagne bottle popping. He said “Laugh, my friends. Laugh with me, laugh for me, because I dream your dreams."

1943- Legendary jazz drummer Gene Krupa was arrested in San Francisco for sending a kid to get him some marijuana. He served 84 of a 90 day sentence.

1950- After a highly publicized trial top State Department official Alger Hiss was found guilty of perjury in a trial that accused him of covering up his connections to Communist agents in Washington. The trial made a national figure of a then little known congressman named Richard Nixon. Hiss served four years in prison, and lived the rest of his life maintaining his innocence.

1958- BADLANDS- Teenagers Charlie Starkweather and Carol Ann Fugate kill her family and go on a Bonnie & Clyde style crime spree throughout Nebraska, killing 11 people. When they were caught Starkweather pleaded self defense, even against the murder of Fugates infant baby brother. He went to the electric chair. Carol Ann Fugate did twenty years, yet always denied she was anything more than an unwilling accomplice.
Starkweather had a 'James Dean-Marlon Brando' leatherjacket look and the two teen killers seemed to typify America's dread of juvenile delinquency and the 'degenerate Rock and Roll' culture of the 1950's. Their story inspired several films including 'Badlands".

1959- Former 'Our Gang' child star Charles 'Alfalfa" Switzer was killed in a bar in Mission Hills, Ca. He pulled a knife on a man over a $50 debt on a hunting dog. The man then shot him. He was 32. According to fellow Little Rascal Darla Hood, Switzer was a brute who bullied the other children, and bitter his adult acting career never blossomed.

1977- President Jimmy Carter declared a pardon for all remaining Vietnam War draft resistors.

1992- Disney's Beauty and the Beast becomes the first animated film ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

2010- The Supreme Court handed down the Citizen's United Decision. In the case Citizens' United vs. the Federal Election Commission, the Roberts Court ruled that restrictions on corporate donations were limits on free speech. This one ruling opened the floodgates for businesses to spend unlimited money on political candidates.

2017- THE WOMEN’S MARCH. The day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the streets of Washington were jammed with the largest protest march yet seen, over 2 ½ million protestors.
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Yesterday’s Question: Why is a heroic story called a saga?

Answer: Ancient stories of the Vikings handed down by storytellers fell into two kinds- poems about the Norse Gods, called Skalds, and prose stories about heroes and kings, Sogurs or Sagas. In the 1300s an Icelandic writer named Snorri Sturlusson finally wrote this stuff all down, so we can have handed down to us the stories of ShapeChangers, Asgard, The World Serpent, Siegfried and Brunnhilde, Leif Ericsson and his dad Eric the Red.


Jan. 18, 2020
January 20th, 2020

Quiz: “It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done before. It is a far, far better place I go to than I have ever known.”

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Why was the first sports drink called Gatorade? Is it made from alligators?
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HISTORY FOR 1/18/2020
Birthdays: Daniel Webster, A.A. Milne, Joseph Glidden, Oliver Hardy, Cary Grant- born Archie Leech, Danny Kaye, Emmanuel Chabrier, Bobby Goldsboro, Pierre Roget (Roget’s Thesaurus), Ray Dolby (Dolby sound), John Boorman, Kevin Costner is 65, Jason Segel is 40

1486- King Henry VII Tudor married Elizabeth of York, the daughter of the dowager queen in the just concluded War of the Roses. This further confirmed his legitimacy as king, ending a long period of dynastic instability.

1535- Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city of Lima Peru.

1630- The Great Conde’, French general and uncle of the king, is imprisoned by order of Cardinal Mazarin, the successor of Cardinal Richelieu. Conde’ escaped, and for the next thirty years would lead Spanish and German armies against France. Still, this was not seen as a bad thing because nobody had invented nationalism yet, so the king forgave him in 1660.

1701- For services rendered in stopping French King Louis XIV from invading the Rhineland, The German Emperor gave permission to the Margrave/Elector Frederick of Brandenburg to reorganize his realm as a kingdom, the new Kingdom of Prussia. From his capitol of Berlin, the Prussians set out to become a world power. In 1870 they unified the German speaking nations into the country we now called Germany. See below.

1777- San Jose, California founded.

