April 04,008 Friday.
April 4th, 2008
Quiz: What is the Utah Teapot? Also called the Newell Teapot? ( hint: you CGI folks should know this…)
Answer to yesterday’s question below- Who coined the term- to start from scratch?
History for 4/4/2008
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Caracalla, Cinema pioneer Edweard Muybridge, Maya Angelou, Frances Langford, Irv Spence- Tom & Jerry animator, Gil Hodges, Arthur Murray, Muddy Waters, Cloris Leachman, Dorothea Dix, Elmer Bernstein, Bijan, Robert Downey Jr is 43, Barry Pepper is 38, Hugo Weaving is 48, Heath Ledger would have been 29
Happy Birthday Agent Smith!
If you were a Roman today is the first day of the Megaleasian Festival in honor of Lunus the Moon god. Party! Par-tee!
In China today is Ching-Ming Tomb Sweeping Day.
636AD- Today is the Feast Day of Saint Isadore of Seville, the Patron Saint of the Internet. Don’t believe me? Check out http://www.catholic.org/saints
896 A.D.-THE SYNOD HORRENDIUS-One of the more bizarre incidents in Vatican history. Bishops Stephen and Formosan hated each other. When Formosan became pope Stephen had to bide his time in hiding. After Formosan's death Stephen became pope but was unsatisfied that he couldn't strike back at his old enemy. So Pope Stephen had Formosan's tomb opened and the corpse dressed in bishop's robes, sat up in a chair and put on trial for heresy. The cross examination was pretty strange, the prosecutor said things like :"His very silence is proof of his guilt!" The corpse was convicted, excommunicated, bounced around by a Roman mob and thrown in the Tiber. Pope Stephen VI later became the first pope to be killed in bed with someone's wife.
1561- A strange show in the sky of red discs and crosses was reported over Nuremberg Germany. An early UFO sighting?
1581- Queen Elizabeth I visited the Golden Hind, the ship which Francis Drake sailed around the world. The 'Great Pirate of the Unknown Seas" had plundered huge treasure ships and drove Spanish Colonial America crazy. The Spanish Ambassador to London demanded the pirate Drake lose his head, but Queen Elizabeth had a different use in mind for her sword- she knighted the Devon innkeeper's son.
The Golden Hind was kept in a prize anchorage for decades until age and dry rot caused her to fall to pieces. Ben Johnson wrote poems about Sir Francis Drake and Shakespeare's island of wizards in the Tempest may have been modeled on Drake's accounts of the strange stormy islands of Tierra Del Fuego in the Straights of Magellan.
1704 -British sea dog Admiral Rourke and Sir Cloudsley Shovel capture Gibraltar from Spain. Britain still owns it today, which really annoys Spain.
1841-PRESIDENT WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON DIED AFTER ONLY 31 DAYS IN OFFICE. “Old Tippicanoe”caught pneumonia giving his inauguration address in icy drizzle. No U.S. President had ever died in office before and no one knew if the Vice President was now only a caretaker until special elections or was he the president for the next for years. Vice President John Tyler set the rule by staying as President for four full years. People couldn't stand him. They called him "Your Accidency". When he got word of the President's death he was playing marbles with some children and was about to get his knuckles rapped for losing.
1850- The City of Los Angeles was incorporated under U.S. law.
1865- LINCOLN IN RICHMOND- Meanwhile against the wishes of his bodyguards that it was still too dangerous Abraham Lincoln toured the newly captured Confederate capitol of Richmond. Most of the white population had fled the smoldering city but crowds of jubilant black slaves pulled his coach and cheered that the Day of Jubilee had arrived. One man kneeled to him and Lincoln raised him up “Father, you no longer have to kneel to any other man, only God. You are Free. Free as air.” Lincoln walked over to the Confederate Executive Mansion and sat in Jefferson Davis’ chair, putting his feet up on his desk. He then visited the family of Rebel General George Pickett of the famous Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. The Pickett’s were friends of Abe and Mary Lincoln before the war and Abe enjoyed bouncing Pickett’s baby boy on his knee.
