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July 08, 2008
July 8th, 2008

Yesterday, The National Rifle Association, attacked the Walt Disney Company for its policy of not allowing park employees to bring their guns to work.

The late, great, Ollie Johnston told me once:" There is more humor in the streets than you could ever write. You just have to listen."


Yo Thumper, you got any Glock 9mm hollowpoint... .

final color of engineers booth.


My early concept for Beth's office

the Premiere of Click & Clacks As the Wrench Turns is tomorrow!
Good News!If we do have to premiere at 10pm in NY and LA, at least the Daily Show and Colbert are still on vacation!!


Quiz: The California town of Goleta ( north of Santa Barbara) is in the news because of the brush fires. But Goleta has a connection with events in World War Two. What is it?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Which American leaders were given these Indian names? A- Son of the Morning Star. B-Sharp Knife, C-Dark Eagle, D- Burner of Villages.
History for 7/8/2008
B-Dazes: Jean de LaFontaine the creator of Puss & Boots, John D. Rockefeller Sr, Nelson Rockefeller, Kathe Kollwitz, Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin, Louis Jordan, Billy Eckstine, Steve Lawrence, Percy Grainger, Cynthia Gregory, Phillip Johnson, Kim Darby, Marty Feldman, Roone Arledge, Kevin Bacon, Billy Crudup, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Angelica Huston, Raffi

951AD Happy Birthday Paris!. The Roman city of Lutetia-muddy place- was built on the site of a Gaulish village inhabited by a tribe called the Parisi. This date was when the Franks established a castle on the present day site of the Louvre. Despite Viking raids and floods the city slowly began to grow.

1386- The Battle of Sembach- Leopold of Austria discovers why you leave the Swiss alone and let them stay neutral. His army of knights were intent on chastising this land of uppity goat herders and was destroyed instead. They at first held off the raging Schwyzers with a wall of spears. But then legend has it that great hero and really big schwyzer Arnold von Winkelreid shouted "Brothers! Take care of my wife and children!" and gathered up a dozen enemy spear points and shoved them into his own chest. As he pulled them down with him that opened a gap in the Austrian line that the Swiss swarmed through to victory.
Duke Leopold was found in a ditch with a battleaxe stuck in his face and two more rammed up his ass. The Hapsburg family, who entombed him a huge cathedral, made him the martyred saint of the family.

1822- Poet Percy Shelley drowned when a storm sank his yacht the Simon Bolivar off Leghorn, Italy. His body was cremated but his heart was embalmed in lead and presented to his wife Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley. Lord Byron swam offshore during the cremation so they could observe Shelley's spirit rising to Heaven.

1835- The Liberty Bell cracked. It rang for the Declaration of Independence and was being rung for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.

1838- THE TRAIL OF TEARS- Cherokee Removal Treaty goes into effect. President Andrew Jackson, Indian name: "Sharp Knife", forced the entire Cherokee Nation to evacuate Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. 17,000 people were marched to Oklahoma. One third died along the way. The token amounts paid for their land could not help their heartbreak at leaving their ancestral home. Large warriors would touch or kiss trees as they trudged away to the amusement of the soldiers. The Supreme Court ruled the harassment of the Cherokee Nation was unconstitutional but President Jackson ignored them. Jackson said:" Chief Justice Marshal has ruled, now let him try to enforce it." One Georgia man later said:" I fought through the Civil War and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered in the thousands, but the Cherokee Removal was the cruelest work I ever knew."

1889-The Wall Street Journal first published.

1889- The last great bareknuckle championship fight. John L. Sullivan defeated Jack Kilrain in Mississippi for a purse of $20,000. After 60 rounds one of Sullivan’s eyes was shut, he was covered with welts and blood was showing above his shoes. When his manager recommended declaring a draw Sullivan said:" Hell no. I want to kill him!" He won after 75 rounds. Sullivan was one of the first flamboyant prizefighters and the first American fighter to declare himself Champion of the World. He’d travel from town to town building his legend:"I’m John L. Sullivan and I can lick any man in the house!"

1896- William Jennings Bryan"the Son of the Plains", electrifies listeners at the Democratic Convention with a speech denouncing the gold standard: "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!" Whether federal currency should be backed by gold or cheaper silver divided Americans along class lines. Modern people only recall Bryan as the attorney Clarence Darrow made look silly in the Scopes "Monkey Trials". But Bryan was a fiery populist orator and strong rogue political force who made several tries at the Presidency. He was a Ralph Nader with Pat Robertson and some Ethel Merman thrown in.

