January 25, 2009 Sunday
January 25th, 2009

Quiz- Composer Phillip Glass is currently writing an opera about the last days of Walt Disney, for the 2011 Season. Has there ever been an opera written before about someone connected to Animation?

Yesterday's Question answered below.

History for 1/25/2009
Birthdays: Temujin called The Genghis Khan, "Prince of Conquerers", Byzantine Emperor Leo IV the Khazar, Benedict Arnold, Carl Eller, Robert Burns, Somerset Maugham, Virginia Woolf, US Vice President Charles “Goodtime Charlie” Curtis, Edwin Newman, Jean Image, Dean Jones is 78, Ava Gardner, Etta Jones, Corazon Aquino, Anita Pallenberg, Gene Washington, Tobe Hooper is 66

1533- Henry VIII secretly married Lady Anne Boleyn already pregnant with the future Queen Elizabeth. Anne Boleyn was later called a sorceress because she had six fingers on one hand. Lusty King Henry has also had sex with her mother and her older sister Mary. And Yer Little Dog, Too!

1890- Newspaper reporter Nelly Bly ( Elizabeth Cochrane ) of the New York World is welcomed home after traveling around the World in 72 days. The stunt was inspired by the Jules Verne story Around the World in 80 days, which had became a hit stage play.

1945- The Rock Creek Report recommends mass additives of fluoride into American drinking water supplies. Tooth decay drops by 50%, however many right wing fringe groups see it as a Communist plot.

1947- Mobster Al Capone died at his home in Florida at age 48. He was released from Alcatraz Prison early because of ill health, his mind was being slowly destroyed by untreated syphilis. When another hood was asked if Al would resume leadership of the Chicago rackets he replied:” Big Al is nuttier than a fruitcake.” Capone lived his final days in seclusion at his estate on Biscayne Bay.

1959- Disney's " SLEEPING BEAUTY " opened. Despite earning the fifth highest box office for that year it finished $1 million behind what it cost to make. The animation staff had swollen to it's largest to finish the production. Its disappointing box office soured Walt Disney on feature animation. His low budget live action films like The Shaggy Dog and the Absent Minded Professor were much more profitable. After Sleeping Beauty was finished the Disney studio had a massive layoff, the staff roster dropping from 551 to just 75. Artists employed since "Bambi" and earlier found pink dismissal slips on their drawing tables when they came to work. The staff will not return to these same levels until 1990.

1960- Actress Diana Barrymore, the daughter of John Barrymore, overdosed on sleeping pills. The Barrymore family that had dominated the American theater since the 1850’s had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Ancestor after ancestor drank themselves to death. Current leader of the family Drew Barrymore recovered after seeking rehab at age 12.

1961- John F. Kennedy has the first televised Presidential press conference.

1970- Robert Altman’s groovy movie M*A*S*H premiered.

1971- Charles Manson and his followers convicted of 27 counts of murder. They were all sentenced to the Gas Chamber but the death penalty had been abolished in California for the moment.

1995- Moscow radar detected a nuclear missile launch from Norwegian waters headed right for them. Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his cabinet had five minutes to decide if this was an accident or the dreaded First Strike, warranting a full retaliatory launching of all Russian missiles against the US.. They decided it was a mistake, and it turned out the missile was only a Norwegian weather satellite being fired into orbit. Similar nail biting incidents happened to Jimmy Carter in 1980 and off the US coast in 1986.
Yesterday’s Question: What do you mean when you say you’re publishing or putting out a “j’accuse”..?

Answer to yesterday's trivia:
J'accuse ("I accuse") was an open letter published on January 13, 1898, in the newspaper L'Aurore by the influential writer Émile Zola.

The letter was addressed to President of France and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage. Zola pointed out judicial errors and lack of serious evidence. The letter was printed on the first page of the newspaper, and caused a stir in France and abroad. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel on February 23, 1898. To avoid imprisonment, he fled to England, returning home in June 1899.

As a result of the popularity of the letter, even in the English-speaking world, J'accuse! has become a common generic expression of outrage and accusation against a powerful person.