1924-Tom Milton first ran a Miller hot rod on the dry lake Cal bed at 151 mph.
1932- Louisiana Senator Huey Long tells Congress that 80% of America’s wealth was controlled by 20% of its population. According to Business Week in 1997 80% of America’s wealth was owned by 2% of its population and the top 175 richest people on Earth collectively own 50% of all the total wealth of the planet.
1952-CARTOON COMMIES- Nationally syndicated columnist Walter Winchell accused the owners of a New York commercial animation studio, Tempo Productions, of Communist sympathies. One of the owners was Disney Layoutman Dave Hilberman, who was a union organizer and was the only artist personally denounced by Walt Disney to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. The F.B.I. began investigating Tempo and their Madison Avenue clients quickly pulled their business. Tempo closed, laying off 50 artists. Mr. Clean, Markie Maypo and the Hamm’s Beer Bear were once again safe from Red subversion.
1954- Arturo Toscanini , who had been making music since the 1880’s, conducted his final concert.
1958- Screen goddess Lana Turner and her gangster lover Johnny Stompanato had a violent argument that ended when Turner’s teenage daughter plunged a large kitchen knife into his chest. She was acquitted as justifiable homicide and some rumors maintain the daughter was covering for her mother’s actions. It was whispered Hollywood society ladies had nicknamed Stompanato’s male organ Oscar for it’s size.
1967- Van Nuys premier head shop Captain Ed’s Heads & Highs first opened for business.
1968- THE SETTLERS MOVEMENT- The Israeli government was trying to sort out what to do about the West Bank territories conquered in the Six Day War. This day a small group of ultra-conservative Jews called Gush Eymunim moved into a hotel the Arab city of Hebron and declared themselves a settlement. Minister Moshe Dayan wanted Jewish settlements but he wanted them to be alongside Arab communities, not displacing them. This was the first provocation by conservative settlers that would bedevil Palestinian-Israeli relations for the next forty years.
1968- DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING ASSASSINATED. The great civil rights leader was struck in the head by a dum-dum bullet fired from a high powered rifle while he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. His last words were teasing Jesse Jackson for not being dressed properly for going out to a dinner. Jesse was wearing a turtleneck instead of suit and tie. Dr. Benjamin Hooks ran to the phone to get help but the switchboard was not working. The motel manager's wife who usually ran the switchboard had seen the shooting and the shock had given her a heart attack. She died the next day. The Memphis police had always surrounded King's party with at least seven officers whenever he was in town. For some unknown reason that morning they were ordered to stand back at least seven blocks. It was the one-year anniversary of the speech where he declared his opposition to the Vietnam War. A man named James Earl Ray was later apprehended in England, confessed to the shooting and was given a life sentence. He later recanted his confession and said the FBI coerced him and he was taking orders from a mysterious contact man named Raul. James Earl Ray died in 1998. The King family reopened the investigation and a civil court ruled that Dr. King was probably killed by a conspiracy. When F.B.I. director J.Edgar Hoover heard about the assassination he did what he did the day John Kennedy was shot, he spent the day at the racetrack celebrating.
1968- When news of Martin Luther King's assassination got out 175 US cities suffered urban riots and street fighting . In Indianapolis Sen. Bobby Kennedy was scheduled to go speak to a mostly black ghetto crowd. His police escort refused to follow him out of fear. Kennedy went anyway, told the shocked audience the terrible news, made a reference to his own murdered brother, then proceeded to read them poetry from the Greek writer Aeschylus "We must tame the savageness of man, and make gentle the life of this world." Indianapolis was quiet that night.
1984- In George Orwell’s novel 1984 this is the day Winston Smith started a secret diary and first wrote the dangerous thought-crime “Down With Big Brother”.
yesterday’s question- Who coined the term- to start from scratch?
