Wednesday, April 30, 2008

100 days until disaster, oops, I mean the Olympics

With the pollution levels, still dangerously high, China has 100 day to find a solution. Perhaps if all of the citizens of Beijing continuously flap their arms, they can create enough wind to blow the pollution away. Who knows?

On a brighter note, David Blaine is mad that he is not more famous, so he will hold his breathe on Oprah until he gets his way. With any luck, it will be forever.

Here's a pleasant little ditty to start your day

What Keeps Mankind Alive

April 30 , 1900 -
"Drivin' that train
High on cocaine
Casey Jones you better
watch your speed ...."

John Luther "Casey" Jones was born March 14, 1863 in southeast Missouri. While he was still a small child, his family moved to Cayce, Kentucky, which is how he got his nickname. As a boy, he liked trains - HE really liked trains. In 1878, at the age of 15, he went to work for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad as an apprentice telegrapher. By 1890, "Casey" had reached the pinnacle of the railroad profession as a crack locomotive engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad.

In 1899, Jones was given a regular passenger run on the Cannonball route which ran between Chicago and New Orleans. On April 29, 1900 Jones was in Memphis, Tennessee, from the northbound Cannonball when he agreed to take the southbound Cannonball because the scheduled engineer called in sick. He left Memphis at 12:50 am, 95 minutes behind schedule, but made up almost an hour between Memphis and Grenada, Mississippi, nearly 100 miles away. By Durant, 55 miles farther down, they were almost on time.

At Durant, Jones received orders to "saw by" two freights that had taken the siding in Vaughan. The two freights were too large to fit into the siding, leaving one end on the main line. If the "sawing" maneuver had been done correctly, the freights would have allowed the approaching train to pass the first switch, and then the trains on the siding would move past the other switch. However, an air hose on one of the freight trains burst, applying the brakes on the freight cars behind the break, and left them immobile on the main line. Meanwhile, Jones was traveling excessively fast, possibly up to 70 miles per hour, and did not have enough time to brake. When collision seemed imminent, Casey told his fireman, Sim Webb, to jump for it, but Jones rode the engine into the cars and was killed. It is believed that because Jones stayed to slow the train, he saved the passengers from injury and possible death (Casey himself was the only fatality of the collision). Popular legend holds that when Jones' body was pulled from the wreckage of his train his hands were still firmly latched onto the whistle cord and the brake.

April 30, 1938
Bugs Bunny first appeared, so to speak, in the cartoon short Porky's Hare Hunt, released on this date. The short was co-directed by Cal Dalton and Ben Hardaway. The cartoon had an almost identical theme to a 1937 cartoon, Porky's Duck Hunt, directed by Tex Avery and introducing Daffy Duck. Following the general plot of this earlier film, the short cast Porky Pig as a hunter against an equally nutty prey more interested in driving his hunter insane than running away. But instead of a black duck, his current prey was a tiny, white rabbit. Bugs Bunny introduces himself with the expression "Jiggers, fellers," and Mel Blanc gave the rabbit a voice and laugh that he would later use to voice Woody Woodpecker. In this cartoon, he also quoted Groucho Marx for the first time (from the movie Duck Soup): "Of course, you know, this means war!"

Online Videos by

Sorry that I could only find the 'colorized' version.

April 30, 1939 -
On a very hot New York Sunday, The 1939 World's Fair had its grand opening, with 200,000 people in attendance. The April 30 date coincided with the anniversary of George Washington's inauguration as President in New York City. Although many of the pavilions and other facilities were not quite ready for this opening, it was put on with pomp and great celebration. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the opening day address, and as a reflection of the wide range of technological innovation on parade at the fair, his speech was not only broadcast over the various radio networks but also was televised. NBC used the event to inaugurate regularly scheduled television broadcasts in New York City over their station W2XBS (now WNBC). An estimated 1,000 people viewed the Roosevelt telecast from about 200 television sets scattered throughout the New York area.

Little remembered but equally important, the View-Master was introduced at the World's Fair that day. Don't worry about those storm clouds overhead (it's just World War II).

