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Blog Posts from July 2008:

Legendary animator Eric Goldberg, who I am proud to call my friend since we were larvae together, has put all his mighty animation mojo into a cool howto book called Animators Crash Course. Considered Chuck Jones last illegitimate son ( just kiddin!),
he passes on lessons from the great toon masters. It'll be a definite must for all serious about animation training.

Check out Amazon for the link to order.
Quiz: Which medal is older- The Congressional Medal of Honor, The Purple Heart or the Victoria Cross?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Why does the eagle in the Seal of the United States hold five arrows in one talon?
History for 7/4/2008 U.S. Independence Day
Birthdays: Jean Pierre Blanchard the balloonist-1753, George M. Cohan, Stephen Foster, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Calvin Coolidge, Rube Goldberg, Louis Armstrong*, Edward Walker the inventor of the Lava Lamp, Mayer Lansky, Tokyo Rose, Louis B. Mayer, George Murphy, Emerson Boozer, Neil Simon, Mitch Miller, Eve Marie Saint is 85, Gina Lollabrigida is 82, Al Davis, George Steinbrenner, Ann Landers, Ron Kovic, Geraldo Rivera, Victoria Abril, Pam Shriver Rene Laloux, Gloria Stuart is 98

• Louis Armstrong always claimed his birthday was July 4th 1900, although records show his birth was August 4th 1901.

1054- A supernova in the constellation Taurus created a star visible in the sky for 23 days. The residue of the blast is visible today as the Crab Nebula.. Chinese astronomers recorded the time and noted “ The Emperor had just arisen…”

1187- BATTLE OF THE HORNS OF HATTIN- Sultan Salladin lured the Christian Crusader army out into the desert, far away from water. The Saracens started a brush fire to confuse the Crusader formations with choking smoke. Old Duke Raymond of Tripoli realized what was happening but was helpless to stop it. When he saw his knights stopping to fight, he cried out:" We're lost! We are already dead men!" In one big battle the entire hierarchy of Crusader Palestine was dead or captive. Salladin also captured Christian holy relics like the wood of the True Cross, and sent them to the Caliph in Baghdad. Salladin's sister had been captured while on the pilgrimage to Mecca and raped by a crusader named Peter de Courtenay. De Courtenay had bragged that he planned next to march on Mecca and “piss on the grave of that lying old mule trader Mohammed!” Salladin had Peter taken alive, he then spent that evening slowly torturing him to death. This was The battle that decided that the Holy Land would not be an outpost of Christian Europe.

1776- U.S. INDEPENDENCE DAY- The actual vote for independence was on July 2nd, two days were required for rewrites, but the 4th was the day of the vote to approve the amended Declaration and the official announcement. After 46 revisions and deletions Tom Jefferson showed the finished document to Ben Franklin, he smiled :”Now we may proceed.” The 56 men who signed the document knew that this was their death warrant as they were committing high treason. Many had their personal fortunes ruined as a result. It then took two months for the news to cross the Atlantic.

In London King George III wrote in his diary for July 4th, 1776:" Nothing important happened today..."

1804- Already pledged to fight a duel to the death in a week, Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton have to sit next to each other at an Independence Day dinner in New York City.

1826- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson die the same day, on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Adams last words were: "Jefferson...Jefferson still lives...” . Jefferson breathed his last at 1:30PM at Monticello Virginia, Adams at 6:00PM at his home in Quincy Massachusetts. Adams left holdings amounting to $100,000, Jefferson left debts amounting to $100,000. Jefferson freed only six out of 200 slaves, all of the Hemmings Family but not Sally Hemmings his mistress for 38 years. Jefferson’s youngest daughter clandestinely freed her with a pension for her old age.

1831-former President James Monroe, considered the last the the Founding Fathers, also die on the 4th of July.

1845- Henry David Thoreau moved into a shack on Waldon Pond.

1848- The Communist Manifesto published by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels.