Answer: Before formal stadiums were built for sports, the starting line of a footrace or horse race was literally a line scratched in the dirt. If you overshot the start too early, you were told by the judges to go back and start from scratch.
April 3rd, 2008 thurs
April 2nd, 2008
Quiz- What is the origin of the phrase- to start from scratch?
Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who first coined the term “ The Band of Brothers”?
History for 4/3/2008
Birthdays: King Henry IV of England (1361), Washington Irving, William Marcy " Boss" Tweed, Sally Rand the Fan Dancer, Ma Rainey, Iron Eyes Cody, Wayne Newton, Doris Day, Robert Sherwood, Virgil Grissom, Marsha Mason, Melissa Etheridge, Marlon Brando, Amanda Byrnes, David Hyde Pierce, Alec Baldwin is 50, Eddie Murphy is 46
In Ancient Greece the beginning of April was the Aphrodisia- the Festival of Aphrodite. Greeks would offer sacrifices to the Goddess of Love and some would visit the holy prostitutes in the great temple of Corinth. Gimme that Ole Time Religion…..
1730 -EMPEROR MOYTOY OF AMERICA- An English conman, Sir Alexander Cummings, had ingratiated himself into the council of the huge Cherokee Nation, then occupying most of Georgia, the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee. In a scam to make himself look like the spokesperson of all native Americans Cummings convinced one Cherokee chief named Moytoy to travel to England and do ritual submission to King George II under the title Emperor Moytoy of the Americas! The Indians were confused but went along with what they thought was a gag. Cummings disappeared shortly after the truth came out, undoubtedly a wealthier man.
1882- JESSE JAMES SHOT-The famous outlaw had been living quietly with his family under the alias of Mr. Howard when he was murdered by his own gang members, his cousins Bob and William Ford. Jesse was shot in the back of the head while he was standing on a chair straightening a picture frame. His last words were: ”My, it’s awfully hot today...” He was 34. Jesse’s older brother Frank took the hint and went straight. Bob Ford went on tour giving lectures, re-enacting how he had killed Jesse. Finally in a mining camp someone blew him away with a shotgun.
1920- Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald got married.
1922- JOSEF STALIN made General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. In the scramble for power after the death of Lenin this move allowed him to consolidate his his hold on the top job and push out Leon Trotsky and the other top Bolsheviks like Zioniev, Kamieniev and Krupskaya. He made sure Lenin's last will and political testament was never made public. Stalin's real name was Djugashvili, his other code name that close friends were allowed to call him was 'Kobal'. He once told Franklin Roosevelt at Yalta :"The problem with Americans is your people don't know how to follow orders."
1930- Ras Tafari crowned Emperor of Ethiopia as Halie Selassie. The Jamaican movement called Rastafarians were named for him.
1948 -THE MARSHAL PLAN signed into law by President Truman. It called for 5 billion U.S. dollars to be spent to help 16 European countries rebuild their shattered economies after World War Two.
1968- In Memphis Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was supposed to give a sermon at the Temple Baptist Church but excused himself because of his workload and stress. Since he had openly come out against the Vietnam War the death threats had increased and it all weighed heavily on his mind. Rev. Ralph Abernathy telephoned from the church that the crowd was disappointed Dr. King had not showed up. "Martin, they don't want to hear me. They're here to hear you." So Dr King went to the church and delivered off-the-cuff the last great speech of his life: "I have been to the Mountain and have Seen the Promised Land, and though I may not get there with you, it is alright.". At one point he was startled when the wind outside caused a shutter to bang. Then he returned to the Lorraine Motel. He was murdered the next day.
1968- Stanley Kubrick's epic film "2001: A Space Odyssey" premiered. The N.Y. Times review said it was : " Somewhere between hypnotic and boring". Pauline Kael called it "monumentally unimaginative!" In a recent interview screenwriter Arthur C. Clarke said HAL the computer was not a coded reference to IBM . At the Oscars for that year Clarke and Kubrick lost the best screenplay award to Mel Brooks for the Producers. The film won only one Oscar, the only one Kubrick ever won, for visual effects.