April 30, 1975 -
Fall of Saigon: Communist forces gains control of Saigon. The fall of the city was preceded by the evacuation of almost all the American civilian and military personnel in Saigon, along with tens of thousands of South Vietnamese civilians. The evacuation culminated in Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation in history. The Vietnam War formally ends with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Duong Van Minh. This is a really big Oops for America.

April 30, 1997 -
Ellen DeGeneres's character comes out of the closet on the sitcom Ellen.

And so it goes

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And a Barbie will lead them

A top Iranian judiciary official warned against the 'destructive' cultural and social consequences of owning Barbie dolls and other Western toys.

Add another job to the very varied career of Barbie - cultural imperialist.

I've been looking for the video for awhile and I wanted to play it for you for no other reason than I thought it was great -

Here is your Today in History -

April 29, 1901 -
Train robber and one of the last of the Old West outlaws, Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum is unsuccessfully hanged in Clayton, New Mexico. The executioner's poor choice of rope and Ketchum's recent increase in weight combine to produce a gruesome decapitation in the gallows.

April 29, 1945 -
Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun. The very next day she killed herself. So did he. This demonstrates the importance of not rushing into marriage. You've got to take your time, get to know the other person, and really think it through. Especially if the other person happens to be an Evil Bastard at the head of a hellish genocidal war machine on the brink of defeat.

But it's not enough just making sure your intended isn't a war-criminal-in-training. The sad truth is that if you plan to marry a human being you're in for a pretty bumpy road no matter what—which
isn't to say it would be all roses if you married something other than a human.

So maybe Adolf and Eva were doomed anyway. Who knows? I'm only saying they should have given it a little more thought. Bunker marriages have a notorious failure rate.

Actually, in the United States today, all marriages have a notorious failure rate. So maybe the best advice comes from Homer Simpson: "Never try anything."

Say what you will about that bald, yellow tinged, four-fingered man—he's still married.

April 29, 1968 -
Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, the rock musical opened on this date. Hair tells the story of the "Tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired "Hippies of the Age of Aquarius" fighting against conscription to the Vietnam War and living a bohemian life together in New York City. They struggle to balance their young lives, loves and the sexual revolution with their pacifist rebellion against the war and the conservative impulses of their parents and society. It was also a way for middle class America to see nudity on the stage without going to a strip club or porno house.

April 29, 1981 -
Marilyn Barnett publicly alleged that she had a lesbian relationship for seven years with Billie Jean King, one of America's best-known female athletes and winner of many national and international tennis championships.

April 29, 1992 -
Rioting erupts in Los Angeles after Rodney King's assailants are acquitted by a jury. The looting and destruction begins in South Central L.A. and quickly radiates outward. By the time things are under control, 51 are dead and the city has sustained $1.5 billion in property damage. Civil disorder manages to spread to other North American cities, through the influence of live TV coverage.

And so it goes.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays

Here is your Today in History -

April 28, 585 -
An unforeseen total eclipse of the sun interrupts a battle between Lydia and Media, bringing a sudden end to their six-year war.

April 28, 1789 -
In the middle of the South Pacific, the crew of the HMS Bounty, led by either Clark Gable, Marlon Brando or Mel Gibson mutinies, setting Charles Laughton, Trevor Howard or Anthony Hopkins and 18 other crewmen adrift in an open boat, so they can hang out with topless Tahitian teens. Sometimes history is very confusing.

April 28, 1881 -
Billy the Kid escapes from a New Mexico jail, killing jailer Bob Ollinger and a fellow prisoner in the process. Billy will survive for another three months before Pat Garrett finally kills him. Somehow
Jane Russell's braless bodaeous ta-tas are involved in this story

April 28, 1942 -
The ongoing global conflict is given the name "World War II" after a Gallup Poll is taken. "Let's All Get together and Kick Hitler's ass" was a close second.

April 28, 1945 -
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci are captured by partisan fighters and executed (castrated and hung upside down on a meat hook). Just because you can get the trains to run on time does not mean that the voters love you.

