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June 10th, 2008 Tuesday
June 10th, 2008

Congratulations to my student Shih-Ting Hung of USC for winning the Gold prize at the Student Academy Awards for her film Viola: The Traveling Rooms of a Little Giant

Congratulations also to my UCLA student Melissa Graziano for winning Best of Prom for her film Love on the Line at the Prom 2008 held at the workshop last week.

Congratulations also to the Kung Fu Panda gang for winning big-ass box-office bucks this past weekend.



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Quiz: Why are bad guys called thugs?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What are the modern names of these cities? Peking, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Salisbury Rhodesia?
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History for 6/10/2008
Birthdays: Charles James Stuart the Old Pretender, Yamaoka Tesshu (1832- Japanese swordsman), Saul Bellow, Judy Garland, Hattie McDaniel, Frederick Loewe (of Lerner & Loewe),Bob Cummings-Love that Bob! F. Lee Bailey, Howlin’ Wolf, Dan Fouts, Maurice Sendak, Gina Gershon is 46, Leilee Sobieski is 25, Jean Triplehorn is 45, Jurgen Prochnow, John Edwards, Britain’s Prince Phillip, Elizabeth Hurley is 43

1682- English colonists in Connecticut observed a phenomenon unique to the Americas, a dark windstorm taking the form of a funnel. The first recorded Tornado.

1750- Francois Voltaire accepted the invitation of King Frederick the Great of Prussia to come live at his court. French King Louis XV commented : “ Now there will be one less nut in Versailles and one more nut in Berlin.” The friendship between Frederick and Voltaire is fascinating- night after night over dinner, the enlightened gay despot matched wits with the commoner who was the greatest philosophical mind of the century. When Voltaire argued that the world would be better off with no religion or belief in God King Frederick retorted:” But my dear Voltaire, if you did away with God, then common people would raise statues to you and pray to them.” At times Voltaire’s arguments would get Frederick so angry that the Frenchman would flee fearing for his life. Frederick ordered the borders closed and sent a troop of cavalry to drag him back, so they could finish their arguement.

1752- BEN FRANKLIN FLIES HIS KITE- The wizard of Philadelphia was not the actual discoverer of electricity, Leyden Jars and Volta's experiments predate him. He did make the connection between lightning and electric currents and created the lightning rod and the first electric battery. He didn't tell anyone about the kite experiment until 15 years later for fear people would think him a silly fellow. There’s a famous painting of Ben with his kite being assisted by his young child William. In actuality William was about thirty at the time and during the Revolution he became Royalist Governor of New Jersey and couldn’t stand his old man.

1776- The great English actor David Garrick went on stage for the last time, playing in a benefit for the Decayed Actor’s Fund. Hmm, I wonder if could start a Decayed Animator’s Fund….

1847 –The Chicago Tribune begins publishing.

1860- The Comstock Lode- Near Virginia City Nevada Two grubstake miners, one named Old Pancake McGaughlin hit a vein of silver so big and pure that it will eventually yield $300 million dollars worth of ore and make millionaires of men like William Randolph Hearst's father.

1865- Wagners opera Tristan und Isolde premiered in Munich. To meet the demands of Wagners music the orchestra needed to be so much larger than usual that they had to take out the first two rows of seats to enlarge the orchestra pit. Conductor Franz Von Bulow , whose wife Cosima was busy schtupping Maestro Wagner at the time, committed a brilliant blunder when he announced within earshot of the news reporters:"Take out the seats! One or two extra schweinhunts won't matter!" Not the way to get good reviews..

1910- The first Krazy Kat comic strip- Cartoonist George Herriman was doing a strip for Hearst called "The Family Upstairs". He was amused at the idea of a friendship between a cat and a mouse. So Herriman put them in the corner playing marbles while the family quarreled. First an office boy and later editor Arthur Brisbane suggested they have their own strip. The immortality of the denizens of Coconino County follows, loved by the likes of H.L.Mencken, e.e.cummings and Jacques Kerouac. Krazy herself explains:"It's wot's behind me that I am."

1926- Artist Antonio Gaudi was run over by a streetcar while crossing in front of his famous cathedral in Barcelona. Begun in 1886 The Cathedral Sacreda Familia is still scheduled for completion- in the year 2035.

1939 - Barney Bear, cartoon character, by MGM, debuts

1944- A USO troop was entertaining soldiers in Normandy from the back of a truck but they needed a piano player. They called out to the audience if anyone could play. A shy cattle rancher’s son from Modesto California came up and played so well his colonel ordered him out of the line to form his own G.I. band. Dave Breubeck’s jazz career began.

1945- General Eisenhower was given a massive ticker tape parade down Broadway in New York City. Looking down on Ike from an office building 20 floors up, was a rumpled Navy Reserve Second Lieutenant named Richard Nixon.

1947- Sweden’s Saab motorcar company introduced it’s first model car. Saab in neutral Sweden had made planes and tanks for World War Two, but after the war was over they recognized that combat was not a growth industry and they switched to autos.

1948- Chuck Yeager exceeds the speed of sound in the Bell XS-1 Glamorous Glennis.

1948- THE JOHNSON CITY WINDMILL- Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson was trying to win a senate seat from Texas but he was lagging far behind a popular ex-governor named Coke Stevenson. So he hit upon a novel way of campaigning. He hired a helicopter and barnstormed the rural towns and districts of the Texas hill country. People came out just to see the newfangled flying machine land and take off and this gave Johnson a captive audience. They nicknamed it the Johnson City Flying Windmill. Johnson also mounted a massive outlay of posters and pamphlets. LBJ told his staff:” Ah don’t want a voter to wipe his ass with a piece of paper that ain’t got my face on it!” He pulled even to Stevenson and with a little extra ballot box skullduggery won the election.

1957- “Tom Terrific and Manfred the Wonder Dog” cartoon debuts on the Captain Kangaroo show.

1980- Comedian Richard Pryor had been doing so much cocaine even his dealers were worried about him. This day, while trying to freebase he exploded in flame, and ran screaming down his street. Another version of the story said he tried to commit suicide by pouring tequila on himself and setting it alight. During his long recovery in the Sherman Oaks burn unit his nurse once put on the news and he watched CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite report his death. `He thought to himself: "If Walter Cronkite said I died, it must be true !" He recovered but developed Muscular Dystrophy in the late 1990s.

1995-110,000 people jam Central Park in New York to see Disney's Pocahontas, the largest audience ever to attend a single movie premiere.
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Yesterday’s Question: What are the modern names of these cities? Peking, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Salisbury Rhodesia?

Answer: Beijing, St Petersburg, Volgograd, Harare Zimbabwe.


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