1974- Even while the Watergate Scandal continued, this day the IRS reported President Richard Nixon had been paying taxes based on an income of only $15,000 a year when he was making at least $200,000 a year.
1975- Eccentric chess champion Bobby Fischer was stripped of his World Chess Championship for refusing to play any more matches to defend his title.
1984-THE COFFEE SHOP CONVERSION. Future President George W. Bush was a cocaine-snorting alcoholic who had been busted for drunk driving. This day he claimed he became Born-Again after meeting an evangelist in a coffee shop.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Who first coined the term “ The Band of Brothers”?
Answer: Alexander the Great’s bodyguard cavalry were called the Companions, but the credit goes to the Bard. In Shakespeare’s play Henry V, King Henry exhorts his soldiers to fight for him on the field of Agincourt “ We few, we happy few. We Band of Brothers. For any man who stands with me this day, be he ‘ere so base, shall be called my brother.” In 1805 in the British Navy, the fighting captains who clustered around Admiral Nelson were called the Band of Brothers. Major Winter of the 101st Airborne used the term to title his memoirs of WWII, and so we have it today.
April 2nd, 2008 weds
April 2nd, 2008
Quiz: Who first coined the term “ The Band of Brothers”?
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is the difference between Lager, Pilsner and Blonde Beer?
History for 4/2/2008
Birthdays: Frankish Emperor Charlemagne, Giacomo Casanova, Hans Christian Andersen, Marvin Gaye, Emile Zola, Max Ernst, Buddy Ebsen, Sir Alec Guinness, Frederick Bartholdi, Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Hunt, Isiah Washington
430 a.d. Today is the feast day of Saint Mary the Egyptian, a former prostitute who repented by living naked and alone in the desert for 49 years, only appearing briefly at Easter time to take communion, and to get some more sunblock.
1459- Vlad II "Dracula" -Little Dragon, duke of Wallachia, shows why he got the nickname Vlad the Impaler by impaling the city council of Brasov high on stakes then eating lunch under their quivering bodies. Impaling was a torture of Turkish origin, where you had a huge sharpened stake hammered up into your body, then standing it up. A good executioner could keep the stake from piercing too many important organs, prolonging the agony of your death. This was Vlad’s preferred method of getting rid of inconvenient people. No wonder in the 1890’s when British author Bram Stoker was collecting folk tales in the Transylvanian mountains to use as source material for a gothic vampire novel he chose Dracula for it’s title. Another of Dracula’s favorite gags was when Turkish diplomats refused to take their hats off in his presence he had them nailed to the men’s heads, then chuckled as they rolled around on the floor in agony.
1520- Somewhere off the coast of what will one day be Argentina, Magellan's captains, convinced this crazy Portuguese turncoat didn’t know where he was going, try to mutiny and go home to Spain.
1800- Beethoven's First Symphony premiered. Vienna's leading music critic called it - 'a vulgar, impertinent explosion more expected from a military band than an orchestra!’
1801- BATTLE OF COPENHAGEN- The British Navy has a one day war with Denmark. The fleet was sent by London to intimidate the Danes into leaving Napoleon's anti-British blockade, but the Danes were more worried about a Russian-Swedish alliance forcing them to remain. So Admiral Nelson sailed his fleet into Copenhagen harbor and pounds it out with the Danish Navy and shore batteries. Nelson’s ships sailed up and down the drydocks pounding the unmasted Danish battleships in for repairs. Despite fearful manpower losses the British don't lose one ship while sinking or capturing 17 Danish top ships of the line.