April 28, 1996 -
After finishing his lunch at the Broad Arrow Cafe in Port Arthur, Tasmania, 28-year-old Martin Bryant pulls out an AR15 rifle and kills 12 tourists. Then he drives to a nearby bed & breakfast and slays 23 others. Bryant surrenders himself to police the next morning, after catching himself on fire in the act of burning down the B&B. He wasn't happy with the service.

And so it goes

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another Weekend, Another Posting Part II

Here is your Today in History -

Ulysses S. Grant would have been 186 today. And if the rumors are true, he is still buried in Grant's Tomb.

It's the last shopping day before Saddam Hussein's birthday! Check to see if Macy's is running their Memorial Tyrant's Day sale.

April 27, 4977 BC -
God creates the universe, according to calculations by mystic and part-time astronomer Johannes Kepler.

April 27, 1509 -
The entire state of Venice is excommunicated by Pope Julius II for an entirely secular reason: the refusal to place parts of Romagna under the Pope's control.

April 27, 1521 -
In an hourlong battle with Philippine islanders, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his men are repeatedly jabbed with sharpened bamboo spears. After Magellan finally succumbs to his wounds, the natives hack him to pieces with their swords, barbequed and consumed him. They were surprised that they were not hungry an hour after eating him as they had been after eating some Asian explorers previously.

April 27, 1861 -
In a blatantly unconstitutional act, President Abraham Lincoln suspends habeas corpus inside a zone between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The government may now detain citizens indefinitely without ever filing charges. A year and a half later, Lincoln expands the scope of his order to the entire nation. I'm greatly relieved that the current resident of the White House doesn't read much.

April 27, 1865 -
At least 1,700 Union soldiers are killed when the boiler aboard the steamship Sultana suddenly explodes.

April 27, 1940 -
Heinrich Himmler gives orders to construct a concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland. Only 14 months later, Auschwitz is open for business.

April 27,1963 -
Comedian Lenny Bruce is arrested in Miami for illegal possession of hypodermic needles. They were, however, for legally-prescribed prescription drugs.

April 27, 1986 -
During a live TV special, journalist Geraldo Rivera opens Al Capone's vault beneath the Lexington Hotel in Chicago. He finds nothing inside, apart from a few empty bottles.

Apr 27 1986 -
Someone interrupts the HBO satellite feed during the movie The Falcon and The Snowman. For five minutes, two-thirds of their customer base receives the message: Good evening HBO from Captain Midnight. $12.95 a month? No way! (Showtime-Movie Channel Beware.) Three months later, the FCC arrests Florida satellite dish retailer John R. MacDougall for the crime.

Apr 27 1987 -
After determining that Kurt Waldheim had "assisted or otherwise participated in the persecution of persons" during his Nazi years, the Department of Justice places him on a watch list of undesirable aliens. As such, the sitting President of Austria is disallowed entryinto the U.S. It is the first time that a foreign head of state is legally forbidden from visiting America. I suppose that he suffered from Waldheimer's Disease - it's when you have difficulty recalling that you're a Nazi

And so it goes

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Another Weekend, Another POsting

Here is your Today in History -

On April 26, 1923, the Duke of York married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in Westminster Abbey, (This wedding might have slipped into the ephemeria of time have the Duke's brother not wanted to marry a woman reported so ugly, many thought her a man in drag. And calling a woman ugly in England is really saying something, as many of the British upper crush often marry their horses out of confusion.) That's British royalty.

Count Basie died on April 26, 1984; Duke Ellington was born on April 29, 1899; Ella Fitzgerald, the "First Lady of Song," was born on April 25, 1918. That's American royalty.

April 26, 1452 -
Leonardo da Vinci was born on this date. Mr. da Vinci was one of the great minds of the Renaissance. Sadly, he is best known for having painted the "Mona Lisa" (in Italian, "La Joconde,"), in which he accurately and exquisitely captured the unmistakable smile of a dignified woman who's just farted.

