January 15, 2008 tues.
January 15th, 2008
Quiz: Sometimes rougher stuff is said in presidential primaries than in the final election. Who was it who first called Ronald Reagan’s ideas Voodoo Economics?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Much is made today about Mitt Romney being a Mormon as was John Kennedy being a Roman Catholic. Has their ever been a President who was a Jehovah’s Witness?
History for 1/15/2008
Birthdays: Dr. Martin Luther King, Moliere, Gamal Abdel Nasser, outlaw Cole Younger, Charro, Matthew Brady, drummer Gene Krupa, Lloyd Bridges, Mario Van Peebles, Josef Broyer the mentor of Sigmund Freud, Margaret O’Brien, Aristotle Onassis, Captain Beefheart, Dr. Edward Teller “father of the H-Bomb”.
1208-THE ALBIGENSIAN CRUSADE- Count Raymond of Tolouse, son in law of King Pedro the Lecher of Aragon, was thought to be sympathetic to a heretical Christian cult called Cathars, from the French region of Albi (so Albigensians).They believed in a Zoroastrian dualism in direct conflict with the Church. When a papal representative named Peter De Castellan was sent from Rome to tell Count Raymond to knuckle under, he was assaulted. The Pope had previously sent St. Dominic to re-convert the Cathars but after ten years of preaching and fasting St. Dominic’s final conclusion was :”Someone should take a stick to those people!” So a crusade was declared not against Moslems in the Middle East or the Moors of Spain but against other Christians in the heart of France. The holocaust was terrible, for the first time the answer of how we tell the guilty from the innocent was :”Kill them all and God will recognize his own.” The leader of the crusade Simon de Monfort, had his head flattened by a catapult stone. His son went to England and started the House of Commons. Raymond of Tolouse’s descendant was Henri Tolouse-Lautrec.
The Holy Office of the Inquisition was invented to finish things off. The Cathar religion disappeared except for cult fans like Alastair Crowley and the author of the DaVinci Code.
One French medieval scholar, Zoe Oldenburg, said the Cathars believed you and I are in Hell right now. And if you’re good when you die you’ll ascend to the angels but if you were just okay you were born again and had to do another 80 years of zits and puberty until you got it right. If you were evil you came back as a lower life form like an asparagus fern or an animator or something....
Simon de Monfort doing his impersonation of Wiley Coyote
1829- The first of two commercial working railroad locomotives arrived in the U.S. from England. Named the Pride of Newscastle back home, it was renamed the America. The Stourbridge Lion followed in May. These two trains began the U.S. Railroad system.
Historian Stephen Ambrose noted that until this time society moved a the speed of a walking horse, that Washington and Jefferson could travel no faster than Socrates or Shakespeare did in their day.
1929- Most of the nations of the world sign the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which states that War is a Bad thing. Ten years later World War Two breaks out.
1935-The Tsuni Conference- Chinese Communists elect Mao Tse Tung (or MaoZseDong) as their overall leader.
1936-THE DGA- Several top Hollywood directors including Lewis Milestone, Ruben Mamoulian and William Wellman meet at King Vidor’s house and pledge $100 dollars each to form the Screen Director’s Guild, later the Director’s Guild of America. It was a risky thing to do, previous attempts to form a directors union were broken up with threats by the producers of perpetual blacklisting. Final recognition and contracts were signed by President Frank Capra in 1940. One provision insisted on in the contract was that the director’s credit be the final name in the opening titles before the movie began. And so it remains.
1947-”THE BLACK DAHLIA”- One of the most lurid murder cases in Los Angeles history. A little girl playing in a vacant lot discovered the remains of high priced prostitute Elisabeth Short, 22, who used to work the Biltmore Hotel. She was named the Black Dahlia because of the black pullover sweaters and black lingerie she favored. Her body had been sawed in half and completely drained of blood, and the initials 'BD' carved on her thigh. She showed signs of torture before death. The murderer was never found. The incident was the basis for a movie called “True Confessions” with Robert DeNiro and Robert Duval. The last detective on the case died in 2003.