The one-eyed, one armed Nelson gloried in battle. When a Danish cannon ball struck his mainmast showering him and his staff with burning splinters, he laughed and said: "Hot work, what ?" At one point the action got so desperate, that Nelson's superior Admiral Hyde Parker raised the ensign flags to break off battle and retreat. Nelson ignored them. He jokingly raised his spyglass to his dead eye and said :"What ensign flags ? I don't see any ensign flags !" Denmark made peace the next day and all the surviving combatants had a lovely dinner together at the Copenhagen Palace, as though nothing had happened.
1836- Charles Dickens married Elizabeth Howarth.
1865- The Confederate capitol Richmond finally fell to U.S. armies. More destruction to the city was done by looting Confederates and released prisoners than the enemy. Several large fires created the type of total urban destruction not to be seen again until the World Wars in the 20th Century.
1877- First man shot out of a cannon.
1877- The first White House egg rolling contest.
1943- Disney short 'Private Pluto' the first Chip & Dale cartoon.
1943-Happy Birthday SAT’s! This day Harvard Dean Henry Chauncey supervised the distribution to 316,000 High School seniors of the Army-Navy College Qualifying Test, later re-titled the Scholastic Aptitude Tests or SAT. This became a standardized test that manages every year to raise the stress level of seniors regardless of race, class or religion. Go On To Next Page.
1974-While actor David Niven was speaking at the Academy Awards telecast a nude streaker ran past him on nationwide television. Mr. Niven, completely unflustered, dryly commented: "The only laugh that man will ever get is by stripping off his clothes and showing off his shortcomings. "
1978-The t.v. show "Dallas" debuts.
1982- THE FALKLANDS WAR-Britain declared war on Argentina over the their takeover of the Falkland Islands. British tabloid papers called for a boycott of Argentine imports. It turns out the chief Argentine imports were bully-beef for SPAM and grass seed which nefarious jelly makers would use as imitation strawberry pips to convince unsuspecting customers that the jam they were buying was real strawberry. That'll bring them to their knees...
1981- John Welsh made CEO of General Electric. After automating factories and firing one third of his employees, he earned the name "Neutron Jack" after the bomb that kills people but leaves buildings intact.
1993- Bullocks Wilshire department store with the famous Tea Room closed.
1994-Disney chief executive Frank Wells is killed in a helicopter crash on a skiing trip. It’s been speculated that blowing snow off some high peaks caused a ice ball to be sucked into the copter’s air intake manifold. Clint Eastwood was supposed to be on that trip but couldn't make it. Billie Joel and Christie Brinkley had a similar scare with their helicopter on the same day. The death of the Disney CEO set in motion the events that would lead to Jeffrey Katzenberg forming Dreamworks and Michael Ovitz’s brief tenure as a mouseketeer and Michael Eisner’s eventual fall. In 1999 the Hollywood Reporter estimated that the little iceball cost the Walt Disney Company one billion dollars.
1996- Former President Lech Walesa, who led the first great people’s movement to overthrow a Communist dictatorship and was president of Poland for two terms and a Nobel Prize winner, gets his old job back repairing electric batteries at the Gydansk shipyard. The shipyard was later closed.
2004- Walt Disney Studio released HOME ON THE RANGE.
2005-Polish Pope John Paul II died after reigning for 26 years and making more Saints than any previous pope.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the difference between Lager, Pilsner and Blonde Beer?
Answer: They are all the same. Also called Lawn Beer, cold Light Pilsner became the preferred beer in America after the Prohibition, Depression and Dustbowl eliminated all of the other more exotic European type brews. Only recently have these beers returned to America, but because of our archaic Prohibition laws many are still watered down to keep the alcohol content low, which is why foreign beers taste better.
April 1st, 2008
April 1st, 2008
Quiz: What is the difference between Lager, Pilsner and Blonde Beer?
Yesterday's Answer below: What is mean by "The Writing on the Wall."
History for 4/1/2008
Welcome to April, named for Aprilis, an Etruscan Goddess of Agriculture and planting or it may even be a corruption of the name of the Greek Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The month was considered by Romans sacred to Venus- Venuralia.