1850- President Zachary Taylor "Old Rough and Ready" gets sick from eating too many raw cherries and raw milk at a ceremony laying the cornerstone of the Washington Monument. He died 5 days later. Modern historians wondered if he was poisoned, being a Southern statesman who openly opposed slavery, but an examination of his exhumed remains in 1993 proved natural causes.

1855- Henry Davis Thoreau moves to Walden Pond. He was the first U.S. writer to espouse nature as a thing of beauty instead of an enemy to be conquered. This date is considered the birth of the American Conservation Movement.

1855- Walt Whitman published his quarto of poems The Leaves of Grass. Many people were shocked at it’s frank description of sexual desire. Whitman’s mother said :”Walt is a good boy, but strange.”

1862- Oxford mathematics professor Charles Dodgson rowed ten year old Alice Liddell and her sister up the Thames in a small punt. The little girls begged him for a story, so Dodgson made up fantastic tales of March Hares, Mad Hatters and the Queen of Hearts. Dodgson later wrote them down and published them in 1865 as Alice in Wonderland. He used the penname Lewis Carroll, which was a joke on the fact that Renaissance scholars adopted big stuffy Latin names like Ludovicus Carolus Magnus.

1863-VICKSBURG- The Confederate fortress-city of Vicksburg surrenders to Union General Grant. Pennsylvania-born rebel general James Pemberton led 29,000 men into captivity. He said: " In know the Northerners. We can get better terms if we give up on the 4th of July than any other day." Grant was so confident he would win that while the battle was still going on he telegraphed the town's main hotel and booked a room reservation for July 4th. This completed the Yankee control of the Mississippi from the north down through Memphis to New Orleans. It severed the jugular of the Confederacy for it cut her in half. Lincoln in his announcement said: "The Father of the Waters flows unvexed to the Sea." The citizens of Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth of July for eighty years, during World War Two.

1883- Buffalo Bill staged his first Wild West Show in North Platte Nebraska. Bill and his partners took the show all over the US and played for the crowned heads of Europe until 1916. In an interesting case of life imitating art until the Wild West Shows not many gunfighters carried their six shooters in a holster slung low on their hip. Wild Bill Hickock for instance carried his in a sash around his waist. But cowboys went to the Wild West Show and saw a hip holster was the only proper way to carry your shootin iron. Likewise, before the Wild West Shows cowboys wore any kind of hat: sombreros, derbys, old cavalry kepis. But soon the wide brimmed Stetson was the only proper attire for any self respecting cow puncher.

1905- Los Angeles developer Abbott Kinney had broke with his partners over the Santa Monica Pleasure Pier. He moved down the coast to some marshy wetlands and built a new community with canals, lagoons and gondolas. VENICE California opened this day. In 1925 the City of LA got rid of most of the canals and gondolas. Venice went on to be a seaside mecca for Beatniks, Hippies and weightlifters like young Arnold Schwarzenegger.

1912-THE GREAT WHITE HOPE- Jack Johnson had become the first black heavyweight boxing champ in 1908 and had defended his title against all comers. His flaunting of Jim Crow, extravagant lifestyle and romancing white women drove racists crazy. Finally boxing champ Jim Jeffries agreed to come out of retirement and challenge Johnson. He was billed in the press as the Great White Hope. But this day Johnson defeated Jeffries and kept the championship. The victory sparked racial violence throughout the country and even in Capetown and Bombay. Johnson kept his title until 1915 and died in a sports car crash in 1946.

1914- First day of filming on D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of an Nation.”

1917- The US First Division paraded through Paris in advance of the main American armies still to come. General Blackjack Pershing laid a wreath on the tomb of the Marquis de Lafayette and proclaimed:” Lafayette- nous voisci! Lafayette, we are here!” Jake Strauss the owner of Macy’s Department Store changed it to “Gallerie Lafayette, we are here!”

