Sunday, September 25, 2016

It's also National One Hit Wonder day.

Celebrate responsibly - listen to only one or two of them at a time.
 
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-a-Lot



I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers



I’m Too Sexy - Right Said Fred



Who Let the Dogs out?? -  Baha men



The song was once used as one of Siri's hidden Easter Eggs.


It's also World Pharmacist Day



September 25, 1943 -
An excellent Merrie Melodies cartoon, A Corny Concerto was released on this date.



For some reason, the identity of the black duckling in this short has prompted much debate among cartoon fans as to whether or not it is in fact Daffy Duck.


September 25, 1961 -
One of the greatest sports movies of all time, The Hustler, premiered on this date.



Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason established a friendship on the set. At one point, Newman got a little cocky about his newfound pool skills and challenged the much more experienced Gleason to a $50 bet on a game. Newman broke, then it was Gleason's turn. He knocked all 15 balls in and Newman never got another shot. Gleason recalled that the next day Newman paid him off with 5000 pennies.


September 25, 1964 -
The series Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., starring Jim Nabors (who was not married to Rock Hudson) premiered on CBS-TV on this date.



According to producer Sheldon Leonard, the Marines gave them unlimited access to their equipment, because they felt the series would be good for their image.


September 25, 1965 -
The Beatles Cartoon Show premiered on ABC-TV on this date. It racked up a 13 score (or 52 share), then unheard of in daytime television.



The series because notorious for its static visual style with the Beatles being depicted in their mop top and suit look from A Hard Day's Night, despite the fact the band had abandoned that look while the series was in production.


September 25, 1970 -
Everybody was implored to 'Get Happy' when The Partridge Family on this date.



Originally, the show was to star the real life musical family The Cowsills. However, they backed out when the producers decided to have Shirley Jones take over the role of the mother from the group's actual matriarch, Barbara Cowsill.


September 25, 1987 -
20th Century Fox releases the Rob Reiner directed film, The Princess Bride, starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest, Robin Wright and Peter Falk, in limited release, on this date.



When asked what his favorite thing about making this film was, André the Giant replied, without skipping a beat, "Nobody looks at me." He felt treated as an equal, without people staring at him because of his grand height.


Today in History -
On this day in 1789, Congress proposed twelve amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Habeas Corpus Christi and Freedom from Unreasonably Surging Seashores were ultimately rejected but the other ten passed and have come to be known as the "Bill of Rights."



In honor of this important anniversary, I have chosen to celebrate my favorite amendment, in the hopes that it may also soon be yours. I am speaking of the Ninth Amendment.

Like that of Beethoven, the Constitution's Ninth is the standard against which all others must be measured. Unlike Beethoven's, it doesn't climax with a resounding choral tribute to Joy (but that could be fixed).



Here is the ninth amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

This important amendment should not be neglected just because of some awkwardly placed commas.

Under the first amendment, for example, I have been given the right to say any stupid thing that pops into my head. (This should not be confused with the responsibility of doing so, which is reserved to journalists. Donald Trump seems confused about this.) This is an enumerated right. My right not to have to listen to anyone else's idiotic opinion is not enumerated, but it's just as important.

In the second amendment, in order to preserve peace and order in the state, I have been granted the right to stockpile dangerous weapons. Unenumerated but no less important is my right not to be caught in the crossfire while you fire off a couple of clips at a Sunday School picnic. (The NRA generally seems to have missed this subtle point.)

Under the eighth amendment, I have the right not to be drawn and quartered, boiled in pitch, burned at the stake, or belittled by a British producer on national television. But this does not overrule my right to be entertained.



Let us all take a moment to give thanks to the Ninth Amendment, which preserves us not only from the tyranny of government, but the far more dangerous tyranny of one another.


September 25, 1890 -
The "1890 Manifesto", sometimes simply called "The Manifesto", was a statement which officially ceased the practice of plural marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Announced by church president Wilford Woodruff on this date, the Manifesto was a dramatic turning point in The Mormons renounced the practice of polygamy after six decades in exchange for statehood for Utah. This was a great day in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as many of the church leaders are finally able to sleep with both eyes closed.


September 25, 1919 -
President Woodrow Wilson became seriously ill and collapsed after a speech to promote the League of Nations in Pueblo, Colorado, on this date. On October 2, 1919, Wilson suffered a serious stroke that almost totally incapacitated him, leaving him paralyzed on his left side and blind in his left eye. For at least a few months, he was confined to a wheelchair. Afterwards, he could walk only with the assistance of a cane. The full extent of his disability was kept from the public until after his death on February 3, 1924.