To Ancient Egyptians it was the birthday of the God Het-Heth or Hathor. http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_april_calendar.htm
Happy April Fool’s Day – The Ancient Romans considered today ALL FOOLS DAY-a day of comedy- they did things backwards, men and women swapped clothes and carried on. Before the Gregorian Reforms in 1582 some Old Style Calendars had the year begin in April instead of January. As the new modern calendar became more widely accepted the people who stubbornly clung to the old practice were made fun of and called April-Fools.
"This is the day upon which we are reminded what we really are on the other three hundred and sixty four.." -Mark Twain
Birthdays: Edmund Rostand, Lon Chaney, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ali McGraw, Toshiro Mifune, Big Jim Fisk, Debbie Reynolds, Hans Conreid the voice of Captain Hook in Disney's Peter Pan, Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, Annette O’Toole, Barry Sonnenfeld
1081- Alexius Comnenus Ist, captures Constantinople and establishes the Comnenoi dynasty. He took the city by bribing the Varangian Guards –English, Hun and Viking mercenaries, to open the gates and let his army in. Alexius I was the Byzantine Emperor when the Crusades began. His daughter Anna Comnena described the event in her journal :"Then one day all of Europe decided to walk to our door..."
1488-Ludovico Buonarotti, after going through a lot of trouble to get his son in the wool and draper’s guild gives up hope that the boy would ever be anything other than an artist. He reluctantly takes him to be an apprentice to fresco painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. Michelangelo's career began.
1810-Napoleon, having divorced Josephine because she could not provide a son for his dynasty, married Princess Marie-Louise of Austria. Josephine was nicknamed "Our Lady of Victories" and was more beloved by the army but Marie Louise made up for it in spirit. She liked to smoke cigars and play billiards with Nappy’s officers. She was nearsighted but too vain to be seen in public wearing spectacles, so when she would dedicate art shows and public works like the Arch De Triomphes, she would smile regally and wave her hand, not knowing what she was looking at. Napoleon banned his kid sister Pauline Bonaparte from court because he caught her in a mirror making faces behind Empress Marie Louise’s back.
1865- BATTLE OF FIVE FORKS- Grant's Yankee Army closed in on Robert E. Lee's Confederates, Grant's cavalry master Phil Sheridan cut off and destroyed one over extended division of Lee's under George Pickett, taking 5000 prisoners. Pickett had won fame as the leader of the famous charge at Gettysburg. But he blew it at Five Forks because while his men were dying, he was away with some friends all day at a fish fry. No pagers or cell-phones in those days.
1867- Opening of the Paris World Exhibition. The gala worlds fair was seen as the zenith of Napoleon III’s Second Empire. Visitors marveled to fascinating exhibits as Dr Lister’s new Disinfectant, a new alloy called Aluminum and in the American exhibit a novel bit of furniture called a Rocking Chair. The Art galleries of the exhibition were filled with Ingres, Courbets and Delacroix. But nothing was accepted by those weird painters Cezanne, Manet , Pizarro or any of the others who would one day be called Impressionists.
1918- The British Royal Flying Corps (RAF) formed.
1923- Developers S.H. Woodruff and Canadian William Whitley start advertising lots for sale in Hollywoodland, beneath his his giant new Hollywoodland sign. The sign originally was covered with lightbulbs. It collapsed and was repaired in 1939, the 'land' part never restored. The Hollywood Sign was made over again in 1978.
1944- Tex Avery's "Screwball Squirrel" Only a few shorts were made. As one artist reminisced:" Everyone found that squirrel just too annoying!"