1778- Captain Cook landed at Waimea Bay in Kauai and "discovered" Hawaii. He named the place the Sandwich Islands after his boss John Montague the First Lord of the Admiralty the Earl of Sandwich. The King of Hawaii Kamehameha III didn't think this was the spirit of Aloha, and after numerous squabbles between the sailors and natives Captain Cook was killed. The ensign who rallied the shore party and got them safely home was the future Capt. Bligh.

1817- Jose San Martin led an army of Latin American rebels over the Andes Mountains in an epic march to free them from Spain.

1854- THE KINGDOM OF WALKER- Soldier of Fortune William Walker declared himself president of the Republic of Lower California-a new country formed out of the Mexican state of Sonora and Baja California. It didn’t stick and he had to run for it. A few years later Walker and a gang of U.S. mercenaries actually succeeded in overthrowing the government of Nicaragua and making himself a king. But soon after the Nicaraguans put him up before a firing squad.

1865- This was a target date John Wilkes Booth had to spring his plan to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln out of his box at Ford’s Theater and exchange him for thousands of Confederate POW’S to continue the South’s war effort. That the young actor naively planned to physically overcome and truss up the 6’5" president who although in ill health was an ex-wrestler, then sling him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, jump 12 feet to the stage and carry him off in front of an audience, is a strange plan to say the least. Lincoln did attend the theater that night but Booth canceled the plan, because he had to prepare to do Romeo the day after tomorrow. His real job superseded his hobby as a conspirator.

1871- GERMAN UNIFICATION- Wilhelm of Prussia crowned first Kaiser of Germany in a ceremony in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. At one time Germans lived in 38 little princedoms that were great for operettas but lousy as a political entity. Germans formed a symbolic parliament in Frankfurt and formed nationalist societies called Tugenbund to work for unification. But Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck said "unity would not be won by parliaments and papers, but by Blood and Iron!" Bismarck had first defeated Austria to ensure Germans would look to Berlin and not Vienna for leadership, then he picked a war with France to unite all the German peoples against their old enemy. So the crowning was two-fold the highpoint of victory over France and the symbol of unification. Sulky Wilhelm I didn’t want to be an emperor and was happy as king of Prussia, but Bismarck pushed him into it.

1903- President Teddy Roosevelt and King Edward VII exchanged the first wireless messages long distance between Washington and London. The system was invented by Gugielmo Marconi.

1908- Frederic Delius orchestral tone poem Brigg Fair premiered.

1910- The birth of the aircraft carrier. In San Francisco Bay, aviator Eugene Ely became the first to take off and land his plane on a ship. The first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, was a converted coal tender.

1912- Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, "Scott of the Antarctic" reached the South Pole to discover the Norwegian flag of Pier Ammundsen, who got there first.

1919- American Society of Cinematographers formed (ASC).

1919- The Bentley Motorcar Company formed.

1943- The Red Army broke the 900 day Nazi siege of Leningrad.

1943- As part of the war effort, the US government ordered the sale of sliced bread be stopped for the duration. The phrase “ The greatest thing since sliced bread” entered the slang vocabulary.

1945- After weeks of bitter street fighting, Nazi forces surrendered Budapest to the Red Army. Major Otto Skorzeny, the Nazi commando who rescued Mussolini and organized American speaking infiltrators for the Battle of the Bulge, now shifted his efforts to organizing the Nazi escape route pipeline to the sympathetic countries in South America.

1948- Mahatma Gandhi broke a 121 hour fast that halted Hindu-Moslem rioting.

1949- Look Magazine published a photo essay called "Prizefighter". The photographer was a young kid from the Bronx named Stanley Kubrick. Mr. Kubrick said he now wanted to try filmmaking.

1952-The Hollywood Animation Guild chartered. Originally the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, signatories included Disney legends Milt Kahl, Les Clark, John Hench and Ken Anderson.

1962- The US Army in Vietnam began an experiment with spraying the jungle with chemical defoliants to get at hidden Vietcong guerrillas. The chemical Agent Orange defoliated jungles but also sickened thousands of American serviceman and Vietnamese civilians who continue to die from cancers decades after.