For some reason, many lonely computer geeks celebrate this day by releasing computer virii in hopes that female FBI agents will break down their doors.

April 26, 1865 -
Discovered hiding in a farmer's tobacco shed, John Wilkes Booth is shot in the neck by a complete lunatic. Dying and paralyzed from the neck down, he whispers: "Tell my mother I did it for my country." As his hands are held up to his face, Booth mutters "useless...useless..." They are his last words.

April 26, 1933 -
Hermann Goering founds the Geheime Staatspolizei, otherwise known as the Gestapo. The original purpose of this "Secret State Police" is to disrupt and harass opponents of National Socialism, but it will later come to adopt many additional responsibilities.

April 26, 1954 -
Godzilla debuted in American :

With the ashes of World War II only recently cooled, Japan is plagued by a sudden wave of maritime disasters: Without warning, ships are exploding into flame and sinking beneath the waves. The few survivors are able to shed little light on the situation, as they quickly die from radiation and strange burns. (Hmmm, sound familiar) A group of investigators, including prominent paleontologist Dr. Yamane and American reporter Steve Martin, are sent to Odo Island to investigate. The natives warn that the ships are being destroyed by Gojira (Godzilla), a legendary monster. These claims are verified when a gigantic, dinosaur-like creature comes ashore and demolishes the native village. Dr. Yamane concludes that Godzilla is a prehistoric creature that has been awakened and mutated by atomic bomb tests. It's just the same conclusion you'd come to having just seen the ruins of a Japanese fishing village.

The military decides to use depth charges on the monster. However, the attack is unsuccessful, and Godzilla follows the ships back to Tokyo Bay. (Again, probably just what you would do - annoy a giant radioactive monster.) Coming ashore at night, Godzilla razes Tokyo. The destruction left in his wake is comparable to an atomic bomb. Military firepower proves useless against the monster. It is feared that Godzilla will continue to lay waste to the cities of Japan, and perhaps the entire world.

It is up to Emiko Yamane (Dr. Yamane’s daughter) to convince her former fiancé, Dr. Serizawa, to use his Oxygen Destroyer against Godzilla. Serizawa is skeptical; he fears that this terrible device might be more dangerous than the monster. However, he finally decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to rid the world of Godzilla. So here in a nutshell, you have the greatest fever dream movie ever re-edited - a very good Sci-Fi film intercut with Raymond Burr, the undisputed king of deadpan delivery.

Remember -- don't panic, be deadpan!

April 26, 1969 -
Paul McCartney denies rumors of his recent death. Eventually, most people come to believe him.

April 26, 1986 -
44 seconds into a late-night experiment at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, reactor number four sustains two large explosions. A plume of dangerous radioactivity looms three kilometers high, making it the worst catastrophe in the history of nuclear power. The Soviet news agency TASS holds off reporting the incident for almost 48 hours.

April 26, 1991 -
In a telephone interview, Michigan judge Francis Bourisseau explains that he would never grant an abortion to a minor, except perhaps for white girls raped by blacks. For some reason, this statement manages to attract wide attention.

And so it goes

Friday, April 25, 2008

Onward to Indiana

So it's back to Indiana

Here is your Today in History -

April 25, 1792 -
French highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier is beheaded by the guillotine, making him its first victim. The speed that the guillotine worked was “quick as lightening” and in the twinkling of an eye,” it was over. The outcome was not well received by the crowd who called for the return of the gallows.

April 25, 1972 -
"And if you covered him with garbage,
George Sanders would still have style...."

George Sanders actor and husband of not one but two Gabor sisters, kills himself leaving this great suicide note, "Dear World, I am leaving you because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool - good luck." Short and to the point.

April 25, 1974 -
Jim Morrison's 'widow', Pamela Courson dies of a heroin overdose.

April 25, 1980 -
In Iran, a commando mission to rescue hostages was aborted after mechanical problems disabled three of the eight helicopters involved. During the evacuation, a helicopter and a transport plan collided and exploded. Eight U.S. servicemen were killed. The mission was aimed at freeing American hostages that had been taken at the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.