1945- OKINAWA- The Marines land and the battle begins. Because it was not a conquered territory but part of the home Japanese islands, Washington weighed it’s decision to use the atomic bomb by it’s observation of how tough Okinawa was, indicating how tough it would be to land on mainland Japan, only 360 miles away. The fighting was brutal, hand to hand with bayonets and flame-throwers. Of the 125,000 man Japanese garrison only 7,500 didn’t fight to the death, and civilians threw themselves off cliffs in mass suicide. A children's class trip visiting from Tokyo who were caught in the invasion were shown by soldiers how to cluster themselves around a single hand grenade so as to save on the number needed. Today there is a shrine to their memory. The Cave of the Maidens is dedicated to a group of schoolgirls who hid in a cave and when the Americans heard Japanese voices inside and none would answer their calls to come our and surrender, they filled the cave with flamethrower fire. Almost every American soldier who was captured was executed. The U.S. Navy suffered the worst number of ships sunk and men killed since Pearl Harbor in 1,900 Kamikaze plane attacks. U.S. casualties were so high the government re-imposed a press blackout.
This battle has the rare distinction like the Plains of Abraham in 1759 where both opposing generals died. US General Simon Bolivar Buckner, a descendant of the Liberator of South American, who’s father had fought Ulysses Grant in the Civil War, was killed by an artillery round three days before the battles end. Japanese General Usijima committed hari-kiri almost at the same time.
1949- Zsa Zsa Gabor married George Sanders.
1961- Rev Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker get married.
1970- A symbol of the 70’s.- AMC’s compact car the Gremlin introduced.
1972- In a gesture of turnabout-is-fair-play for women, Playgirl Magazine ran its first male nude centerfold- Burt Reynolds.
1984- Motown star Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his own father in an argument over plans for the singer's 45th birthday party the next day.
1995- Chasen's restaurant closed and turned into a supermarket. The Chasen family claims it will reopen it at another location, but this was the original since 1936. During the filming of Cleopatra (1963) Elizabeth Taylor had Chasen's famous chili flown out to her hotel in Rome. Walt Disney met Leopold Stokowski over dinner at Chasens and conceived the film Fantasia, Orson Welles and Joe Mankiewicz got into a fistfight over the script outline of Citizen Kane there, Bogart, Bacall and John Huston discussed how to fight the Hollywood Blacklist there.
1996- Animation World Network, Toontown’s first online magazine, started up. www.AWN.com
2004- G-Mail invented.
Yesterday's Question: What is mean by "The Writing on the Wall."
Answer: In the Old Testament, Daniel Chap 5. The Israelites were being held in Babylonia. King Nebuchanezzer's son Beltshazzar was holding a particularly wild party, when a mysterious apparition of a hand appeared and wrote this on the wall " Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin" After the kings experts were unable to decipher its' meaning, they called the Hebrew prophet Daniel to figure it out. His said it was God saying:" Thou hath been weighed in the balance and found wanting." Meaning, your ass is grass! That night, an enemy army swarmed over the walls and killed Beltshazzar. So heeding the writing on the wall means listening to a final warning that your time is up.
March 31st, 2008 monday
March 31st, 2008
Quiz: What is the origin of the term, to “ See the writing on the wall”..?
Answer to yesterday’s question below: Who was the last U.S. president to sport facial hair?
History for 3/31/2008
Birthdays: Rene' Descartes, Franz Josef Haydn, Serge Diagheliev, Richard Chamberlain is 78, Cesar Chavez, Herb Alpert, Gordie Howe, Liz Claiborne, Gabe Kaplan, Rhea Perlman, Shirley Jones, Richard Kiley, Volker Schlondorf, William Daniels, Lucille Bliss the voice of Crusader Rabbitt, Christopher Walken is 65,Ewan McGregor is 36, Al Gore is 60
1836- Charles Dickens first work published "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club."
1840- Congress lowers the minimum workday for federal workers from 11.4 hours a day to 10 hours a day. At this time in mines and factories people worked an average 12-16 hour day. The 8 hour day wasn’t achieved until 1913, not until 1941 in Hollywood and it’s still an impossible dream in most digital effects studios and dot-com companies today.