1962- THE FRENCH CONNECTION- NYPD cracked a drug ring smuggling heroin from South East Asia into New York via Marseilles. The French Connection bust nabbed $3.5 million in dope and made heroes out of the two detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grazzo. Egan joked to Grazzo:" I’ll betchya Paul Newman will play me and Ben Gazzarra you!" Actually Gene Hackman played Egan and Roy Scheider Grazzo in the Oscar winning 1971 film. Both cops retired from the force to make careers in show biz. Ironically while the film was being made, the real heroin from the case disappeared from the NYPD evidence lockup and was replaced with bags of corn starch. It was never recovered.

1964- Plans are revealed for building New York City’s World Trade Center towers.

1977- The cult documentary PUMPING IRON premiered. Filmmakers George Butler and Rob Fiore maxed out his American Express card to the tune of $35,000 to bring this look at the little known world of professional bodybuilding to the screen. The film first brought to the public a charmingly confident Austrian body builder named Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said he wanted to try acting someday. Also Lou Ferrigno who would also star in movies and as the TV Hulk. Many years later as a Republican icon, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to buy the rights to the film so he could edit out the scenes of him smoking a joint.

1978- In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, rock star Frank Zappa described most rock journalism as " People who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read."

1987- National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition premiered.

1990- In a room at the Vista International Hotel in Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry was videotaped by the FBI toking on a crack pipe with his mistress Rasheeda. He served time in jail, but was re-elected mayor anyway.

1990- Rusty Hamer, who played Danny Thomas’ son in the TV show Make Room for Daddy, put a 357 Magnum to his head and pulled the trigger. He was 42.

1991- Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein started firing Soviet SCUD missiles at Israel. By a prearranged agreement, even though they were under attack, Israel did not retaliate with their own air force, but left it to US & coalition forces to neutralize the missiles.

1993- The CIA admitted that it paid Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega $300,000 to be an operative.

2004- The I HAVE A SCREAM SPEECH. Democratic presidential challenger Howard Dean gave an address after losing the New Hampshire primary. Known for his energy, at one point he got so carried away he let out a jubilant yelp above the cheering throng. The media picked this up and played it to death. Soon it would be impossible to think of Dean as a serious candidate. Republican White House strategist Karl Rove later admitted it would have been harder to defeat Howard Dean than John Kerry, but then there was that scream.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: Why was the first sports drink called Gatorade? Is it made from alligators?

Answer: Gatorade is named for the University of Florida’s sports teams, most particularly the football team, the Florida Gators. School of Medicine Prof Dr. Robert Cade’s group invented the drink in 1967 at the request of the football coach, who was looking for something to rehydrate and replace his team’s loss of electrolytes during strenuous physical activity in their humid weather.


Jan 19, 2020
January 19th, 2020

Quiz: What is a Jabberwocky?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: “It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done before. It is a far, far better place I go to than I have ever known.”
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History for 1/19/2020
Birthdays: James Watt, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert E. Lee, Paul Cezanne', Janis Joplin, Tipi Hedren, Slobodan Milosovic’, radio star Ish Kabibble, Dolly Parton, Michael Crawford, Chic Young, Guy Madison, Richard Lester, John H. Johnson publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines, Jean Stapleton, Fritz Weaver, Sean Wayans, Robin MacNeill, Paul Rodriquez, Antoine Fuqua, Drea Di Matteo, and Bart the Bear-1977 Bear who starred in movies like Clan of the Cave Bear, The Bear, White Fang and Legends of the Fall.

Happy Feast of St. Wulfstan.

379 A.D. Valentinian I was a Roman emperor with strange mood swings. He outlawed the original Biblical birth control method called exposure; in other words leaving unwanted babies in the forest. Another time he had some stableboys crucified for letting the hounds go too early during a hunt.
When some Barbarians crossed the Rhine and sacked a few villages Valentinian got his legions together and burned down half of Germany. He only stopped for the winter and was preparing to continue in the spring when on this day a delegation of tribal chiefs came to ask for peace. They explained that it wasn't their idea to make war, just some of the younger hotheads in the tribe. They said that the Emperor was overreacting.
Valentinian got so enraged by these excuses that he raised his fists, turned purple and before he uttered a word fell over stone dead. His general Theodosius took over as emperor.