Remarkably, Wilson was, with few exceptions, kept out of the presence of Vice President Thomas R. Marshall, his cabinet or Congressional visitors to the White House for the remainder of his presidential term. His second wife, Edith, would continually tell people for the next five years that the President was in the bathroom and couldn't be disturbed. This was, as of 2016, the most serious case of presidential disability in American history and was later cited as a key example why ratification of the 25th Amendment and a large supply of TP at the White House was seen as important.


September 25, 1980 -
John Bonham, drummer for the seminal rock band, Led Zeppelin, actually did choke to death in his sleep on a regurgitated ham sandwich on this date.



The coroner's report concludes that it was his own vomit and no one else's.


September 25, 1981 -
Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court when she was sworn in as the 102nd justice on this date.

She had been nominated the previous July by President Ronald Reagan. (One of my faithful reader was one of her law clerks.)


There are 91 days until Christmas (90 days until Hanukkah.)



(I'm sure many of you have failed the naughty/ nice test already. Maybe you still have time.)



And so it goes

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Screw the Oxford comma

Today is National Punctuation Day (!,?.)



It's a celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the every mysterious ellipsis.


September 24, 1046 -
I was going to tell you that today is the feast day of St. Gerard Sagredo of Hungary.

During mass, hordes of heathens, stormed his church, bundled him up and wheeled him to the top of  Gellert Hill, in Hungary (but you don't care.)  Those heathen hordes shoved the cart down the hill, then beat him to death on this date

(but I'm sure this is all meaningless to you because there's no Feast of St. Gerald Sagredo festival in your neighborhood.)


September 24, 1938 -
One of the craziest cartoons Looney Tunes ever produced, Porky in Wackyland was released on this date.  You need to watch it a few times to really get everything that's going on in this one.



This cartoon set the bar for outlandishness in animation.


September 24, 1945 -
Michael Curtiz' tense film noir, Mildred Pierce, starring Joan Crawford and her enormous shoulder pads, was released on this date.



After seeing the film, James M. Cain sent Joan Crawford a signed first edition of the original novel. The inscription read: "To Joan Crawford, who brought Mildred Pierce to life just as I had always hoped she would be, and who has my lifelong gratitude."


September 24, 1958 -
The Donna Reed Show premiered on ABC-TV on this date. Ladies (and some men), don't you always wears heels, pearls and chic frocks to do the housework?



During the show's early years, whenever a scene takes place in a supermarket, look very closely in the background. Chances are, you'll see large amounts of Campbell's Soup, V-8 Vegetable Juice, Franco-American Spaghetti, and various Johnson & Johnson products including their famous baby powder. Not coincidentally, those brands were the series' original advertisers during its network run.


September 24, 1961 -
Students of Great Comedy lined up around the block to enroll in Whatsamatta U when The Bullwinkle Show moved to primetime on NBC TV on this date.



The first story of the season was an epic multi-part adventure about the moose and squirrel's search for the elusive Kirwood Derby. In November 1961, Durward Kirby threatened to file suit. Jay Ward reportedly responded to the threat, in his usual style, by offering to let Kirby use any name of his choosing for any character from his show.


September 24, 1964 -
We all visited 1313 Mockingbird Lane for the first time when The Munsters premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



The first season opening credits were an outrageous parody of the opening credits of The Donna Reed Show, which always began with Donna Reed lovingly passing out lunches to her departing family members as they left the house one by one. Yvonne De Carlo, as Lily Munster, did the same thing.


September 24, 1968 -
The TV show Mod Squad premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



Series creator Buddy Ruskin, a former Los Angeles police officer, used his experiences with a special L.A.P.D. youth squad as the basis for this show.


September 24, 1977 -
Everyone got to order their first drink from Isaac when The Love Boat set sail for the first time on ABC-TV on this date.



Gavin MacLeod, Bernie Kopell and Ted Lange are the only actors to appear in every episode of the series.


September 24, 1991 -
Nirvana's album Nevermind was released 25 years today on this date.



Within a year of the album's release, much of the hair metal and hard rock that had commanded the airwaves was being phased out in favor of the “grunge” style often attached to Nirvana.


Today in History:
September 24, 1896
-
... The easiest way to get a reputation is to go outside the fold, shout around for a few years as a violent atheist or a dangerous radical, and then crawl back to the shelter.