1951- ILSE, THE SHE-WOLF OF THE SS. Ilse Koch was the wife of the commandant of Buchenwald Concentration Camp and every bit as sadistic as her husband. She participated in torture and experiments on inmates to turn them into soap and their skin into lampshades. This day in her second war crimes trial she was sentenced to life imprisonment. Sixteen years later in 1967 she committed suicide in prison. In the 70’s Roger Corman revived interest in her by creating an S&M porn film about her life. Star Dyane Thorne was a comedian singer who studied under Charles Nelson Reilly.
1967- THE FIRST SUPER BOWL- After a decade of professional football conference title games, the AFL and NFL combined to make a single championship game- Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. The first Superbowl halftime show was not Janet Jackson or Justin Timberlake but two college marching bands. Super Bowl Game day in the US has become a holy day of obligation and people who don’t care for the sport suddenly find it less crowded at movie theaters and zoos.
1968- Jeanette Rankin, the 87 year old Congresswoman who voted against US participation in World War One and World War Two today led a protest against the Vietnam War.
1974- Eeehhhhhh-The first episode of Happy Days premiered with Ron Howard as Richie Cuningham and Henry Winkler as Da Fonz.
1983- Meyer Lansky, the elderly retired Mafia boss died of a terminal nosebleed.
1998- Investigators from special counsel Kenneth Starr’s office have their first meeting with President Bill Clinton’s tootsie Monica Lewinsky in the lobby of the Watergate Hotel. They tried to pressure the 25 year old to admit her affair. They verbally denigrated her when she asked that her lawyer or her mother be present. But the Bimbo from Beverly Hills High was smart. She held out for 8 months to get the immunity deal she wanted before speaking out about those snapped thongs and well placed cigars.
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Much is made today about Mitt Romney being a Mormon as was John Kennedy being a Roman Catholic. Has their ever been a President who was a Jehovah’s Witness?
Answer: President Dwight Eisenhower.
The Little Mermaid on Broadway reviews
January 14th, 2008
Animators back in Burbank are watching closely the progress of the Little Mermaid on Broadway, produced by their former feature animation chief turned impresario Tom Schumacher.
[From Reuters Jan 14th-The Little Mermaid Flounders on Broadway]
According to critics, the reported $15 million Broadway tale of a mermaid who wants to live among humans could go the way of Disney's "Tarzan," which closed in July after just 14 months due to poor reviews and ticket sales.
"Sadly, following the demise of the joyless green blob that was 'Tarzan,' 'The Little Mermaid' suggests that on Broadway, the Disney magic touch has gone numb," wrote New York Times critic Ben Brantley, calling the show a "musical blunderbuss."
While "The Little Mermaid" cast received warm reviews, the show's set and costumes were criticized.
"Underneath all this baroque ornamentation was a tiny, tinny little musical struggling for life," wrote the New York Post's Clive Barnes. It was "plastic, plastic everywhere, enough to lead you to drink."
Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News, wrote: "The production is busy, not exciting; mechanical, not magical."
When Sebastian says:" Ariel, down here is your home!" Maybe he means animation.
January 14, 2008 Monday
January 14th, 2008
Quiz: Much is made today about Mitt Romney being a Mormon as was John Kennedy being a Roman Catholic. Has their ever been a President who was a Jehovah’s Wittness?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Which nation is older? Belgium, Greece, Saudi Arabia or the U.S.A.?
History for 1/14 /2008
Birthdays: Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Benedict Arnold, Faye Dunaway, Hal Roach, Raymond Outcault, Cecil Beaton, John Dos Passos, Lawrence Kasdan , Andy Rooney, Julian Bond, Steven Soderbergh is 45, LL Cool J, T. Bone Burnet, Emily Watson, Sterling Holloway the voice of Winnie the Pooh “oh bother…”
350 a.d.- The feast day of Saint Hilary of Poitiers- Saint Hilary may have been the father of church music. In exile in Phyrgia he noticed pagans sang hymns to their deities, so he composed the first Christian musical hymns. The Haleleiuyah Chorus, Ave Maria and “Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Heaven” would follow in due time.