January 24th, 2009 sat
January 24th, 2009

Question: What do you mean when you say you’re publishing or putting out a “j’accuse”..?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is a euphemism, and should one seek treatment for it?
History for 1/24/2009
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Publius Hadrian AD117, Farinelli the Castrato-1707, Pierre De Beaumarchais, Swedish King Gustavus III, Frederick the Great, Edith Wharton, German Field Marshal Model, Sharon Tate, Mary Lou Rhetton, John Belushi, Disney director Wilfred Jackson, Warren Zevon, Yakov Smirnoff, Daniel Auteuil, Orel Roberts, Natassia Kinski is 50

courtesy barthertheater.com

41 A.D.- CALIGULA ASSASSINATED- The psychotic Roman Emperor left a gladiator bout to have lunch when in an isolated hallway of the amphitheater his own bodyguards turned on him. His chief assailant was the captain of the watch Chaerea who Caligula liked to embarrass -he once gave Chaerea the watchword “Gimme a kiss”. After two sword thrusts the bleeding emperor shouted: " I still live ! Strike again !" Which they did until he was finally dead. They threw Caligulas’ corpse in a hole in the Lamian gardens. It was said his ghost continued to scare people there for years afterwards. Realizing that without an Emperor an Emperor's Guard isn't much use, the guards looked about for a member of the Imperial family that hadn’t already been butchered. They dragged Caligula's simple old uncle Claudius out from under a table and made him Caesar.

1848- James W. Marshall discovers Gold at Sutter's Mill, California. This event will spark the first big gold rush the following year, the '49 ers. John Sutter had bought the land from the last Russian settlers and set up his town while under Mexican rule. Ironically the gold rush ruined him. Thousands of prospectors ignored his jurisdiction claims, trampled his crops and slaughtered his herds for food. Within a year he was broke and spent the rest of his life trying to get the US Government to reimburse him.

1863- Arizona Territory is formed out of New Mexico. The Southern Confederacy at one time tried to make it one of their states.

1874- Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Gudunov premiered in Saint Petersburg.

1875- Camille Saint-Saens orchestral work Danse Macabre premiered in Paris.

1900- Battle of Spion Kop. (Boer Woer) The British Army rush an enemy position on top of a small hill, take it, and after the cheering notice they are alone on the bald hill completely surrounded by the enemy. OOPS! It was said that the British commander was a much better watercolorist than a military strategist. One of the stretcher bearers bravely running up and down the hill saving wounded men was an Indian law student -Mahatma Ghandi.

1902- Denmark sold the Virgin Islands to the USA.

1927- The Pleasure Garden premiered, the first film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

1936- FIRST MOTION PICTURE OF A SOLAR ECLIPSE TAKEN FROM A DIRIGIBLE- "The Los Angeles." I know it's dumb but trivia columns gotta have stuff like this from time to time...

1942- Producer David O. Selznick signed young star Jennifer Jones. He became infatuated and left his wife Irene, the daughter of Louis B. Mayer to marry Jones.

1961- Warner Bros. cartoon voice actor Mel Blanc had a terrible auto crash. He lingered in a coma for several weeks. The way the doctor brought him around was to say: “Hey Bugs Bunny! How are we today?” Blanc replied in character:” Ehhh…fine,doc!”

1965- Winston Churchill died at 90. His last words were "Oh, I'm so bored of it all..." At 75 Churchill said :"I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter." David Lloyd George once quipped of how Churchill would behave in Heaven: "Winston would go up to his Creator and say he would very much like to meet His Son, about whom he has heard a great deal."

1972- Japanese soldier Soichi Yokoi was found in the jungles of Guam unaware that World War Two had ended 27 years earlier. He had stolen a radio and listened to the news. But he thought the stories of Americans in Korea and Vietnam were just propaganda. He was returned to Japan a healthy, if somewhat confused hero.

1983- Hulk Hogan pinned the Iron Sheik to win his first World Wrestling Federation title.

1984- Apple announced the first Macintosh Computer. It went for $2500.

1986 -Voyager 2 spacecraft flies by Uranus. A friend of mine was in the visitor's gallery at The Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the data began to roll in from the space probe. He saw one man break up the entire room of Nobel-prize winning professors into hysterical laughter with the childish pun :”Here is the latest data on Gas Emissions from Uranus..."

1989- Psycho serial killer Ted Bundy was electrocuted. He had conducted his own defense at his trial, which proves next time, get a lawyer.