On this date in 1896, a young Minnesota woman gave birth to a depressive, witty young alcoholic named Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald.

The boy did badly in school and went to train for war in 1918. While training at Camp Sheridan in Alabama, he fell in love with Zelda Sayre, the mentally unstable daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge.



The war ended before Fitzgerald could be sent overseas and shot, however, so he went to New York to become rich and famous. He became neither, so Zelda broke off their engagement.

Fitzgerald then moved back to Minnesota. A year later he became a famous writer. He moved to Connecticut, Zelda married him, and they became drunken celebrity wrecks.



They spent a lot of time in Europe. This lasted until Zelda went mad and Fitzgerald died.



Fitzgerald is best remembered for having said the rich were different, even though Hemingway kept telling him to act like a man and strip down, grease himself up and get into a boxing ring.



Oh yeah, he also wrote several books.

... Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.....


September 24, 1947 -
Majestic 12, a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, was allegedly established by a secret executive order issued by President Harry Truman (who may or may not have been sober at the time) to investigate UFO activity in the aftermath of the Roswell incident.



Conspiracy theorists consider the Majestic 12 major evidence supporting the government-cover-up theories. The FBI has since attempted to debunk any documents associated with the committee. Debate continues to this day about whether or not the committee existed.  (And remember, you didn't read any of this here.)


September 24, 1954 -
Steve Allen sat down at his piano and the Tonight Show premiered on NBC on this date.



Simply called Tonight, the show was a blend of comedy, interview and musical performance that set the basic template for future late-night television.


September 24, 1964 -
The Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, (which had occurred on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas,) was presented to President Lyndon B. Johnson on this date.



The report did little to quiet conspiracy theories, but it documented that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone and that the Secret Service had made poor preparations for JFK’s visit to Dallas, had failed to sufficiently protect him, and was not part of a larger-scale plot.

President Johnson never slept another full nights' sleep again.


September 24, 1969 -
The trial of the "Chicago Eight" (later seven) began on this date. Demonstrations began outside the court house, with the Weatherman group proclaiming the "Days of Rage" in protest of the trial. The Chicago Eight staged demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago to protest the Vietnam War and its support by the top Democratic presidential candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey. These anti-Vietnam War protests were some of the most violent in American history as the police and national guardsmen beat antiwar protesters, innocent bystanders and members of the press.



Five defendants (Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger and Rennie Davis) were convicted of crossing state lines to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention; the convictions were ultimately overturned.


September 24, 1970 -
Luna 16 was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample to Earth. An automatic drilling rig was deployed and 101 grams of lunar soil was collected.

The samples were returned to Earth on this date and marked the first time lunar sampled were recovered by an unmanned spacecraft.


September 24, 1991 -
Theodor Seuss Geisel, an American writer and cartoonist best known for his classic children's books under the pen name Dr. Seuss, including The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, died on this date.



No greater tribute was given to the Doctor than when the Reverend Jesse Jackson appeared on SNL following his death.



And so it goes


Before You Go
- Have a good thought this weekend for Terry Jones this weekend.  Spokespeople for him announced that the former Monty Python member has developed a rare and progressive form of dementia which affects his ability to communicate.




Friday, September 23, 2016

Apparently, it floats in gasoline, too.

Ivory bar soap floating was a mistake. They had been over mixing the soap formula causing excess air bubbles that made it float.



Customers wrote and told how much they loved that it floated, and it has floated ever since.


September 23, 1944 -
Frank Capra's screwball comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace finally gets it US general release on this date. The film was based on a hit play and had to wait to be released until after it Broadway run had ended.



Some 20 years before filming this movie, actress Jean Adair had helped to nurse a very sick vaudeville performer named Archie Leach back to health; by the time she was asked to reprise her Broadway Arsenic and Old Lace role as Aunt Martha for this film, Adair and Leach, now known as Cary Grant, were old friends.


September 23, 1962 -
The youth of America want to know, "Where did all that dog poop go?"

The Jetsons debuted on Sunday night's prime time lineup on this date.



The first program ever to be broadcast in color on ABC-TV.


September 23, 1967 -
The Letter by Box Tops topped the charts on this date.



At 1:58, the Box Tops' version of this was the last #1 hit to be shorter than two minutes in length. (You can thank me for the earworm later.)


September 23, 1968 -
Lucille Ball's third TV series, Here's Lucy premiered on this date.