1604- King James 1st of England thought he could be like Roman Emperor Constantine and use his royal authority to resolve the theological disputes dividing Christianity. This day he convened at Hampton Court a grand synod of Anglican Bishops, Presbyterians, Baptists and Puritan elders to try and settle their differences. Nothing was solved, but the only positive step was a motion was made to create a standardized translation of the Holy Bible into English- The King James Edition.
1639- The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, the first constitution for a colony, is established. The Connecticut territory was a disputed area between the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam and the English New Englanders until the English conquest of 1661. The personal intervention of the Duke of York in England prevented Long Island New York from being considered part of Connecticut.
1699- The Pilgrims of Salem hold a day of fasting and prayer to atone for any people they may have unjustly tortured and executed as witches. Well, at least they said they were sorry.
1797-Battle of Rivoli ( Napoleon whups dem Austrians in Italy )
1858- Italian terrorists throw three bombs at French Emperor Napoleon III’s carriage outside the Paris Opera. 8 killed and 158 wounded but not the Imperial family.
1893- After Britain’s Liberal party broke up over the Irish Question the Independent Labour Party was founded.
1900- Puccini's opera "Tosca" debuts in Rome.
1914- Henry Ford's assembly line process for building cars accelerates thanks to a new chain system pulling the chassis along as they are worked on. As the system got faster and faster the older, slower workers were replaced by younger ones. Hair dye sold at a premium in Detroit.
1943- Churchill and Roosevelt hold a summit meeting in Casablanca in North Africa. The Casablanca Declaration bound the allies to never negotiate less than a total surrender out of the Axis powers. It was felt that one of the reason Germany resorted to war only twenty years after the last World War was their denial that they were ever defeated.
It was also the first time people noticed that the President used a plane-Air Force One, to travel instead of a battleship. FDR had a plane for years, but he preferred to travel by private train while first lady Eleanor used it more frequently.
At the Casablanca conference one point Churchill made a number of American diplomats and staff climb a high tower in the Casbah because he thought the setting sun would make a smashing good watercolor painting.
1952-The NBC "Today" show debuts with Dave Garroway, Jim Fleming and J. Fred Muggs the chimp.
1954- actress Marilyn Monroe married baseball great Joe DiMaggio.
1957- Humphrey Bogart died of esophageal cancer at age 57. When he was buried at Forrest Lawn, wife Lauren Bacall put in with his ashes a solid gold whistle inscribed with the famous line from "To Have and To Have Not"- 'If you ever need me, just whistle.' The group of friends around Bogie and Bacall were nicknamed ‘The Rat Pack” . After Bogart’s death Frank Sinatra made the Rat Pack famous.
1964- Hanna & Barbera's ' The Magilla Gorilla' cartoon show. "We got a Gorilla for sale, Magilla-Gorilla, for sale, won't you buy him, take him out and try him..Go-rilla for sale.."
1967- Hippies in San Francisco hold the first “Be-In” in Golden Gate Park.
1972- Norman Lear’s hit comedy series Sanford & Son premiered. Starring Red Fox, it was based on the English show Steptoe & Son.
1990- Matt Groenings the Simpsons, which had been run as a series of blackout vignettes on the Tracey Ullman Show, now debuted as its own regular prime time series. 18 years later is is not only the most famous show in TV animation, but the most famous show in television. Cowabunga!
2004- President George W. Bush declared his country’s resolve to return to the Moon and make a manned landing on Mars by 2030. To do this he gave NASA only one billion dollars more than their normal budget, while at the same time allocating $1.5 billion to fight Gay marriage initiatives.
2005- The Cassini-Huygens Probe landed on Saturn’s moon Titan.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Which nation is older? Belgium, Greece, Saudi Arabia or the U.S.A.?
Answer: The USA- 1776. The Greek people obviously go back to the migrations of Dorians and Ionians in the 800s BC. They called themselves Hellenes. But the modern nation of Greece was born in 1827. The Arabs of Medina and the Hejaz also go back to ancient times, but the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began in 1948. Flanders and the Spanish Netherlands broke away from Holland in 1832 and became Belgium.