1947- THE WILD ONES- 400 motorcyclists converge on a small California town called Hollister to party hard. The local police arrest 49 and call for State reinforcements. The national media sensationalized the wild bikers terrorizing a small town, calling them "Hell's Angels" three years before the first chapter was formed. Truth be told many residents remember the incident fondly and said it livened things up. Many of the bikers weren’t teenage delinquents but World War Two veterans who used motorcycles to recapture the thrill and camaraderie of action. The Life Magazine that dramatized the Hollister incident had a cover photo showing a depraved biker swilling beer. The shot was staged and the man in the photo was actually a Hollister local who never went near a Harley. The Marlon Brando film 'The Wild One" was based on the Hollister incident.

1969-“ Give Peace a Chance.” released by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band.

1976-What’s Love Got to Do With It? Singer Tina Turner left Ike Turner.

1976- The first true Punk Band, The Ramones, arrived in England for a tour. They greatly inspired future bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols. When playing at the Palladium the Sex Pistols said they couldn’t get tickets to get in so the Ramones pulled them in through the men’s room window. Hey, Ho, Lets Go!

1982- Jimmy Connors defeated John MacEnroe for his last Wimbledon Championship.

1982- Ozzie Ozbourne married Sharon Ozbourne.

1984- First Lady Nancy Reagan began the campaign to combat drugs among kids by saying “Just Say No”. Two of her Secret Service bodyguards were cocaine snorters.

1987- Martina Navratilova defeated Steffie Graf for her 6th straight Wimbledon championship.

1990- 2 Live Crew released the song Banned in the USA.

1997- NASA landed Pathfinder on Mars and deployed Sojourner the first ever autonomous robotic rover. The rover collected image and science data on the Red Planet for the next two months. A JPL scientist said that during the press conference announcing the results suddenly all the reporters jumped up from their seats and rushed out of the room. The Scientists thought some great news emergency had occurred, but what really happened was the Hot Wheels toy car people were outside and giving away free samples of their new Mars Pathfinder toy.

2003- Pres. George W. Bush said to Iraqi insurgents “ Bring it on!”
Yesterday’s Quiz: Why does the eagle in the Seal of the United States hold five arrows in one talon?

Answer: In honor of the Five Nations of the Iroquois, the confederation of Indian tribes in central New York State. Benjamin Franklin observed them as a representative in the 1760s. He told the representatives in Philadelphia: ’ If savages in the forest can act in unity in congress, why can’t we? ”

PBS Scheduling
July 3rd, 2008


I'm learning why broadcasting at PBS is different from other networks. After the programs are approved and sent out from the main office in Washington, the individual PBS affiliate stations are free to stick them where they will. So I'm seeing the premiere times of Click & Clack As the Wrench Turns all over the place.

In the two largest media outlets, WNET New York and KCET Los Angeles, CLick & Clack will premiere this weds July 9th at 10:00PM, right behind a Science documentary on Iraqi bacteria. WGBH Boston at 8:00PM, WETA Washington on the Friday the 11th at 10:30PM. All these channels do reruns during the week as well.

While it certainly raises the bar for success, it will make it all the sweeter if we do "click" with audiences. It reminds me of the first Star Trek season in 1966, which ran at 10:00PM Weds after the Andy Williams Show. My mom yelled at me to go to bed, but I stayed up to watch it anyway. "This is trania..."

Check your local listing!

hmmm..10 o'clock, me play against Daily Show and Colbert...uh ohhh!!!"

July 3rd, 2008 thr
July 2nd, 2008

Quiz: Why does the eagle in the Seal of the United States hold five arrows in one talon?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is an ftp site?

History for 7/3/2008
Birthdaze: King Louis XI of France "the Spider King"1423, Franz Kafka, Mr. Preserved Fish -New York Congressman-1819, Dave Barry, Leos Janacek, John Singleton Copley, Ken Russell, Tom Stoppard, George Saunders, Peter Fountain, Tom Cruise is 46

Today is the Feast day of Saint Thomas the Apostle, “Doubting-Thomas,” the patron saint of architects.