1405- Tartar conqueror Tamerlane fell ill and died in Samarkand. He roved the world conquering and murdering like Genghis Khan, but without Genghis’ skill at empire building. His empire fell apart soon after his death, inspiring Shelley to write a poem about transitory glory- Ozimandias.

1523- In Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli publishes his 67 Articles attacking the authority of the Pope. This is the first manifesto of the Zurich Reformation.

1547- Grand Duke of Muscovy Ivan IV Vasilievich, called Ivan the Terrible, crowned Tsar or Czar- a Russian form for Caesar. His father Grand Duke Ivan III the Great assumed the title and power but it remained for his son to formalize the office. The Russian Princes call themselves the new inheritors of the Eastern Orthodox religion and Roman Empire after Constantinople, once called New Rome, fell to the Moslem Turks. Czars were crowned with the "Cap of Monomachus", a small skullcap reputedly worn by one of the Greek Byzantine Emperors, Constantine IV Monomachus“ single-combat”. This cap was covered with ermine trim and gold. The Czars boasted: "Two Romes have fallen. The Third Rome –Moscow- shall stand forever!"

1633- Thomas Morton of Merrymount was twice deported by the Pilgrims for holding “licentious Maypole celebrations” at his Indian trading post. This day he returned to England and at court tried to have the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter revoked. King Charles probably refused, because that might make the whole crowd of buckle-shoed killjoys return home!

1729- British Restoration playwright William Congreve died. He willed all his property to Henrietta, the Duchess of Marlborough. But then the Duchess did something a bit odd. She had a death mask made of Congreve’s face and attached it to a life size mannequin. She ate and conversed with the dummy all day and slept with it at night. She insisted her servants wait upon the dummy and treat it when she felt it was ill. When she died, she was buried with the dummy.

1829- Johann Von Goethe published Faust Part 1.

1840- Explorer Charles Wilkes claimed all of Antarctica for the United States. He was on a scientific expedition to chart the South Seas and Southern polar waters. Captain Wilkes was really good at exploring, but he was such a tyrannical disciplinarian he was court-martialed upon his return. Wilkes’ erratic behavior may have been a model for Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab in his novel Moby Dick.

1853- Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore with the famous Anvil Chorus premiered in Rome.

1869- New York City controller of Central Park Andrew Green received a petition from 18 of the city’s wealthiest citizens. It called for the establishment of a Museum of Natural History. The famous building was built in 1874.

1915- Two German zeppelins cross the Channel and drop bombs on Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn causing two deaths. The first time England was bombed from the air.

1919- Famed dancer of the Ballet Russe Vaslav Nijinsky danced his last performance at a hotel in San Moritz Switzerland. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he became an incarcerated mental patient for the next 30 years, and underwent numerous extreme shock therapies until his death in 1950.

Jan 19, 1924- Lillian Bounds began work at the little Walt Disney studio as an ink and paint artist. She only took the job because it was a short walk from her sister Hazel's house where she was staying, and she didn't want to spend money for bus fare.
She wound up marrying Walt Disney, and became a multimillionaire. Before her death in 1997 she financed the creation of Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

1940- The Three Stooges do their impression of Hitler and the top Nazis in the Columbia Pictures short comedy “You Natzy Spy”. Moe Howard was still the best all time Hitler impersonator. “Hail-Hail-Hailstone of Moronica! Waahoo!”

1945- In Poland, the Nazis ordered the evacuation of the remaining concentration camps in advance of the advancing Red army. Tens of thousands were marched out of Auschwitz and Birkenau west in freezing snow and ice. Any who fell behind were shot.

1955- President Eisenhower held the first press conference that was shown on television. It was held in the treaty room of the State Department. Eisenhower was famous for his ability to speak at great length and never say anything of substance. “This day, My Fellow Americans, more than at any other time, ahead of us lies the promise of the Future!”

1961- The first episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show was filmed.

1966- Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Nehru, became prime minister of India.