January 13, 2008 sunday
January 12th, 2008
Classes at USC and UCLA resume. The Golden Globe presentation show was canceled, but in truth, through most of it's history it was never televised. Only a few years ago did they begin to turn it into the Mini-Me of the Oscars. And while everyone is complaining, the fact is Dick CLark Productions could have made a deal with the WGA if they wanted to like Letterman, UA and the Weinsteins did. NOTE: Mike Sporn told me this morning that he heard Dick Clark productions did indeed want to sign the same deal as Letterman's company did, but the WGA refused. This is typical of the publicity war that goes on between warring sides for public support. Each side will release information they want and spin it to favor their argument. Possibly the WGA wanted a high profile cancellation like the GLobes to make headlines, which has happened, but to what end?
Here's a funny little film on the strike featuring what great movie moments would have looked like without writers.
I have my invitation to get Oscar tix, but I confess I'm thinking of skipping this year. Odds are the strike won't be settled by then, and so most folks will be boycotting it. We'll see.
Hey, when the Annie Awards come up, it's okay because it's not in the WGA jurisdiction!
Quiz: Which nation is older? Belgium, Greece, Saudi Arabia or the U.S.A.?
Answer to yesterday’s question below; Early Christians had as their symbol the fish, the symbol now gracing so many evangelical bumper stickers. What does it mean?
HISTORY FOR 1/13/2008
Birthdays: Salmon P. Chase, Horatio Alger, Sophie Tucker, Gwen Verdon, Robert Stack, Charles Nelson Reilly, Rip Taylor, Brandon Tartikoff, Armie Archerd, Julie Louise Dreyfus is 47, T Bone Burnett is 60, Patrick Dempsey, Orlando Bloom is 31
1847- Gen. Andres Pico signed the capitulation of Campo de Cahuenga (the little park next Universal studios today), surrendering the Mexican state of Alta-California to U.S. General John Fremont. Fremont, nicknamed "The Pathfinder" was the first Republican candidate for President in 1856 and when the Civil War began he was a General until the confederates made a fool of him and he dropped from public view. During the Civil War Andres Pico served in the Yankee force that defeated an attempted Confederate invasion of California. I guess he figured one change of flag in a lifetime was enough.
1854- The Accordion is patented. polka fans rejoice!
1864-Stephen Foster, the composer of "Old Kentucky Home"and "Camptown Races" was found dead, a penniless drunk in New York's Bowery slum. In his hands was a piece of paper with the words "Dear friends and gentle hearts... ". A Pennsylvania Yankee, despite writing a lot of music about the South he only visited it once, to New Orleans in 1852.
1872- GRAND DUKE ALEXIS BUFFALO HUNT. Grand Duke Alexis the son of the Czar of Russia visited America. A sportsman, He expressed a desire to go out West and hunt buffalo. The US Government ordered General Custer and Buffalo Bill to afford him every courtesy. Buffalo Bill even talked Sioux Chief Spotted Tail to move his tribes winter encampment 100 miles south so the Grand Duke could visit real wild Indians. Starting today the hunting party hunted and feasted for two weeks leaving behind a trail of champagne bottles and buffalo carcasses across the prairie. The trip was a great success, and Buffalo Bill realized there was big money to be made showing city slickers and foreigners a taste of the Wild West…
1895 Oscar Wilde's play the Ideal Husband, premiered in London.
1906- The first ad for a radio appeared in an American Science Magazine. It boasted an effective range of over one mile !
1910- Dr. Lee Deforrest experimenting with his new radio vacuum tubes, broadcast singers from New York's Metropolitan Opera including Enrico Caruso for the first time. His audience were 100 amateur audio-fans with new state of the art radio wireless sets. Network broadcasting was seventeen years in the future, the 'Live from the Met' broadcasts wouldn't begin until 1934.