2000- Your taxes at work. The entire computer system of the super-secret National Security Agency crashed and was down for several days. No explanation given.

2006- The Walt Disney Company acquired CG animation studio PIXAR. Apple and PIXAR head Steve Jobs and Ed Catmull get a seat on Disney Board and director John Lasseter becomes creative head.
Yesterday’s Question: What is a euphemism, and should one seek treatment for it?

ANSWER: Using a word or phrase in the place of one that might cause offense. But who gives a flying figgy anyway, it’s all bull-pocky.

January 23rd, 2009 fri.
January 23rd, 2009

Quiz: What is a euphemism, and should one seek treatment for it?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: When did the NY waterfront west of Times Square become known as Hell’s Kitchen?
History for Jan 23, 2009
Birthdays: Musio Clementi, Edouard Manet, Sergei Eisenstein, Derek Walcott, Ernie
Kovacs, Stendahl, Jean Moreau, Randolph Scott, Dan Duryea, Rutger Hauer is 65, Warner Bros animator Manny Davis, Disney animation director Dave Hand, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Mariska Hargitay is 45, Sonny Chiba is 70.

1795- A fleet of 14 Dutch warships got stuck in ice and was attacked overland by French cavalry.

1806-Prime Minister Pitt the Younger dies at 46. A heavy port drinker, he had a
stroke after getting the news of Napoleon's big victory at Austerlitz. As the
maps and dispatches dropped from his lap, his last words were:" Oh My Country
!" Another source said his dying words were "Oh I wish I had another one
of Mr. Bellamy's Meat Pies !". Suspiciously, the source of that anecdote was a spokesman for the Bellamy's Meat Pies Company.

1812- The largest earthquake in North America. It was not in California but in the
Mississippi Valley near New Madrid Missouri. The quake was felt as far south as
New Orleans where it moved the mouth of the Mississippi River, and it rattled store
windows in New York City. Legend has it Indian leader Tecumseh had predicted it.
He told Indians who had signed treaties with the whites:" I will stamp my foot,
then you will know the anger of the Great Spirit."

1862- Here’s a toast to that Great American- Count Agoston Haraszthy ! Who? Next
time you raise a glass of Napa Valley Pinot Noir think of him. This day the Hungarian
immigrant count bought land in the Sonoma Valley and imported cuttings from 1,000
varieties of European wine grapes. There may have been one or more earlier vineyards,
but He jumpstarted the California wine industry.

1867- New York City residents awoke this day to find the East River separating them
and the City of Brooklyn had frozen solid. It stayed that way for several weeks
wreaking havoc among the ship traffic and commerce. Everyone realized they needed
a bridge. Work on the Brooklyn Bridge was begun in 1869.

1879- The Defense of Rourkes Drift. After the British invasion force was annihilated
by the Zulus at the Battle of Ishandlwana the other day, a ragtag group of stragglers,
wounded and drivers behind an improvised wall of piled up oatmeal sacks hold off
the entire Zulu army. The first Victoria Crosses were given out over this engagement.
More were given here than at D-Day. One went to a sergeant who later had it stolen
off the wall of his pub. He petitioned the government and got another one....and
that too was stolen. When he died in 1911 he had the VC embellished on his tombstone....and,..you guessed it....it was stolen.

1913- A group of young Turkish army officers led by Enver Bey take over the government from the despotic rule of Sultan Abdhul Hamid IV, and try to modernize things, keeping the Sultan as a figurehead. Enver’s movement created the name The Young Turks.

1922- The first insulin injection given in Toronto by doctors Banting and Macleod
to diabetic patient Leonard Thompson.

1930- Ivory Snow soap invented 'pure as the driven snow'. In 1969 the model
on the Ivory Snow box, Marilyn Chambers, became a notorious porno star. The baby
she held in the photo was actress Brooke Shields.

1942- Tupperware invented by Charles Tupper.

1943- A group of high German officials including generals and diplomats began secret
meetings on how to kill Hitler and stop the war. Their conspiracy would culminate
in the Operation Valhalla July 20th 1944 bomb plot.

1957- The Disneyland TV show premiered” Our Friend, the Atom.”