April 25, 1994-
Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz (King Adrock) is sentenced to 200 hours of community service for battering a TV cameraman during the memorial service for actor River Phoenix.

April 25, 2008 -
Still as lovely as ever, Andrea Vassos is still celebrating her 39th birthday.

And so it goes

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's another beautiful day in the neighborhood

Get out and enjoy it.

Here is your Today in History -

April 24, 1479 BC (this is an approximated date. Most of the people who could have verified this date were busy smearing olive oil on each other and playing sports in the nude, so the creation of an accurate calendar wasn't a high priority.)

"Is this the face that launched a thousand ships...?"

Ok kids, here's your quick Lit Hum course.

Once upon a time, a pretty naked Greek girl was lolling around a limpid pool (lots of pretty naked Greek girls were doing that back then) and she saw a beautiful swan.

Before you could said By Zeus, Leda lays an egg and out pops Helen - another pretty naked Greek girl. But Helen wasn't just any pretty naked Greek girl, she was the MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD.

So when it was time for Helen to marry (at about 12), literally everyone who was anyone wanted to marry her, including Odysseus(who doesn't marry her but Penelope but that's another story), Menestheus, Ajax the Great (who could clean a very dirty sink), Patroclus and Idomeneus, Agamemnon (who doesn't marry her but her sister, Clytemnestra and lives (or dies) to regret it, but that again is another story). It doesn't hurt to mention at this point that her 'father' was the King of Sparta or the fact that he never noticed that she was hatched from a egg.

Yadda, yadda yadda, Helen marries Menelaus. Yadda, yadda, yadda, three more naked Greek goddesses, handsome naked Greek youth named Paris (how the French got into this story even I can't explain) and a golden apple.

Also, I bet you never realized how much nudity plays into this story. Yadda, yadda yadda, an abduction and a promise extracted - bang zoom, you have the Trojan war. I have just saved you from reading Edith Hamilton's Mythology and the first third of the Iliad.

The Greek siege of Troy had lasted for ten years. The Greeks devised a new ruse: a giant hollow wooden horse. It was built by Epeius and filled with Greek warriors led by Odysseus.

Meanwhile, a Greek spy, Sinon, convinced the Trojans that the horse was a gift despite the warnings of Laocoön (who gets to utter the line, "Beware Greeks bearing gifts" moments before being strangled by sea-serpents with his two sons - but that's another story)

and Cassandra (who has the gift of prophecy because of the God Apollo as a token of his love has snakes lick her ears clean but that again is another story) ;

Helen and Deiphobus (who won Helen in a game with his brother after the death of Paris but that's another story) even investigated the horse; in the end, the Trojans accepted the gift. In ancient times it was customary for a defeated general to surrender his horse to the victorious general in a sign of respect. It should be noted here that the horse was the sacred animal of Poseidon; during the contest with Athena over the patronage of Athens, Poseidon gave men the horse, and Athena gave the olive tree. It should be also noted that after living ten years under a siege, one's reasoning seems to go out the window.

The Trojans hugely celebrated (think buggery) the end of the siege, so that, when the Greeks emerged from the horse, the city was in a drunken stupor. The Greek warriors opened the city gates to allow the rest of the army to enter, and the city was pillaged ruthlessly, all the men were killed, and all the women and children were taken into slavery. And so ends the

Discuss amongst yourselves.

April 24, 1913 -
The "Cathedral of Commerce" built one nickel at a time, the Woolworth building opens. The Five and Dimes are long gone but the skyscraper remains.

April 24, 1986 -
'Her Royal Highness' The Duchess of Windsor, Bessie Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson Windsor former maitresse en titre (official mistress), twice-divorced American, possible transvestite and Nazi sympathizer dies. And the House of Windsor breathes a sigh of relief - until Princess Diana.

And so it goes

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This is what it sounds like when Pundits cry.

While it wasn't a blowout, Hillary did win and she won by double digits. When do the Pundits start losing their jobs?

