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October 21st, 2007 sat
October 21st, 2007

So, the WGA, or the Writers Guild, has voted by 93 % to strike after their contract runs out Oct 31st. The DGA and SAG are also in negotiations.

QUIZ: Why is a work stoppage called a strike?
Birthdays: Katushika Hokusai, Dizzy Gillespie, Whitey Ford, Alfred Nobel, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Carrie Fisher, Patty Davis (Ronnie Reagan's daughter), Benjamin Netanyahu, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Manfred Mann, Sir Georg Solti, Angus MacFadyen, Ken Watanabe, Judge Judy

Today is the FEAST OF SAINT URSULA AND THE ELEVEN THOUSAND VIRGINS, one of the sillier medieval legends. Supposedly on the way back from a pilgrimage to Rome the saintly daughter of a Mercian (English) king had spurned the attentions of the King of the Huns so he massacred her and all eleven thousand of her handmaids.
Earliest accounts of the incident say she had only ten servants.

1492- San Salvador. Christopher Columbus writes on this day in his diary about the new land he is exploring: " We must have found Eden. I think men shall never see this place again as we have seen it." Within 50 years of Columbus's discovery, the Indian tribe that welcomed him on the beach, the Taino, were extinct.

1520- Fernan' de Magellan sails into the Straights named for him to the Pacific.

1805- TRAFALGAR- Admiral Nelson destroyed Napoleon's naval power in one huge battle off the southwestern coast of Spain. Trafalgar is a vulgarization of the Arabic " Al-Taraff Al-Agharr" or " The Fair Point.” Nelson began by raising the signal flags "England expects every man to do his duty." One of Nelson's toughest captains, Sir John Collingwood said: "What the devil is Nelson about ? We already know that!" In the heat of the battle the one-eyed, one armed Lord Nelson strode up and down the poop deck in his full dress uniform to inspire his men. He loved medals, he even had one that spun around. He not only inspired the English Tars but also the French sharpshooters who shot him down. He received the news of the victory as he lay dying and said:" The day is ours, kiss me Hardy." Hardy was captain of the flagship HMS Victory . French Admiral Villeneuve, whom Napoleon goaded into fighting by threatening to courts-martial him as a 'Coward, Idiot and Traitor" left the service after the defeat and later committed suicide. When they took Nelson's body back to England they bent it into a brandy barrel for preservation, which has since been incorrectly called a rum barrel. Which is why rum is known as "Nelson's Blood". Shiver me Timbers!

1837- The Second Seminole War ends. The US government conducted three long wars to remove the Seminole Indian Nation from their Florida homelands. The most famous Seminole leader was Osceola, who ran a guerrilla campaign for 7 years in the Florida swamps that frustrated American leaders like Andrew Jackson, Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor. Finally treachery was used to bring him down. General Jessup asked Osceola to come to a conference under a white flag of truce and when the chief appeared he had him arrested and imprisoned. Despite good treatment Osceola was dead by January, it was said he Willed himself to death. Seminole resistance continued under his allied chiefs Alligator and Billy Bowlegs until 1842.

1861- Battle of Balls Bluff. The only thing remembered about this Civil War skirmish was the death of President Lincoln's family friend Edward Baker. Another man wounded was a young lieutenant who would one day become a great Supreme Court Justice- Oliver Wendell Holmes. Holmes later wrote- 'sitting under a tree with two bullet wounds pouring out blood I decided to pass the time while waiting for the ambulance by beginning a debate in my mind about the existence or non-existence of the Afterlife. My final decision was -Damned if I Know !" In later years Holmes called war an “ Organized Bore.”

1879- Thomas Edison announced the invention of the Light Bulb. After experimenting with dozens of different type filaments in a vacuum Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb with carbonized cotton . He and his crew stared at the glowing bulb for 40 hours to make sure it was really worked.

1932- The film Red Dust premiered. It made stars out of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.

1937- A quack medicine called Sulfalitimide sold in stores poisoned dozens of people including children. It was found to have the same ingredients as antifreeze. The incident sparked the first Food and Drug legislation in the U.S. preventing medicines being released to the public without first being tested.

1939- Turkey enraged Hitler and Mussolini when contrary to their participation in World War One they opted to break with the Axis and remain neutral in World War Two.

1959- Six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright his last creation the Guggenheim Museum in New York City opened.

1972- Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack theme to the movie “Superfly” debuted at Number #1 in the Billboard charts.

1985- San Francisco Mayor George Mosconi and openly gay City Supervisor Harvey Milk are shot dead by clerk Dan White. White got off on an insanity plea using the "Twinkie Defense" that junk food raised his blood sugar to such an extent that he went nuts. He served a 5 years in prison, moved to Orange County and committed suicide.

2003- The Great California Brush Fires. Hot dry wind and a lost hunter ignited the worst brush fires in California history. Ten fires from Ventura County to Tijuana Mexico burned hundreds of thousands of acres for two weeks, destroyed 3000 homes and killed 20. The smoke clouds were visible from outer space.


Quiz: Why is a work stoppage called a strike?

Answer: In the English Navy in the 1500-1600s, despite how dangerous the job was, the sailors were paid infrequently, if at all. Sometimes the sailors refused to put to sea until they were paid. They demonstrated their anger by “striking the sails”, letting the ropes go loose so the sails and yards fell to the deck, making it impossible to leave. Thus, a strike.