1968- THE PUEBLO INCIDENT- Just a few days after the shock of the Vietnamese Tet
offensive, a US Navy spy ship doing CIA intelligence work is captured in North Korean
waters. The hostage ordeal mesmerizes the public for weeks and the sailors are finally
released after a long captivity and humiliating show-trials. After his release,
the commander, Capt. Lloyd Bucher retired from the navy, went to Art Center in Pasadena and became an illustrator.

1978- In Woodland Hills Terry Kath, the lead singer of the group Chicago, killed
himself when he playfully put a pistol to his head. His last words were: "Don't
worry. It's not loaded, see...?"

1989- Artist Salvador Dali’ died. Rushing to leave as much money as possible for
his family his agents had the ancient artist autograph reams of blank paper they intended to print Dali’ lithographs on later.
Yesterday’s Quiz: When did the NY waterfront west of Times Square become known as Hell’s Kitchen?

Answer: In the 1800’s the Hudson waterfront area of Manhattan became a very tough neighborhood. In 1871 a New York cop assigned to that beat told the cop he was relieving:” I was in the Bowery and that was Hell. To which the tired veteran replied:” Well, if that was Hell, then welcome to Hell’s Kitchen!”, and the name stuck.

The deadline for the Jay Kennedy Scholarship is approaching (February 6) and
we'd like your help to get the word out. If you can, please post this on
your website or blog. If you can put up a semi-permanent link, you'll find
link art on the site too. (Please note that we have new URL from next year.)


The annual Jay Kennedy Scholarship, in memory of the late King Features
editor, was funded by an initial $100,000 grant from the Hearst
Foundation/King Features Syndicate and additional generous donations from
Jerry Scott, Jim Borgman, Patrick McDonnell and many other prominent
cartoonists. Submissions are adjudicated by a panel of top cartoonists and
an award is given to the best college cartoonist. The recipient is feted at
the annual NCS Reuben Awards Convention attended by many of the world's
leading cartoonists. It is being held this year in LA.

Applicants must be college students in the United States, Canada or Mexico
that will be in their Junior or Senior year of college during the 2009-2010
academic year. Applicants DO NOT have to be art majors to be eligible for
this scholarship.

Along with a completed entry form, applicants are required to send 5
samples of their own cartooning artwork; noting if and where the work has
been published (either print or web).Please send copies. DO NOT send
original artwork.


The applications will be judged by the National Cartoonists Society
Foundation (NCSF) and the number of scholarships given out and their amounts
will be at the discretion of the NCSF.

-- Phil Pyster, CAE
NCS Offices
341 N. Maitland Avenue, Suite 130
Maitland, FL 32751
Phone: 407-647-8839
FAX: 407-629-2502

We're Talkin Oscar here, baby!
January 22nd, 2009

My esteemed friend and colleague Jerry Beck of Cartoon Brew, annually sets his clock to 5:00AM this morning to get the Academy nominations news- sheesh! So here is the hot poop from his site:

Nominated for BEST ANIMATED FEATURE were:

Bolt - Walt Disney
Kung Fu Panda - Dreamworks
Wall•E - Pixar

The Pixar hit WALL-E was also nominated for Best Screenplay (congrats to Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Jim Reardon), sound mixing (Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt), sound editing (Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood), music (Thomas Newman) and Original Song.

WALTZ WITH BASHIR was nominated for Best Foreign Film. I personally liked this film, but I have met many a divergence of opinion on it among the animation community. This might be the rare case of it being helped by dubbing into English. The large block of subtitles became a challenge, when you wanted to study the images.

Nominated for BEST ANIMATED SHORT are:

La Maison en Petits Cubes - Kunio Kato - my favorite.
Lavatory - A Love Story - Konstantin Bronzit
Oktapodi - A Gobelins, L’école de l’image Production
Presto - Pixar, Doug Sweetland
This Way Up - Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes

I'm bummed Skhizein by Jérémy Clapin wasn't nominated, but dem's the breaks.

the Visual Effects Category continues it's tradition of no surprises - noms for DARK KNIGHT, IRON MAN and BENJAMIN BUTTON

As the Romans said:"Die Gustibus Non Et Disputandem" You cannot argue personal taste." The winners will be announced Feb. 22 at the Oscar telecast at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.