The show came about because of a business transaction. In 1968, The Lucy Show had been running for six seasons, and the ratings remained solid. Lucille Ball sold the Desilu studio that year, however, so in order to retain ownership of her series, she ceased production on The Lucy Show and created Here's Lucy. The new series had a slightly different plot and new character names (plus roles for Lucy's kids), but continued with the same cast and timeslot.


September 23, 1969 -
Marcus Welby MD, starring the not terribly sober Robert Young, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



The exterior of Dr. Welby's office was the same building used as the Cleaver family home on Leave It to Beaver with only Welby's shingle as the new addition to the set.


September 23, 1970 -
The only American film Akira Kurosawa almost directed, Tora! Tora! Tora!, was released on this date. Akira Kurosawa agreed to direct the Japanese part of the film only because he was told that David Lean was to direct the American part. This was a lie, David Lean was never part of the project. When Kurosawa found out about this, he tried to get himself fired from the production - and succeeded.



When Japanese characters in the film refer to the date of the attack, they are actually saying "December 8," which is technically correct, as Japan is a day ahead of the U.S.; however, it is translated as "December 7" in the subtitles to avoid confusing U.S. audiences.


September 23, 1990 -
PBS premiered Ken Burns powerful 11 hour miniseries The Civil War on this date.



Shelby Foote became a sudden celebrity after the success of this series. Foote's phone number was listed in his local phone book and he received frequent calls from fans. He never removed his number from the phone book and received calls whenever the series aired for the rest of his life.


Today in History:
September 23, 480 BC
-
It's the birthday of the Greek poet Euripides, born near Athens on this date.

Euripides has the greatest number of plays that have survived for the modern reader -19 of them—including Medea.

Remember -  Euripides, I ripa dos.


September 23, 63 BC -
Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Augustus Caesar) was born on this day. The first real Roman Emperor, Caesar introduced the famous Pax Romana. This was a political policy which stated that any country which did not object to being conquered by Rome would be conquered by Rome.



Countries not wishing to be conquered by Rome stood in violation of this policy, and were therefore invaded until they agreed to be conquered. This ensured peace throughout the world.


September 23, 1779 -
During the Revolutionary War, while on break from Led Zeppelin, the American navy under Scotsman John Paul Jones (Robert Stack), commanding from Bonhomme Richard, defeated and captured the British man-of-war Serapis on this date. Jones, chose to name the ship after Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard’s Almanac.



Fierce fighting ensued, and when Richard began to sink, Serapis commander Richard Pearson called over to ask if Richard would surrender and Jones responded, "I have not yet begun to fight!"--a response that would become a slogan of the U.S. Navy. Pearson surrendered and Jones took control of Serapis. Imagine the amount of rum consumed (it was an American Ship - I'm sure there was no sodomy!)

The Bonhomme Richard sank two days after the battle.


September 23, 1939 -
Sigmund Freud was not having a good day. He had been suffering from the late stages of cancer of the jaw when he decided to commit suicide with the help of his personal physician, Max Schur on this date.



The good doctor administered 21 mg of morphine -- a lethal dose, in three large doses in the space of several hours. Sometimes 21 mg of morphine is just 21 mg of death.


September 23, 1949 -
Happy Birthday Bruce!







If you are of a certain age, at one point, Bruce meant everything to you.


September 23, 1950 -
Congress passes the McCarran Act, also known as The Internal Security Act of 1950, overriding Harry Truman's veto. The act provides for severe restrictions on civil liberties, suspension of free speech, and placing of undesirable Americans in concentration camps.



Much of the Act has been repealed, but some portions remain intact.

So watch it, bub.


September 23, 1952 -
Responding to accusations that he diverted $18,000 in contributions into his pocket, Senator Richard M. Nixon rescues his candidacy for Vice President by insisting that he had never accepted any money.



Although Nixon does admit he accepted a cocker spaniel named Checkers for his daughter Tricia. The televised monologue rescues his political career.

Little is know about this political operative, Checkers. Recently unclassified FBI documents reveal that Checkers advised Nixon not to shave just prior to his famous televised debate with Kennedy. Checkers was also recorded on his deathbed in late '68 advising Nixon's men about creating a list of enemies of the future President.


September 23, 1969 -
An article in the Northern Illinois University student newspaper  propagated the rumor that "Paul is dead."

But if you play I'm so Tired from the White Album (and smoke an enormous amount of dope,) you hear the question Is Paul McCartney Dead?



And Revolution #9 implores, Turn me on dead man.



Well, sort of. Remember it's I buried Paul and not cranberry sauce.



And so it goes