February 12, 2007 Darwin Day
February 12th, 2007

Birthdays: Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin are born on the same day in 1809 although an ocean apart, Joe Garagiola, Luigi Boccherini, John L. Lewis, Bill Russell, Franco Zeffirelli, Lorne Greene, Joe Don Baker, Arsenio Hall, Christina Ricci is 27

1809 -Happy Lincoln's Birthday, Because of Richard Nixon’s law creating President’s Day in 1970, you do not have today off as a holiday. One of my favorite Lincoln quotes is :" If I'm supposed to be two-faced why did I settle for this one?"

1924- RHAPSODY IN BLUE- Big Band leader Paul Whiteman had commissioned a rhapsody for Jazz Band from the famous composer George Gershwin. Tonight at a concert at the Aeolian Hall in New York City it premiered in a long bill of "Modern Music". Also on the bill was jazz interpretations of "Yes We have no Bananas" and "Kitten on the Keys." Sergei Rachmaninoff, Fritz Kriesler, Igor Stravinsky and Leopold Stokowski were in attendance.
Interestingly enough Gershwin’s orchestrator was Ferde Grofe’ the composer famous for the Grand Canyon Suite. It was Grofes’ idea to bring in a jazzman named Ross Gorman to do the opening clarinet solo. While rehearsing the piece Gorman took Gershwin’s opening 17 note ascent and ‘smeared’ the riff to the long high note, creating the famous opening. Gershwin liked it so much he told him to play it always that way. Gershwin was originally going to call his piece Concert Rhapsody for Jazz Band & Piano or American Rhapsody but his brother Ira Gershwin was inspired by some Whistler paintings he saw recently at a museum called Nocturne in Blue and Green and Harmony in Grey and Green. He suggested Rhapsody in Blue.

1947- THE BIRTH OF THE 'NEW LOOK' The Paris fashion show where designer Christian Dior defined the look for women of the 1950s into the early 60's: Wasp waists, gloves and patent leather accessories, pleated mid length skirts.

1967- London police arrest Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Marianne Faithful for doing drugs and doin’the nasty.

1976- actor Sal Mineo was killed outside his car port in West Hollywood. Marylin Monroe and Shelley Winters once shared an apartment in the same building. Mineo's murder remained unsolved for many years and there were rumors that he was done in by a gay acquaintance, but the killer turned out to be a routine robber who wanted money.

2001- The Near Spacecraft landed on Eros, an orbiting asteroid. The first
landing on an asteroid.

2006- New York City has a record breaking snowfall of almost 27 inches.

One More...
February 11th, 2007

Mark Mayerson reminded me that Eva Gabor of course was Miss Bianca in Disney's 1977 the Rescuers!
How could I fergit?

February 11th, Annie Award Day!
February 11th, 2007

Congrads to Bill Plympton and Andreas Deja for their lifetime awards!

QUIZ- Of todays birthdays, did any ever voice an animated film? If so, what were they?
Birthdays: Thomas Edison, Leslie Nielsen, Eva Gabor, Tina Louise-Ginger on Gilligans Island, Rudolph Firkusny, Joe Mankewicz, Sidney Sheldon, Burt Reynolds, Sergio Mendes of the band Brazil 66, Al Eugster, Brandy Norwood, Bobby Picket -who recorded the Monster Mash, Jennifer Aniston is 38

1789- In Italy William Short wrote his friend Thomas Jefferson that as per his request he had obtained for him a pasta mold. The first known introduction of pasta in America.

1936- Famed German Expressionist animator Oscar Fishinger fled Germany for the U.S.

1948- Famed Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein died of a heart attack.

1963- Bell Jar author Sylvia Plath laid out bread and butter and two glasses of milk for her children, then stuck her head into an oven and committed suicide. Her poet husband Ted Hughes who had abandoned her waited until 1998 to tell his side of the story. Hughes wrote stories for his children like The Iron Giant.

1976-Chuck Jone’s tv special “Mowgli’s Brothers.”

1995- Disney Studios planned neighborhood suburban community Celebration opened.

2003- A small satellite named U-Map studying the faint glow at the center of the Universe calculated the exact age of the Universe to be 13.7 billion years old. That stars first appeared at 200 million years after the Big Bang and that the Universe will ultimately expand forever, not crunch back in on itself or explode in one big cataclysm.

2005- Playwright Arthur Miller died at 90.

2006- While hunting for quail, Vice President Dick Cheney shot his hunting partner in the face. After being treated for buckshot in his face and body, the victim, an attorney named Whittington, apologized to Cheney. Cheney became the first Vice President since Aaron Burr in 1804 to shoot someone while in office.
QUIZ- Of todays birthdays, did any ever voice an animated film? If so, what were they?

ANSWER: Burt Reynolds did Charley in All Dogs Go to Heaven, Brandy Norwood did Leia in Osmosis Jones, and Jennifer Aniston did Mom in the Iron Giant.