1914- Folksinging union organizer Joe Hill was arrested in Utah on trumped up murder charges.
1925- THE FIRST CALIFORNIA GURU- Indian spiritual teacher Abrahamansa Yogananda , then called “The Swami” settled in Los Angeles and gave his first lecture to an audience in LA Philharmonic Hall. He founded the Malibu Self-Realization Center in 1950.
1929- Wyatt Earp died at 81 of prostate cancer in Los Angeles. After careers as a gunfighter, buffalo hunter, Dodge City marshal, prizefight referee, Yukon gold prospector and faroe dealer he finished in L.A. speculating in real estate. He liked to stroll onto Hollywood western movie sets to give advice to Tom Mix and William S. Hart on how they did it in the Old West. He was buried in San Francisco's Jewish Cemetery because his third wife, ex-saloon hooker Sadie Marcus was of that faith. On the subject of the Gunfight of the OK Corral in 1881 he told so many different versions of what happened that his account is considered unreliable.
Wyatt Earp would have died totally forgotten but in his last years he was interviewed by a journalist named Stuart Lake who published a best selling biography in 1931 called Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal. After that the movies and TV took up his name to make him the most famous lawman in western history, which would have been a surprise to him.
1942- In the late evening the German U-Boat U-123 sailed into New York Harbor. The German captain was amazed that although they were at war the Americans had made no defensive arrangements. The city wasn’t even blacked out, but still illuminated brightly.
1943- Movie starlet Frances Farmer was dragged screaming in a straightjacket out of a Hollywood Hotel and committed. She screamed Rats! Rats! and listed her occupation on her arrest record as “c**ksucker”. Her career was ruined and she spent years in asylums but it’s inconclusive whether she had actually suffered mental illness or it was her mother overreacting to her sullen, temperamental nature.
1945- Sergei Prokoviev's 5th Symphony ( Classical) premiered in Moscow.
1957-THE FRISBEE- Two former World War Two pilots, Warren Fransconi and Walter Morrison invented he plastic platter in a San Luis Obisbo home. Originally called Flying Saucers and Pluto’s Platters they got the name Frisbee when they demonstrated it at Yale University. The students there were used to flipping pie platters at each other from the local Frisbee Pie Company, so when they played with the new disc they cried “Frisbee, Frisbee!” which seemed to Warren and Walter a better name. When Morrison died in 2002 his family obeyed his last request- and I’m not making this up- to have his body cremated and his ashes mixed with plastic and molded into a Frisbee.
courtesy of hickoksports.com
1958- Actress Jayne Mansfield married weightlifter Mickey Hargitay. Their daughter was Marisa Hargitay
1979- The Young Men’s Christian Association filed a lawsuit against the outrageously gay rock group the Village People over their hit song “YMCA”. Even though it gave them more good publicity than they had in decades.
1985- Carol Wayne, an actress who played bimbo blonde roles on shows like Johnny Carson, drowned while swimming in Mexico. She was 41.
2002- Pres. G.W. Bush almost choked on a pretzel, alone watching football on TV. The pretzel was then sent to Gitmo without benefit of a lawyer and promptly waterboarded.
Yesterday’s Question: Early Christians had as their symbol the fish, the symbol now gracing so many evangelical bumper stickers. What does it mean?
Answer: When early Christianity had to hide underground during the persecution of the Romans, they used the sign of the fish as a secret code to recognize one another. The Greek for fish was Icthus. It stood for Ieyseus Christos, Theos Unios, Soter- Jesus Christ, One God, Savior. The Ancient Roman world was bi-lingual, with the Greek dominating the eastern part where Judea was.
January 12, 2008 saturday
January 12th, 2008
QUIZ: Early Christians had as their symbol the fish, the symbol now gracing so many evangelical bumper stickers. What does it mean?
Answer to yesterdays question below. What are Fabian Tactics?