1889- The Eiffel Tower opened to the public to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Twice as tall as the Saint Peter's in Rome or the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Wizard of Iron Gustave Eiffel also designed the armature holding up the Statue of Liberty. Eiffel’s original deal with the French government called for the tower to only stay up for twenty years, then pulled down if no further use can found for it. Eiffel agonized about what to do as the deadline approached, but fortunately by 1909 Wireless radio transmissions became important and the Eiffel Tower was a great broadcast antenna.
1905- THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought back his famous sleuth in a new series of adventures. Conan Doyle had created Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in 1887, but by 1893 he had tired of his creartion, he wanted to write more serious fiction like his novel The White Company. So he killed him off. Holmes fell to his doom fighting Prof. Moriarity at the Reichenbeck Falls. The reaction of the public was astonished outrage. It seemed whenever Conan Doyle went out inevitably someone would stop him and say "You Blackguard! How Could You ?!" Finally Conan-Doyle bowed to public pressure and resumed the career of the inhabitants of #221B Baker Street.
1930 -Reacting to charges that the movies had become too naughty, Hollywood producers accept the MOTION PICTURE CODE. It was regulated by Will Hays, former Republican Party Chairman. The regulation wouldn't really start to have strength until 1935-36 when pressure groups like the Catholic League of Decency went after Mae West and the Tarzan pictures. The Hays Code forbade open sex and obscenity:
- twin beds only in a bedroom, nightclothes buttoned to the neck.
-if a couple were seated together on a bed they must have at least one foot touching the floor,
-"kisses with a duration of no longer than 3 seconds, parting with lips closed."
Lots of jokes were spawned like: "Give him the bird!" "If the Hays Commission would let me, I'd give him the bird!" One other little known clause was the forbidding of members of different races from kissing on camera. So Anna Mae Wong, the greatest Chinese actress of her time, could not play a Chinese heroine if her co-star was a Caucasian with eyepieces.
Betty Boop topless in the pre-code days
Betty in a more modest outfit after the Code goes into effect.
1931- ITT transmits the first message by microwave, from Dover to Calais.
1932 Ford introduces the V-8 Engine.
1943- Rodger & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" debuts. Despite the opinion of producer Mike Todd -"No legs, No Laughs, No Chance", the musical becomes one of the great hits of American musical Theater.
1950- Thor Heyderthal's book of his exploits Kon Tiki published. This was an account of his 4200 mile voyage which proved ancient mariners could have traveled from Peru to Polynesia on boats made from tied reeds.
1959- The Dalai Lama fled the Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet and began his long exile.
1962- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened on Wilshire Blvd. No, it didn’t display customized surf boards or the ideal tuna melt with sprouts but an exhibit of paintings by Bonnard.
1967- In a small London nightclub rising young rock & roller Jimmy Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time. British rock luminaries like Paul MacCartney, John Lennon and Pete Townsend sat in the audience stunned at the technical brilliance of this unknown former paratrooper who played left handed. The pieces of his guitar were purchased by Microsoft chairman Paul Allen and today are in his Seattle Rock Museum.
1968- Depressed over Vietnam War, the strong primary surge of Sen. Eugene McCarthy and the challenge of his old enemy Bobby Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he would not run for re-election. Borrowing the words of General Sherman in 1884 he says: "If Nominated Ah will not Run, If elected Ah will not serve.." In retirement Johnson resumed cigarette smoking and neglected his health. He was dead in four years.
1973- Comic strip hero Smilin' Jack gets married, the strip concludes next day.
1991- Former child star Danny Bonaduce arrested for fighting with a transvestite prostitute.
1995- In Corpus Christy Texas famed Tejana singer Selena Perez was shot and killed by an obsessed fan. The woman Yolanda Saldivar was president of the Selena Fan Club. “the gun just went off, I didn’t mean to shoot anybody.” Uh-huhh.
2004- Left wing radio network Air America goes on the air.
Yesterday’s Question: Who was the last U.S. President to sport facial hair?
Answer: William Howard Taft 1909-1913 had a large mustache. Taft was also Americas’ fattest president, and the first to throw out the first ball at a baseball game.