Here is your Today in History -

Today is believed to be the birthday of William Shakespeare, born in Stratford-on-Avon, England (1564). He was a playwright and poet, and is considered to be the most influential and perhaps the greatest writer in the English language. His tragedies have been celebrated for centuries. For example, there’s the Tragedy of Julius Caesar, in which a Roman general thinks he’d like to be emperor, other people disagree, and everyone dies in the end. There is the Tragedy of Macbeth, in which a Scottish Thane thinks he’d like to be king, other people disagree, and everyone dies in the end. There is the Tragedy of Richard II, in which a hunch-backed noble thinks he'd like to be king, other people disagree, and everyone dies in the end. There is even the Tragedy of Hamlet, in which a young prince thinks and everyone dies in the end.

(That last is naturally set in Denmark, where the relationship between thinking and dying has been most famously chronicled by Soren Kierkegaard, who called life itself "the sickness unto death." He was a very happy fella)

He gave us many beloved plays, including Romeo and Juliet (1594), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595), Gay Boys in Bondage (1601), Othello (1604), and King Lear (1605). Only a few scattered facts are known about his life. He was born and raised in the picturesque market town of Stratford-on-Avon, surrounded by woodlands. His father was a glover and a leather merchant; he and his wife had eight children including William, but three of them died in childbirth. William probably left grammar school when he was thirteen years old, but continued to study on his own.

He went to London around 1588 to pursue his career in drama (or to sleep with actresses or men who dresses like women) and by 1592 he was a well-known actor. He joined an acting troupe in 1594 and wrote many plays for the group while continuing to act. Scholars believe that he usually played the part of the first character that came on stage, but that in Hamlet he played the ghost.

Some scholars have suggested that Shakespeare couldn't have written the plays attributed to him because he had no formal education. A group of scientists recently plugged all his plays into a computer and tried to compare his work to other writers of his day, such as Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and the Earl of Oxford. The only writer they found who frequently used words and phrases similar to Shakespeare's was Queen Elizabeth I, and although Shakespeare had been seen in women's clothing several times, the Queen was eventually ruled out as well.

Shakespeare used one of the largest vocabularies of any English writer, almost 30,000 words, and he was the first writer to invent or record many of our most common turns of phrase, including "foul play," "as luck would have it," "your own flesh and blood," "too much of a good thing," "good riddance," "in one fell swoop," "so is your mother," "play fast and loose," "up your nose with a rubber hose," "dyn-o-mite," "I know you are but what am I" and "in the twinkling of an eye."

Shakespeare wrote a lot of other plays and died in the end—on April 23, 1616. His accomplishments are all the more remarkable when you consider that he died on the same day he’d been born.

April 23, 1616 -
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra died the very same day as Shakespeare. Mr. Cervantes was a brilliant Spanish humorist, best known for his novel Don Quixote, in which an old man suffering from acute mental illness rides around the Spanish countryside hallucinating, then dies.

Sometimes that's all there is.

April 23, 1988 -
"There is no dark side in the Moon really... matter of fact it's all dark"

Pink Floyd's album Dark Side Of The Moon, after spending the record total of 741 consecutive weeks (over 14 years) on the Billboard 200, left the charts for its first time ever.

How will they ever make ends meet.

And so it goes

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

It's Earth Day today, everybody goes out and hug a tree. If you don't want to be that familiar with nature, politely shake hands with your house plants.

Here's a little poem you can remember to help on this Earth Day -

If it's yellow, let it mellow,
If it's brown, flush it down,
And if it's blue, seek medical attention.

Here's your Today in History -

April 22, 1451 -
Isabella I, Queen of Castille, was born. She also became Queen of Aragon in 1479. She was Christopher Columbus's patron, and must therefore share some of the responsibility for the many thousands of casinos across America.

April 22, 1870
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov was born on this date He later became Lenin, invented the Communist Party in Russia, and made himself first Head Bastard of the Soviet Union.

It's interesting that Alexander Kerensky, the leader of Russia's provisional revolutionary government in 1917 until overthrown by Lenin, was born on the same day as Lenin, only eleven years later.

