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August 13, 2012 mon
August 13th, 2012



We heard cartoonist Joe Kubert has passed away at age 85. It brought back memories of the 1960s, buying Sgt Rock and Enemy Ace comicbooks, and sitting at my kitchen table trying to copy his style of drawing. He had a great style that was gritty, yet had warmth and humanity. A great artist, and teacher. I envy all those who went to his New Jersey School. RIP Mr. Kubert.


Quiz: Why is physical comedy called slapstick?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: In France in the 1930s there was a style of cabaret dancing, where the man dragged the woman by the hair, threw her down and otherwise roughed her up. What was it called?
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History for 8/13/2012
B-Dayz: Annie Oakley, Alfred Hitchcock, Don Ho, Buddy Rogers, Bert Lahr, Ben Hogan, Richard Baseheart, Saul Steinberg, Regis Toomey, Johann Christoph Denner (1655)- inventor of the clarinet. Danny Bonaduce, John Logie Baird one of the inventors of television, Hockey great Bobby Clarke, Daniel Schorr, Bombay movie star Viyayanthimala, Fidel Castro is 86

Egyptian Festivals of Isis & Serapis

Festival of the Greek goddess Dianna of Ephesus. She had six breasts. During one of these festivals Saint Paul tried to spoil the party by preaching his sermon to the Ephesians. They ran him out of town. Diana in her Greek form as Artemis from the older Near Eastern goddess Cybele. She had the dual nature of Virgin & Mother. Hmm…Sound familiar?

These three pagan festivals of Isis, Serapis and Artemis were in the Middle Ages converted into the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. In the Italian city-state of Sienna this is the date for the Pallio, the traditional horse race through the streets in medieval splendor.

Today is also the Feast Day of Saint Cassian, the Patron Saint of Stenographers.

1521- The Aztecs surrender to Cortez. After Montezuma was killed the Aztecs chose Guatamoc as their new emperor and he drove the conquistadors from their capital Tenochtitlan vowing:" We will eat the Spaniards flesh with salsa ! " remember that next time you order fajitas. But smallpox ravaged the population and Cortez soon returned with heavy reinforcements of allied Indian tribes from Texcoco who hated Aztec dominance. After 80 days of bloody house to house fighting that destroyed most of the capitol. Guatamoc and a few survivors surrendered. Cortez built Mexico City on the ruins.

1642- Astronomer Christian Huygens noticed that Mars had a southern polar ice cap too.

1727- Count Nicholas Von Hutzendroff formed a group of Bohemian Protestant refugees into the movement Unas Fratrum or the Moravian Brethren. The Moravians strict but gentle practices were a great influence on Pastor John Wesley who created Methodism.

1790-The PEOPLE OF NEW SPAIN BECOME MEXICANS. almost 269 years after the Aztec surrendered workmen in Mexico City were clearing a building site for a convent when they unearthed a giant statue of the snake skirted Aztec goddess Tonnantzin Coatlicue. The find galvanized Mexican society. Indians and Mestizos crowded around the statue and recalled their once mighty civilization. Worried Spanish colonial authorities quickly reburied the statue but the damage was done.
Dominican monk Servando De Meir preached that the Aztec god Quetzalcoatal was actually St.Thomas the Wandering Apostle so that Mexico was Christian before Spain. Twenty years later when Father Hidalgo rang the liberty bells he called for revolution in the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonnantzin. The people of New Spain named their country after the old Aztec name Mexica or Mexico.

1805- LEWIS GETS LAID, or, THE END OF A MYSTERY-historians have always puzzled why Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark's famous trek to the Pacific, killed himself in a lonely cabin on the Natchez Trace in 1809. Lewis was a personal protege of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe and was first Governor of Upper Louisiana -everything from Missouri to Wyoming. He was likely to one day become President. Yet despite his coolness under extreme hardship after his death stories evolved about his manic-depression, alcoholism or even that he was murdered.

Recently a Seattle scholar theorized that on this day in 1805 he spent the night with a Shoshone woman to celebrate getting safely across the Continental Divide. The Shoshone regarded sexual contact as hospitality and that particular tribe was known to be rife with syphilis. Lewis subsequent illnesses and his increasing suicidal depression was clinically symptomatic with the final stages of the disease. And this would also explains why Jefferson and Captain William Clark would have been so quick to hush up any further investigation of his death, even resorting to calling Lewis an alcoholic, which in those days had far less social stigma than a venereal disease.

1845- Commodore Stockton with a contingent of U.S. Marines rode up from his fleet in San Pedro Harbor to Ciudad Los Angeles. Without any orders from Washington he interrupted a local fiesta to inform the startled inhabitants that they were now part of the United States.