History for 1/12/2008
Birthdays: Pilgrim leader John Winthrop, John Hancock, Edmund Burke, John Singer Sargent, Jack London , Charles Perrault (Mother Goose), James Farmer the founder of CORE, Herman Goering,, Kirstie Alley is 52, "Smokin'Joe"Frazier, Tex Ritter, Howard Stern is 53, Rush Limbaugh, Oliver Platt, Wayne Wang, Tiffany, John Lasseter
1669- Buccaneer Henry Morgan convened a meeting of the Captains of the Coast, a council of pirates on board his frigate the Oxford. In their meeting they resolved to attack Cartagena Columbia, a rich Spanish port and staging area for the great treasure fleets. During the drunken celebrations someone fired a gun off in the Oxford’s powder magazine and the ensuing explosion killed 200. Arrrg..Mateys!
1928- Henry Grey and Ruth Snyder are electrocuted in Sing-Sing Prison for the murder of Mrs. Snyder's husband. The love triangle was the inspiration for the films 'Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice' and 'Body Heat". Press photographer Thomas Howard taped a small camera to his ankle and snapped a photo of Mrs Snyder frying in the chair. The New York Daily News published the photo on its front page.
so, you think cheap, trashy, sensationalist journalism is a modern problem?
1960-” The Scent of Mystery”- the first film in Smell-O-Vision.
1962- President John F. Kennedy signed Executive order 10988, mandating federal workers had the right to join unions and bargain collectively. In 2001 in the trauma over 9-11, President George W. Bush demanded his new 50,000 member Department of Homeland Security be forbidden to unionize.
1966- Holy Cult Classic ! The t.v. show "Batman" with Adam West and Burt Ward premiered.
1970- The Boeing 747 makes it’s first flight.
1971- “ ALL IN THE FAMILY” Norman Lear's t.v. sitcom about racism and the 60's, debuts. Based on a successful British show it broke new ground for American sitcoms by frankly discussing prejudice, menopause, rape and other taboo subjects. It’s first show featured the sound of a toilet flushing. The networks were so worried about its explosive content ABC rejected the show twice and CBS ran the first episodes with a long apologetic disclaimer. Carrol O’Connor, the actor who played Archie Bunker was so convinced the show would flop he demanded as part of his contract a round trip plane ticket home. The show ran for 13 years, a bushel of Emmy Awards and made Archie Bunker a folk-hero.
1992-According to Arthur C. Clarkes "2001, a Space Odyssey", the HAL-9000 computer was booted up today.
1987-No mystery, Agatha Christie dies at 88 of natural causes.
1995- Steven Speilberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen announced the name of their new partnership would be 'Dreamworks SKG'. Someone in Florida immediately bought the domain name “Dreamworks.com” and waited for their buyout offer. I heard it was $5,000
1998-The LEWINSKY SCANDAL- Former White House staffer Linda Tripp was frustrated her career in the Bill Clinton Administration was going nowhere. This day she appeared in the office of independent special prosecutor Kenneth Starr with tape recordings she secretly made of her friend Monica Lewinsky, admitting to a sexual affair with the President. Conservative stalwart Starr had been investigating Slick-Willie Clinton for years and after spending $54 million tax dollars hadn’t found much, so he immediately leapt at this opportunity and asked the Attorney General for an extension of his mandate.
Ms. Lewinsky had meant to keep her affair a secret, despite her telling 11 friends. By autumn the resultant scandal brought Washington to a standstill and only the second presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. President Clinton admitted to the affair but was acquitted and served out his term anyway. Later Ms. Tripp asked the public for donations for her legal defense fund for her violating federal wiretap laws “I am one of you...a David against a Goliath...Even $1,000 dollars would do..” She took the money and got a facelift.
Yesterdays’ Question: What is meant when someone employs Fabian tactics?
Answer: It was named for Quintus Fabius Maximus. He was the
Roman general who realized Hannibal was too good to defeat in one
big battle. So he delayed and let Hannibal chase him around Italy, depleting his
supplies and exhausting his citizens support. Fabius' the Delayer’s name became a synonym for this kind of tactic. George Washington was called the Fabius of the Americas by the British, for avoiding battle, and bogging them down, wearing out the British public’s enthusiasm for the war.