1826- Elderly, dying Thomas Jefferson was drifting in and out of consciousness at his home in Monticello. He would be cognizant long enough to ask “Is it the 4th of July yet?” The author of the Declaration of Independence was grimly hanging on, determined to see one more Independence Day.

1863-PICKET'S CHARGE-CLIMAX OF GETTYSBURG-Robert E. Lee launched his last fresh divisions in a grand frontal attack to win the war. 15,000 Virginians, South Carolinians and Floridians walk across one mile of open ground, while being shot at from the whole Yankee Army. Even against such long odds they almost break the Union center. The entire attack took thirty minutes, German, British and Austrian diplomat observers in full dress uniforms climbed a tree to watch. Picket’s division suffered 50% casualties including all his leading generals. General Lothario Armistead put his hat on his sword point and shouted "Who will follow me?" Lo Armistead’s father had commanded Fort McHenry during the “Rockets Red Glare” British attack in 1814. Armistead reached the union artillery before he was killed. Ironically Armistead and the Yankee commander Winfield Hancock (who was also shot) were personal friends and the last time they were together was for dinner in a little western town called Los Angeles. When one North Carolina flagbearer survived murderous gunfire from all sides and lived to reach the union wall, the men in blue instead of killing him, shook his hand. Strange to modern readers is that Robert E. Lee had behind his position a small marching band playing popular tunes of the day like “Pop Goes the Weazel” and “Listen to the Mocking Bird” above the screams and exploding shells. Finally the Southern assault spent itself and started to recede. Men retreated backwards because they didn’t want to be shot in the back. Lee rode out and told the survivors: “This is my fault. All of this..” That night he wrote his resignation to Richmond. But no fault would stick on their beloved old general.
After the Civil War George Pickett were ostracized by Southern society for daring to criticize Lee’s decision to attack. Pickett bitterly said:" That old man destroyed my division." Picket was family friends with the Lincolns. When Picketts’ son was born Yankee generals sent baby gifts with a white flag through the lines.

Picket's Charge by Belgian artist Paul Philliporteaux. He and his team did 360 degree paintings in a round building called a Cyclorama, an early pre-motion pictures entertainment.I saw this one, and the one at Atlanta and Waterloo.

1916-Hetty Green "the Witch of Wall Street" dies at 80. Her eccentric cheapness created the millionaire-bag lady myth. The richest woman in America, worth around $100 million, she lived in a dumpy apartment in Hoboken, refused to pay for a doctor when her son broke his leg, and stole bread off the tables at restaurants.

1931- The Cab Calloway Orchestra recorded 'The St. James Infirmary Blues."

1937- In California the Del Mar Racetrack opened. Part owner singer Bing Crosby personally welcomed the first customers to his track.

1946- Millionaire aviator Howard Hughes crashed an experimental airplane into four homes in Beverly Hills. Hughes had crashed planes before without much injury, but this crash left him near death. His slow recuperation addicted him to morphine and codine.

1969- Brian Jones, having been kicked out of the Rolling Stones just days before -- drowns in his swimming pool. His home was once the estate of Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne. To this day, conspiracy theorists still insist foul play was involved. More likely, lots of drugs and depression.

1969- On the same day, John and Yoko are almost killed in a car crash, along with
John's son Julian and Yoko's daughter Kyoko.

1971- Rock singer Jim Morrison 28, found dead of a heart attack in his bathtub in Paris.

1978- The Supreme Court upheld the FCC’s reprimand of N.Y. Pacifica radio station WBAI’s airing of a George Carlin comedy routine called the “7 Deadly Words”, reciting expletives you cannot say on radio or television even today and I can’t write here.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is an ftp site?

Answer: File Transfer Protocol. A site to transfer, store and retrieve large digital files.

July 2nd, 2008 Weds
July 2nd, 2008

Another good review for Click & Clack.

now all we need is an audience.