1977- In one of his last acts as President, Gerald Ford pardoned Tokyo Rose. Iva Toguri D’Aquino was a Japanese American who did propaganda broadcasts for Radio Tokyo urging American GI’s to surrender. She explained she was stranded in Tokyo when the war broke out and was coerced into doing the broadcasts.

1979- Wendy O. Williams, mohawk-haired lead singer of the punk band the Plasmatics was arrested in Milwaukee for masturbating on stage with a sledgehammer.

1983- Klaus Barbie arrested in Bolivia and extradited to France. Barbie was the Nazi Gestapo chief in France and was called the Butcher of Lyon for his torture and execution of hundreds of French resistance and Jews. After the war Barbie avoided arrested and was briefly hired by the CIA as an anti-soviet spy. He went to South America and applied his skills for the dictators there until his extradition. While other former Nazis like Kurt Waldheim were disingenuously vague about their past, Barbie was loudly unrepentant. It was reported he continually embarrassed the Nazis trying to hide in South America by Sieg-Heil saluting them on the street and singing old stormtrooper songs over his empanadas.

1985- Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA peaked the pop charts at #9.

1989- President Ronald Reagan, in one of his last acts as president, pardoned Yankee Baseball club owner George Steinbrenner for making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon.

1991-Eastern Airlines ceased operations and went out of business. Chairman and former astronaut Frank Borman was philosophical: “Business without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”

1993- First day of full production at Pixar on their first feature film Toy Story.

2016- JOHN SCOTT- John Scott was a professional NHL Hockey player who had an undistinguished 8 year career. He was best known for brawling on the ice. But when it was time to vote for the NHL All Star Game, a mischievous blogger named Puck Daddy started a Twitter campaign to elect this unlikely bruiser into the All Stars. He won an overwhelming number of votes and was made Captain of the Pacific League team. Despite NHL owners and leaders trying to exclude him from the game, he played and was named MVP. Carried aloft on the shoulders of his teammates, he later said,” It was unreal. Like I was in a Disney movie, except for real!”
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Yesterday’s Quiz: “It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done before. It is a far, far better place I go to than I have ever known.”

Answer: The end lines of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.


Jan 17, 2020
January 17th, 2020

Quiz: Why was the first sports drink called Gatorade? Is it made from alligators?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Yesterday Russian President Putin and Syrian dictator Assad were caught on camera joking about President Trump. Saying he would have a “Road to Damascus” moment. What does that mean?
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History for January 17, 2020
Birthdays: Benjamin Franklin, Max Sennett-1880, Al Capone, Ethan G. Hodell 1883- the inventor of the Tow-Truck, Constantin Stanislavsky, Moira Shearer, Shari Lewis, Vidal Sassoon, Claude Coats, Denny Doyle, Kevin Reynolds, Muhammad Ali, Jim Carrey is 58, Michelle Obama is 58, Zooey Deschanel is 40, James Earl Jones is 90, animator Genndy Tartakovsky, Betty White is 98!

50 BC- Julius Caesar’s chief rival for power in Rome was Pompey Magnus. Pompey was as famous a general as Caesar and he controlled the Roman Senate. Pompey bragged that if Caesar tried to start a civil war, all he had to do was stamp his foot and soldiers would spring up everywhere.
But when Caesar invaded Italy, Pompey stamped his foot and nothing happened. Pompey’s troops were still in Spain and Greece. The only legions in the area were loyal to Caesar. This day Pompey and the Senate abandoned Rome and fled south to the heel of the Italian boot.

38BC- Augustus and Livia’s wedding anniversary!

395AD- Death of Theodosius I, the last Emperor to rule over the all the Roman Empire from Scotland to Iraq. After his death the Roman Empire divided permanently between East and West. One son Honorius became Emperor of the West, and another Arcadius became Emperor of the East in Constantinople. A few years later in 401, The provinces of Britain in the West, and Armenia in the East, were abandoned by withdrawing legions.

1775- Sheridan's Restoration comedy The Rivals premiered at Covent Garden Theater, London.

1781- BATTLE OF HANNAH’S COWPENS- Dan Morgan "the old wagoneer" and his mountainmen shot up a pro-British American army in the Carolinas. The American Loyalists in the South were led by Col. Banastre Tarleton, a dragoon officer unusual for his ruthlessness. After one battle he made his men go over the field and bayonet any rebels who might still be alive. This atrocity filled Morgan¹s ranks with rage, because many were the mountain kinfolk of the slain. This night the cry in the Yankee camp was:" Heads up boys! Bennie's Coming!"