February 10, 2007 saturday
February 10th, 2007

Birthdays: Jimmy Durante the Great Schozzolla, Bertholdt Brecht, Leontyne Price, Roberta Flack, Bill Tilden, Lon Chaney Jr., Stella Adler, Mark Spitz, Boris Pasternak, Dame Judith Anderson,Donavan, Dr Alex Comfort author of the Joy of Sex, George Stephanopolos, Michael Apted, Jerry Goldsmith, Robert Wagner, Laura Dern is 40

1840- English Queen Victoria marries a minor German prince named Albert of Saxe Coburg-Gotha. It becomes a real love-match and they produce children who will occupy the thrones of Europe. Their common belief in strong moral values above all transform English society into something truly Victorian. Albert set men’s fashion trends like tuxedos, neckties and sideburns; he also introduced to Britain and later to America the German custom of Christmas trees. He also is the origin of the famous dumb joke: "Do you have Prince Albert in a can? Well, Let him out!! " yuk, yuk...

1846- After their temples in Navoo Illinois were burned by mobs, the Mormons under Brigham Young set off for their trek to Utah.

1862- After a hard night partying with fellow poet Swinburne, pre-Raphaelite Dante Rossetti returned home to find his wife dead of an opium overdose.

1863- Alanson Crane invented the Fire Extinguisher.

1920- Major League Baseball banned the spitball pitch.

1929- Elsa Lanchester married Charles Laughton.

1938- RKO screwball comedy with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant “ Bringing Up Baby” premiered.

1940-MGM's "Puss gets the boot" the first Tom and Jerry cartoon and the first collaboration of the team of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.

1949- The premiere of Arthur Miller’s play "Death of a Salesman".

1966- CBS co-ops broadcasting the senate Kennan Hearings on the conduct of the Vietnam War with reruns of "I Love Lucy'. CBS news division president Fred Friendly quits in protest.

1966-Jaqueline Susanne’s novel The Valley of the Dolls first published. Although critics considered it cheap and trashy- Time Magazine called it “Dirty Book of the Month” and Truman Capote called Susanne in her heavy sixties eyeshadow a “Truck Driver in Drag” Valley of the Dolls sold like wildfire. Its frank portrayal of single women enjoying casual sex and taking drugs was a big step in the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.

1993- Former black man Michael Jackson told Oprah Winfrey in a television interview that he wasn’t deliberately trying to whiten his skin but he was suffering from a rare pigment disease. And what about that nose?

1992- The children’s book- The Stinky Cheese Man debuted.

-In the News today- The Wall Street Journal online has an interesting article about how Steve Jobs may have handled Pixar stock options to encourage John Lasseter to re-up. This was around the time Eisner was trying to get John to jump ship and take over Disney Burbank, which has happened anyway, just without Eisner.

-Mark Mayerson printed a great quote by Don Graham from 1937 that could be applied to Mo-Cap today.
-Jerry Beck's Cartoon Brew has a report from the Disney stockholders meeting in Fla about the upcoming Disney feature films.
Can you say- Toy Story III?
Use my links page to go there.

I'll be flying to Boston this weekend to start work on a new TV series, announcement to come. Gotta pack my longjohns, I heard it's a bit nippy.
Birthdays: Constantine XI Paleaologos- the last Byzantine Emperor 1404, President William Henry Harrison, Samuel Tilden, Carmen Miranda, Alban Berg, Ronald Colman, Mia Farrow, Ernest Tubb, King Vidor, Mamie Van Doren, Roger Mudd, Illustrator Alberto Vargas, Carole King, Bill Veeck, Fred Harman, Joe Pesci is 64, Zhang Zhi-Yi., Painter Frank Frazetta, Mena Suvari is 28

1856- An early tabloid The London Illustrated News reported a live Pterodactyl dinosaur popped out of a rock and flew away when workers were excavating a railroad tunnel in Culmont France. Believe it or Not!

1964- Ed Sullivan introduced the English rock band the Beatles to the U.S. TV audience. It was a "Rrrreally Big Shewww!" ( Sullivan’s signature line)

1967- The" Lindsay Snowstorm". John Lindsay was the handsome if confused mayor of New York in the sixties of whom the Robert Redford character in "The Candidate" was partially based. He tried to cut budget expenses by stripping New York of it's snowplow fleet, thinking they were unnecessary. The city was immediately paralyzed by 14 inches of snow. Plows had to be brought from as far as Montreal. He should have listened to his young student intern, Jeffrey Katzenberg.

1968-"You did it! You Finally did it! Oh, Damn you all to Hell!!" the film the Planet of the Apes with a naked Charlton Heston premiered.

1971- The Sylmar Quake (6.8) rocks L.A.

1989- In testimony before the New Jersey State Senate World Wrestling Federation officials including President Vince McMahon admit that the sport of wrestling is purely entertainment and no one actually gets hurt. I’m shocked, shocked!

1990- Singer Del Shannon, who had a hit with the 1961 song Runaway, shot himself with a 22 rifle. Del Shannon was supposed to replace Roy Orbison in the Travelling Wilbury's, the group that featured Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynn. Orbison had died the previous year of heart failure and the Wilburys were starting to rehearse with Del Shannon. After Shannon's suicide, the group decided to disband.

1996- German World War Two figther ace Adolf Galland died at age 86. While other aces had skulls or dice painted on their planes, Galland preferred a Mickey Mouse on the tail of his Messerschmidt. Ach Adolf, ist dat der RAF on your tail? Nein, izt der Disney Legal Department! Himmel!

2001- Actor Tom Cruise filed for divorce from his wife actress Nicole Kidman.