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Sept.11th, 2008 Thr
September 11th, 2008

Question: In 1970 Japanese robotics expert Mashiro Mori coined the term The Uncanny Valley. What is that?

Answer to Yesterday’s Question below: One of the most popular characters in the Alice in Wonderland is the Mad Hatter. Where does the idea of a Mad Hatter originate?

History for 9/11/2008
Birthdays: O.Henry, D.H. Lawrence, Brian DePalma, Hedy Lamarr, Lola Falana, Paul "Bear" Bryant, Tom Landry, Kristy McNichol, Lola Falana, Pinto Colvig the voice of Goofy & Pluto, Peter Tosh, Virginia Madsen, Amy Madigan, Moby

1297-First Battle of Sterling- William Wallace's Scottish rebel army inflicts a spectacular defeat on the English Army. They chop up the hated military governor the Earl of Cressingham and send dried strips of him throughout the shires.

1776- At Sandy Hook, New Jersey, American Congressional Peace representatives John Adams, Ben Franklin and William Rutledge sat down with British Commander General Lord William Howe and his brother Admiral Richard 'Black Dick" Howe. The Howe brothers were given special powers plenipotentiary by Parliament to grant amnesties and negotiate a settlement with the American rebels. But the talks went nowhere. Howe asked for their submission:" I feel for America as a brother and would lament should she fall." Ben Franklin responded:" We shall try our best to spare your lordship that mortification."

1777-THE BATTLE OF BRANDYWINE CREEK- General Sir William Howe kicks George Washington's rebel butt. What's even more embarrassing he fools Washington with the exact same tactics he defeated him with one year ago on Long Island. Washington is forced to abandon America's capitol Philadelphia to the enemy. Luckily the loose decentralized nature of the colonial union meant the conquest of the capitol was no great loss to the rest of the country except Pennsylvanians, while the capture of a Madrid or a Paris would effectively end a war with those countries. The Americans took the defeat in stride: "It's all well boys, we'll do better next time." Baron von Steuben’s drills were beginning to pay off. Lord Cornwallis commented:" Hmph! Damned rebels form up well..." At one point in the battle British officer Patrick Ferguson had an clear shot at a big rebel officer that rode by cooly shepherding his retreating militia. Ferguson decided not to shoot the brave man in the back. Only later he discovered the officer was George Washington.

1841- British artist John Reno invented oil paint in a tube.

1847- Stephen Fosters song “Oh Susanna” first published.

1914- W.C. Handy's Saint Louis Blues published, the first true Jazz recording to gain national popularity. Myron “Grim” Natwick, the cartoonist who would one day create Betty Boop and Snow White for Disney, did the artwork for the first music coversheet. For this he was paid one gold dollar.

1916- The Star Spangled Banner first sung at a baseball game at Cooperstown New York.

1916- Republican candidates win an overwhelming majority in local Maine elections prompting GOP leaders to boast "As goes Maine, so goes the Nation."

1939- Secret until recently, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt began a secret transatlantic correspondence this day with future Prime Minister Winston Churchill. FDR recognized a kindred spirit and made plans for when America and Britain would be drawn into a war to defeat Hitler. A secretary in the American embassy entrusted with decoding the messages was a secret Republican. He kept copies of the letters and planned to turn them over to FDR’s isolationist enemies to foil his re-election. But in 1940 Churchill’s MI-5 detected him and arrested him.

1941- In a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, aviation hero Charles Lindbergh revealed his dark side by accusing an "International Jewish conspiracy" of driving America into a European war. Lindbergh was one of the leading voices for isolationism in the US. Lindbergh had been wined and dined in Berlin and Hitler decorated him with Germany's highest civilian medal. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau told President Roosevelt "I am convinced this guy is a Nazi". After Pearl Harbor Lucky Lindy offered his services to the U.S. Air force as a combat pilot but his public image was ruined.

1951-METROPOLIS TO MOSCOW? Robert Shayne, the actor who played the Inspector Henderson character for television’s Superman show appeared before the House American Activities Committee accused of being a communist. He was led off the set by the FBI in handcuffs as Man of Steel George Reeves and Jimmy Olsen protested vigorously. He was eventually cleared of all charges but because of the Blacklist he gave up acting and went into real estate.

1960- Terrytoon's Deputy Dawg t.v. show.

1960- Nancy Sinatra married Tommy Sands.

1966- "Kimba the White Lion" debuts in the U.S.

1967-The Beatles began filming Magical Mystery Tour.

1971- The “Jackson Five” Saturday morning cartoon show.

1972- The BBC quiz show Mastermind first broadcast. The shows creator Malcom Muggeridge claimed he got the idea while a prisoner of the Japanese in Malaysia and in truth the show resembles an interrogation. Some postman from Neasden sits in a dark room with a single spotlight in his face while people shoot questions at him about the lesser known works of Thomas Hardy, etc.

1987-Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" wins MTV's Best Video Award.

1987-Reggae great Peter Tosh and two others are shot and killed by
thieves who were robbing his Kingston, Jamaica home.

2001- THE WORLD TRADE CENTER ATTACK – When New York’s Twin Towers were completed in 1974, they were the tallest office buildings in the world and a symbol of American financial power. Islamic terrorists had already tried to bring down the towers with a truck bomb in 1993. This day, terrorists hijacked three US domestic airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington DC. It was a beautiful, Autumn day and the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center was timed for maximum press coverage. The images looked improbably like a movie stunt rather than a real disaster. The planned multiple attack was organized by Osama Ben-Laden, a rogue millionaire whose family has close ties to the rulers of Saudi Arabia. He organized a multinational force of terrorists based in Afghanistan called Al Queda. Old President George Bush Sr. was having lunch with the brother of Osama while the planes were crashing. President George W. Bush was reading a kiddie book to some preschoolers, then he hid most of the day. The passengers of a fourth hijacked airliner United Flt. 93 were talking to their loved ones on digital phones and were told of the planes crashing into World Trade Center and Pentagon. So the passengers armed with trays and boiling water attacked their hijackers -. The last words heard from passenger Bob Beamer ,“We’re taking back the plane…let’s roll!” Flight 93 crashed in an uninhabited field outside of Pittsburgh before it could be used as a human bomb. Authorities now think that plane would have been used to crash into the White House. Back in New York City, after burning with aviation gas at 1500 degrees for over an hour the two giant WTC towers pancaked in on themselves and plunged to the ground on top of rescue workers and firemen. 3,000 died from 150 countries.
Yesterday’s Question: One of the most popular characters in the Alice in Wonderland is the Mad Hatter. Where does the idea of a Mad Hatter originate?

Answer: In the XVIII and XIX Centuries, people who made felt hats handled toxic chemicals like mercury. They absorbed much through their skin. As a result, hatters had a reputation for going insane. So being Mad as a Hatter was a common term when Lewis Carrol wrote his Alice in Wonderland Story. Sir John Tenniel drew his Mad Hatter to resemble Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Walt Disney’s Mad Hatter was based on vaudeville comedian Ed Wynn.