1889- The first coin operated telephone set up in a Hartford Conn. bank.

1907-The first motorized TAXICABS hit the streets of New York. Taxi comes from Taximeter, a little machine that tallied the fare based on distance traveled. Cab is short for the earlier form of hired horse drawn carriage. Originally called a Cabriolet, then a brand name of Hansom Cabs, then just Cabs.

1910- Florence Nightingale dies after being in sickbed convinced she was dying since age 37. She died at 90. Although claiming to be too sick to walk down a flight of stairs she worked ceaselessly reforming the army medical system, founding nursing colleges and drove several friends into early graves in the cause of medical reform. She created the ideal of the clean cut, disciplined nurse professional.

1914 - Carl Wickman begins Greyhound, the 1st US bus line, in Minnesota.

1920- PONZI SCHEMES- This day U.S. investors attacked the offices of financier Charles Ponzi, demanding their money back. Carlo Ponzi had emigrated from Italy and came up with the idea of talking investors into giving him money without being specific about how he would make them rich. He used the millions to buy suits, cars and mansions. Like all pyramid schemes this one finally blew up. Ponzi spent some jail time and was deported. Mussolini gave him a job in the finance ministry and Ponzi proceeded to embezzle another fortune. He escaped to Brazil where he died comfortably in 1949. He gave his name to the term Ponzi Schemes.

1932- German President Von Hindenberg had a fifteen minute meeting with Adolf Hitler. He rebuked Hitler for tying up the Reichstag and the violence in the streets. Hitler refused any partial role in the government short of full power. After Hitler left, the old general grumbled:" That man for a Chancellor? I’d rather make him a postmaster so he could lick stamps with my head on it!"

1934- First Little Abner comic strip by Al Capp. Dogpatch, Mammy Yokum, Daisey Mae, Kickapoo Joy Juice, Jubilation T. Cornpone and the Schmoo are born. Al Capp was a hard drinking old curmudgeon of a cartoonist who lost one leg when as a child he fell off a streetcar. He used to bring young women into his office for "interviews" and would signal the boys in the copy room he had scored by letting his wooden leg drop loudly to the floor. In his old age he gloried in being a right wing chauvinist who got into arguments with radical pop stars like John Lennon.

1937- The Japanese army reopened its’ campaign to conquer China by mass daylight bombing of Shanghai.

1941- James Stuart Blackton certainly had an interesting career. The English born artist became a top newspaper cartoonist, a vaudevillian drag act as Mademoiselle Stuart, the first American animator, founder of the Vitagraph Company, the movie fanzine Motion Picture World. He even successfully faked a newsreel of the battle of Manila Bay in 1898 using toy boats, sparklers and cigar smoke. He made fortunes and lost them just as quickly. On this day, penniless, he was struck and killed by a bus on Pico Blvd.

1942 Disney's Bambi opened in theaters nationwide. Today the film looks quaint but in its time artists felt it was as realistic as artists could attain. Designer Rico LeBrun had a hunter friend bring in a real deer he shot in the Sierras. LeBrun set up drawing and anatomy sessions to study the dead animal. But LeBrun was so inspired by the opportunity he refused to dispose of the carcass even after several days it began to smell badly and attract flies. Finally the other animators waited until LeBrun had left for lunch and tossed the rancid thing.

1945-After the atomic bombings Japan prepared to surrender. A note delivered to the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo expressed the wish of the Imperial Japanese Government to accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. Emperor Hirohito pre-recorded a radio message to prepare his people for something they had never faced since the days of Kublai Khan- foreign occupation .

1946- MGM cartoon Northwest Hounded Police, the short in which Tex Avery perfected the 'Tex Avery Take" - used since in films like Mask, Roger Rabbit and Casper.

1955- Shooting wrapped on Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. He was remaking the film he had done as a silent movie in 1925. One wag said: DeMille has done God one better, because he has now parted the Red Sea twice."

1960- French West Africa declared independence from France and became the nations of Chad and the Central African Republic.

1991- Jack Ryan died. The Toymaker was the inventor of Hot Wheels toy cars, and helped launch the doll Barbie.

2000- In a presidential debate with AL Gore, candidate George W. Bush attacked the Clinton presidency for being too quick to use the military. Bush declared “ The U.S. should not be in the business of nation building.”
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Yesterday’s Question: In France in the 1930s there was a style of cabaret dancing, where the man dragged the woman by the hair, threw her down and otherwise roughed her up. What was it called?

Answer: A street gang in Paris at the beginning of the XX century called themselves Aw-pacshe or Apaches. Their rough style of tango was called Apache Dancing, and emulated by many.


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