1907-The First Ziegfield Follies, staged on the roof of the New York Theater, now called the New Amsterdam Theater.

1911- Burbank incorporated as a city.

1918- A young American ambulance driver serving in Italy during the First World War gets badly wounded by shrapnel fire. His name was Ernest Hemingway. His long recovery and love affair with his nurse he later worked into his novel "A Farewell To Arms".

1922- Horn player Louis Armstrong left his hometown of New Orleans to go to Chicago and play in King Oliver’s Jazz band.

1932- THE DEPRESSION STOCK MARKET HITS ROCK BOTTOM - free falling since the Great Crash of October 1929, and compounded by the Harley-Smoot trade act of 1931, which started a trade war that killed off overseas exports. From a Dow Jones high in the Roaring Twenties of 262, today’s average hit bottom at 58 (today the Dow is routinely over 10,000 ).Only 720,278 shares exchanged. One local club wallpapered the bar with unsold bond certificates. The Bond market lost around ten million in value, Total output of heavy industries like steel production were working at only 12% of capacity. 20% of the U.S. workforce was unemployed, 50% of New York City, 80% of industrial cities like Detroit and Toledo. Top Wall Street securities firms like Morgan and Salomon Brothers encouraged "Apple Days"- one day a week for brokers to go on the street to sell apples to supplement their income. One songwriter wrote a song about the unpopularity of stock traders: " Please Don't Tell Mother I Work on Wall Street, She Thinks I Play Piano in a WhoreHouse. " The just completed Empire State Building was nicknamed the "Empty State Building." because there were no businesses to move into it. Yet President Herbert Hoover could only spout unrealistic slogans like "the economy is fundamentally sound" and "prosperity is just around the corner." Mt. Rushmore sculptor Judson Borglum said: "If you put a flower in Hoover's hand, it would wilt !"

1932- Tod Brownings disturbing movie "Freaks" about a family of circus sideshow performers, premiered. One of Us, One of Us!

1951- The first meeting of American, United Nations, North Korean and Chinese officials to discuss peace terms to end the Korean War. The talks dragged on for months and eventually signed as the Treaty of Panmunjom. At this first meeting the reds and allies noted little psychological victories. The North Koreans drove up in a captured American jeep. When the chief Communist negotiator General Nom Il wanted a smoke he pulled out a Russian cigarette. But after striking 14 Peoples Democratic Chinese matches he still couldn’t get it to light. So he was finally forced to light his cigarette by borrowing from the Americans a good old capitalist Zippo lighter.

1961-YEAH, BABY YEAH!! Upon arriving at Cliveden, Estate of Lord and Lady Astor, Britains Secretary for War Sir John Profumo was introduced to Christine Keilor, a 19 year old party girl swimming nude in the pool. Profumo and Lord Astor chased Christine around the pool trying to pull her towel away while bejeweled guests arrived for a party. It was bad enough that the married Profumo started a hot affair with Christine but also her manager Stephen Ward was connected to an East German Communist spy ring. The Profumo Scandal brought down the MacMillan Tory Government in 1963.

1969 - Thor Heyerdahl and his raft Ra II landed in Barbados 57 days from Morocco. He was trying to prove ancient mariners could have traveled from Africa to the Americas using a ship made from papyrus reeds. It also may explain the phenomenon that some Egyptian mummies have been found to have traces of tobacco and chocolate in their stomachs.

1978- 100,000 rallied in Washington D.C. in support of the Equal Rights Amendment- the ERA.

1982- Walt Disney's TRON- the first film claiming to be made chiefly with computer graphics premiered. It only was about 20 minutes of actual CGI and the computer images were still printed onto traditional animation cells and painted, but it was still a significant achievement. Remember in 1981 there were no off the shelf graphics software. Everything written was proprietary. Wavefront wouldn't exist for several years and Parallel processing didn't really get going until '84. Warping or morphing was about 4 years away in the future. The big deal at the time was that MAGI had just solved the "hidden Line" problem. Modern artists making KUNG FU PANDA or WALL-E would shake their heads at this, because now this is all so basic that it isn't even thought about anymore. But back then even a slight change in design could take days to compute.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Which American leaders were given these Indian names? A- Son of the Morning Star. B-Sharp Knife, C-Dark Eagle, D- Burner of Villages.

Answer a- George Armstrong Custer, B- Andrew Jackson, C-Benedict Arnold, D- George Washington. Washington got that name because as President in 1794 he sent the army to drive out the Iroquois Five Nations Confederacy out of New York State and burn their villages.