1794- SCANDAL!! ANDY JACKSON MARRIED RACHEL DONELSON FOR THE SECOND TIME. Mrs. Rachel D. Robards was married to an abusive older man, when she fell in love with the dashing young officer in the Tennessee wilderness. Separated from Mr. Robards, she and Jackson were in Natchez, Mississippi at her sister¹s, when they heard word that Robards had filed for a divorce back in Nashville.
Jackson and Rachael then married and lived together for a year but then discovered that the divorce report was false and worse, Mississippi where they were married was still Spanish territory that didn't recognize Protestant marriages as legal. Rachel finally got her divorce from Robards, and they married again. Still, the social stigma of 'living in sin' stuck.
Rachel became morose in later years when Jackson's political enemies used the charge of adultery to attack him. Jackson fought duels and killed men over his wife's honor. By the time Jackson was elected President, Rachel Jackson was too ill to go to Washington. She died just before the Inauguration. The widower President lived long, but never got over his love for his Rachel.

1800- Thomas Jefferson welcomed French businessman Etienne Irenee¹ Du Pont de Nemours to America. Monsieur Dupont had decided to move his business from revolution ravaged France and become an American. He founded the Dupont Chemical Corporation that today makes plastics and housepaints, but back then what was most important was he made gunpowder. During the American Revolution gunpowder was a precious commodity. Colonial women saved pigeon droppings and their own urine to concoct saltpeter. Almost all the high quality gunpowder had to be imported from Europe. The Dupont family continued to control America’s petrochemical destiny way into the twentieth century and invented Nylon. And ladies could dispose of their urine in more sanitary ways.

1836- Texas General Sam Houston ordered Jim Bowie to go to the Alamo and blow it up. Then bring the soldiers and the valuable cannon back to the main army. But once there, Bowie was convinced by William Travis to disobey these orders and defend the Alamo to the bitter end.

1874- Chang and Eng Bunker were the original Siamese Twins, joined at the chest and sharing one liver. Since leaving Thailand they traveled the world with P.T. Barnum showing off their unique physique to paying crowds. They married two sisters and produced 21 offspring. As they aged, they made a deal that they wouldn’t be physically separated until one of them died. This day Eng awoke to discover his brother Chang had died of heart failure during the night. He cried “Then, I am going as well!” He frantically called for a doctor to come and separate them. But the doctor arrived too late, and Eng died too. They were 62.

1884- The Battle of Abu Kleer. British forces attempting to save Gordon of Khartoum are furiously attacked by the Dervish army of El Mahdi. At one point the Dervishes broke up a British infantry square, something Napoleon had trouble doing at Waterloo. Kipling wrote a poem in praise of the bravery of the long haired black Sudannese tribemen called “Fuzzy-Wuzzy” ­”Though we sloshed them with Martinis, an it wasn¹t ‘ardly fair, with the odds against you Fuzzy-Wuzzy, you broke the British square.” A Martini-Henry was a rapid firing rifle used at the time.

1904- Chekov's The Cherry Orchard opened in St. Petersburg.

1908- Thousands of women march on Downing Street in London demanding women be given the vote. The broke windows and shouted “It will be bombs next time!” Among the suffragettes arrested and imprisoned was 23 year old Alice Paul from New Jersey. She was honored in 1996 by a US postage stamp.

1917- The U.S. bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $21 million.

1926- FATS WALLER KIDNAPPED- Harlem Jazz great Fats Waller was in Chicago for a gig. On the street several gunmen grabbed him and dragged him into their limo and sped off to the lair of mob boss Al Capone. When he arrived there, the terrified Waller was reassured that it was Big Al¹s birthday. All he wanted was for Fats to perform at his party. The bash went on for three days and the joint was really jumpin! Fats Waller left unharmed, and with a very fat paycheck as well, but resolved to go back to Harlem where it was safe.

1926- George Burns married Gracie Allen.