Quiz: What is an ftp site?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is a full-bird colonel?
History for 7/2/2008
Birthdays: Bishop Thomas Cranmer (1429) , Christoph Witobald Gluck, Herman Hesse, Medgar Evers, Patrice Lamumba, Thurgood Marshall, Andrez Kertesz, Richard Petty, animator Abe Levitow, Ahmad Jamal, Cheryl Ladd, Jose Canseco, Jerry Hall, Imelda Marcos, Ron Silver, Brock Peters, Larry David, Lindsay Lohan is 22

6BC.-Feast of the Visitation- When the Virgin Mary visited Saint Elizabeth and confided in her that she was pregnant with baby Jesus. The Magnificat is Mary's reply to the Angel of the Annunciation--"Magnicifcat anima mea Dominum..." "My spirit doth magnify the Lord" Many great composers like Vivaldi and Bach wrote choral masses called Magnificats for this occasion.

1776- AMERICAN CONTINENTAL CONGRESS VOTES FOR INDEPENDENCE- Deep into a hot rainy Philadelphia night the delegates finally voted the ultimate break with the mother country. At this time most Americans still referred to England as 'home'. No colony had ever broken away from their mother country and become an independent nation. And as far as the document Thomas Jefferson had written, called the Declaration of Independence, there were 46 separate revisions. The Southern states would not vote until the anti-slavery clauses were dropped. A clause stating New England Protestants objecting to the tolerance of Roman Catholics was dropped. One cancer-wracked delegate rode 80 miles just to be there to effect the vote. The final vote was 12 colonies yay, 0-nay and New York abstaining, "The Business is Done." John Adams said.
Two days were spent cleaning up the documents revisions, and approving the final draft. John Adams always thought the great national celebration should be July 2nd, not the 4th, because to him that was the day the important vote happened.'

1789- Two weeks before the French Revolutionaries storm the Bastille, prisoner the Marquis DeSade was transferred to another jail after he grabbed one old inmates ear trumpet and recited out the window some sexual anecdotes about the warden to the laughing crowd below.

1881-PRESIDENTIAL ASSASINATION. President James Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau. Guiteau was a demented gov't worker who expected a job when Garfield was elected. He said he believed in "Bible-Communism" and that he worked for "Jesus & Company". When nobody took notice of him Guiteau decided to kill the President, then ask the Vice President Arthur for a job. On a platform at Washington's Union Station Charles Guiteau shot the President in the back, dropped his gun and announced:" I am the last Stalwart. Arthur is now President !" Garfield lingered three months in great pain before he died. Chester Allen Arthur was a political hack who's only job before being president was collector of tolls for the Port of New York. Woodrow Wilson called him" a nothing with whiskers". In fairness to Arthur he did help create civil-service qualifications and eliminate the corruptible spoils system. Standing next to Garfield when he was shot was Secretary of War Robert Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln. Convinced he was bad luck, Robert Lincoln never went near the White House again.

1890- The Sherman Anti-Trust Act passed. This law forbids business monopolies. J.P. Morgan said:"Trying to break up trusts is like trying to unscramble eggs!" It was invoked to break up Standard Oil (Exxon), Hollywood Studios in 1948, the ATT/Bell Telephone System and in 2000 against Bill Gates and Microsoft.

1900- THE FIRST MAN POWERED FLIGHT- No, not the Airplane, the Zeppelin. Count Von Zeppelin’s creation the LZ-1 made it’s first flight. The LZ-1 carries gently several passengers and mechanics 30 miles from Frederichshaven on Lake Constance to Immenstadt, making perfect time. By the time of the Hindenberg disaster there was a regular zeppelin service between Europe and Buenos Aires for years and it considered much safer than airplanes. But after the Hindenburg and the United States embargo of strategic helium Nazis Reischmarchal Herman Goring scraped what was left of the Zeppelin fleet in 1939.

1912- The First Automat restaurant.