1929- Elzie Segar was drawing a comic strip for Hearst’s NY Journal called The Thimble Theatre. It featured Olive Oyl, her brother Castor Oyl, and her boyfriend Ham Gravy. In this day’s strip, Ham meets an odd-looking sailor based on a neighbor of Segar’s who liked to fight. Popeye the Sailor was born.

1935- In an address to Congress, Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed national unemployment insurance. It had been an issue demanded by workers since Coxey's Army in 1895.

1942- Right after the Pearl Harbor attack British Prime Minister Winston Churchill slipped across U-boat infested Atlantic waters and arrived in Washington for strategy planning meetings with President Roosevelt. Today he flew back to London without incident, although over London itself his plane was almost mistaken for the Luftwaffe and shot down.

1949- The first Volkswagen beetle automobiles arrived in North America.

1949- The Goldbergs, a radio comedy show about a Jewish family in the Bronx, moved to television and became the first true sitcom. The show ended when Mrs. Goldberg was accused by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee of being a Communist.

1950- THE BRINKS JOB- Several small time hoods wearing Halloween masks entered a Brinks Armored Car office in Boston and stole $1,2 million in cash and 1.5 in securities. By 1953 one crook broke down and confessed just eleven days before the statute of limitations would run out.

1957- The first non-stop jet flight around the world. Three U.S. B-52 bombers took off from Edwards Air force base in California, and by flying at supersonic speed, and refueling in mid-air, circumnavigated the globe in a little over 48 hours. The mission was not intended for any scientific value, as much as to demonstrate that the U.S. could now go anywhere on the earth and drop a nuke on you. They cemented this idea by dropping a dummy bomb after passing over Malaya.

1961- Frank Sinatra’s Ratpack had campaigned hard for their friend John F. Kennedy for president. Black entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. had worked particularly hard to help Kennedy win the African American vote. But Sammy had a preference for blond white actresses and had married one, May Britt in 1960. To fend off negative publicity, this day JFK had his secretary Mrs. Lincoln telephone Sammy Davis and un-invite him to the President¹s Inaugural Ball. We’re Liberal, but not that liberal. And uhh.. thanks for the help. Dean Martin was so angry at this insult to his friend that he canceled his appearance at the inaugural. In 1968 Sammy Davis angered the black community when he publically embraced republican Richard Nixon.

1961- President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell speech to the nation. He warned against the growing influence of the “Military Industrial Complex”.

1961- Patrice Lamumba, nationalist leader and the first democratically elected president of the Congo, was executed by firing squad. Lamumbas’ pan-African nationalism earned him the enmity of the US state dept. and many believe the CIA might have been involved in his death.

1964- The first Porsche Carrera sports cars arrived in L.A.

1977- Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad in Utah for murdering an elderly couple. They pinned a paper on his chest with a heart drawn on it in pencil so marksmen could aim straight. Norman Mailor wrote the book, “Executioners’ Song”, about the event.

1989- A lunatic murdered 5 schoolchildren with an AK-47 assault rifle in Stockton California. Less than two months later Republican President George H. W. Bush. banned assault weapons and high capacity magazines by executive order. That ban was allowed to lapse by his son George W. Bush in 2004, and we’re still arguing, and counting our dead from school shootings today.

1994-The Great Northridge Earthquake rocked Los Angeles. 72 deaths and 20 billion dollars in damage. It was officially listed as 6.8 on the Richter Scale, although many persist that in some areas it was as high as 7.2. The epicenter was in the San Fernando Valley, so the valleys two major industries, animated cartoons and pornography, were temporarily disrupted.

1995- One year to the day after the Los Angeles earthquake, a massive earthquake struck Kobe Japan. The Japanese place great resources and time in earthquake preparedness, yet this 7.2 quake toppled whole freeways, killed 5,000 and left 1 1/2 million people homeless. It was the worst natural disaster in Japan since the 1923 Tokyo quake.

2000-A Complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton was offered for sale on E-Bay.
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Yesterday’s Question: Yesterday Russian President Putin and Syrian dictator Assad were caught on camera joking about President Trump. Saying he would have a “Road to Damascus” moment. What does that mean?

Answer:.


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