1914- Under interrogation the 3 other Bosnian-Serb conspirators to the Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassination in Sarajevo confessed that they were members of the Black Hand, a terrorist group organized and paid covertly by the chief of Serbian intelligence. Scholars agree that if Austria had declared war on Serbia immediately no other nation would have intervened and World War One may not have had to happen. But because Austria prevaricated for weeks and insisted Germany had to help and provoke Russia, they began the tumbling of the great house of cards that caused the global disaster killing 22 million and contributing to a flu epidemic that killed a further 21 million. A popular best selling book of the time was called the Grand Illusion. It’s premise was that all the new networks of global finance and global diplomacy had made any new wars virtually impossible. After the war filmmaker Jean Renoir called his bitter anti-war film The Grand Illusion.

1927- The film Flesh and the Devil established a new star named Greta Garbo.

1934- Twentieth Century Fox signed a movie contract with child star Shirley Temple.

1937-AMELIA EARHART DISSAPPEARED. Over the Pacific near Howland Island the Coast Guard cutter Ithaca received the last radio signals from aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan. …."One half-hour fuel and no landfall in sight. We are in position….." Then nothing. They disappeared never to be found. There were all sorts of rumors, even that she was doing espionage for Washington and had been executed by the Japanese. In 1992 a scientist claims to have found 1930's era plane wreckage on a small waterless island near Java but the mystery is still considered unsolved.

1941- JAPAN OCCUPIED VIETNAM-When Germany defeated France in Europe, the French colony of Tonkin-Indochine stood alone in confusion. Should they take orders from Vichy or the Free-French exile government? Ignoring the protests of Britain and the United States the Japanese Army invaded Indochina. Japanese Admiral Yamamoto was a leader of the peace party with Prince Konoye trying to prevent the coming conflict. When he was told what the army had done without consulting the opposition parties, he just shrugged. He knew this would provoke America past the point of no return so he must start planning for a war with America.

1946-The Peace Treaty of Beverly Hills- SAG president Ronald Reagan brokers a labor settlement between the two rival Hollywood Unions, IATSE vs. CSU., temporarily ending a violent Hollywood strike. At this time Reagan went to work every day with a 32 mm Smith & Wesson under his coat.

1955-The Lawrence Welk T.V. Show debuts. wannaful,wannafull !

1961-In the foyer of his home in Ketchum Idaho, Nobel Prize winning writer Ernest Hemingway put a shotgun into his mouth and pulled the trigger. He blew most of his head off just leaving his lower jaw and some cheek. Papa Hemingway was always haunted by the suicide of his father. He was receiving electro-shock treatments at the Mayo Clinic for depression and alcoholism. He lived for awhile in Cuba and his office in Cuba is still kept by Fidel Castro the way he left it, even protecting the hordes of cats sired by Hemingway's original pair. In 1996 his granddaughter supermodel Margaux Hemingway committed suicide almost to the day.

1992- THE GREAT FLYING LAWNCHAIR- San Pedro resident Larry Walters flew 16,000 feet in the air in his lawnchair. He strapped 45 helium weather balloons to his chair and took along a sixpack of beer, a sandwich and a pellet gun. After his two hour flight he got entangled in some power lines. He was later fined by the FAA for violating LAX commercial airport airspace.

1998- In Paris during World Cup soccer, Mexican fan Rodrigo Rafael Ortega was arrested for drunkenly urinating on the eternal flame in honor of Frances Great War dead. The eternal flame had burned continuously since 1921, even the Nazi occupiers left it alone. Ortega was the first to ever put it out. Once again international soccer proves its ability to bring peoples together.
Yesterdays’ Quiz: What is a full-bird colonel?

Answer: In the U.S. Army, the insignia for a colonel is an eagle symbol. The rank above Lieutenant Colonel and below Brigader General is a full Colonel, or in the slang term, a full bird colonel.

Today, one of the most popular articles on Yahoo news is about our Click & Clack show.;_ylt=AtEXKhge9TX1O4RBv_7xcKgDW7oF