April 22, 1904 -
Robert Oppenheimer was born on this date. Mr. Oppenheimer is known as the father of the atomic bomb. Its mother has never been identified to anyone's satisfaction, which only underscores the lax security at Los Alamos.

April 22, 1915 -
The German Army opens 5,700 canisters of chlorine gas upwind of French soldiers at Ypres. It is the first use of poison gas for military purposes.

April 22, 1923 -
Kinky centerfold model Bettie Mae Page born in Nashville, Tennessee. As she describes herself, "I was never the girl next door."

April 22, 1934 -
John Dillinger's gang shoots their way out of an FBI ambush outside the Little Bohemia Hunting Lodge in northern Wisconsin. The FBI accidentally kills one innocent bystander and injures two others in the humiliating debacle.

April 22, 1954 -
Porn star and onetime Ivory Snow model Marilyn Chambers is born in Westport, Connecticut.

April 22, 1992 -
215 people are killed and 1,500 injured when two miles of sewer lines explode in Gaudalajara, Mexico. 20 city blocks in the downtown area are leveled by the blast. A corroded petroleum pipeline had filled the sewer with explosive fuel.

April 22, 1994 -
Richard M. Nixon suffers a fatal stroke. His body is laid to rest on the grounds of his Presidential Library. Wooden stakes are driven through his body to make sure he is dead.

April 22, 1997 -
After a four-month standoff, 140 government commandos storm the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru. Of the 72 hostages, one is killed in the ensuing firefight, along with all 14 of their captors.

And so it goes

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ok everybody can relax now

The Pope has gone back to Rome - everybody can start sinning again.

Today in History

April 21, 753 -BC-
Traditional date of the foundation of Rome (they are hoping to finish building it any day now). But since the Gregorian Calendar was just a gleam in Pope Julius eye who knows.

April 21, 1847 -
Lewis Keseberg, the final member of the Donner Party still stranded in the mountains, is escorted to safety by a fourth rescue party. Later accounts hold that Keseberg was discovered "seated, like a ghoul, in the midst of dead bodies, with his face and hands smeared with blood, and a kettle of human flesh boiling over the fire." I guess that soup must have been lip smacking good.

April 21, 1992 -
Convicted murderer Robert Alton Harris consumes two large pizzas, a bucket of fried chicken, and some ice cream on the eve of his execution. Later, before the gas chamber is activated, Harris propounds: "You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the grim reaper."

Make of this what you will that the following people were born today:
Catherina II the Great, writer/empress of Russia (and no she didn't do it with the horses, just the horse men) (1729), Alexandra Mary Windsor II (1926), Iggy Pop [James Newell Osterberg] (1947) , Patti LuPone (1949), Tony Danza (1951) & Robert Smith (1959)

And so it goes

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Traffic will be heavy

Pope is saying Mass today in Yankee Stadium this afternoon. Please refrain from throwing your empties out onto the field.

Here is your Today in History -

April 20, 1233 -
Pope Gregory IX places the Inquisition, in existence since 1227, under the aegis of the Dominican Order. Torture is apparently sometimes necessary to save souls, and the office continues to exist today as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. And until a few years ago, the congregation was headed by Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

April 20, 1889 -
In Braunau, Austria, Klara Hitler gives birth to a bouncing baby little evil bastard named Adolf.

April 20, 1979 -
President Jimmy Carter is attacked by a Killer Swamp Rabbit, while on vacation in Plains GA. The rabbit swam menacingly towards him, and he had to repel the ferocious creature with a paddle. There were no injuries. Press Secretary Jody Powell leaked the story to the press, and the White House had a lot of explaining to do.

April 20, 1992 -
Alone in his apartment watching TV, British comedic legend Benny Hill suffers a fatal heart attack. His bloated toupeeless body with his underwear around this ankles are found four days later

April 20, 1993 -
Latoya Jackson's husband and manager, Jack Gordon, is arrested after allegedly beating her with a dining room chair in their New York apartment.

And so it goes

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Let's see if this works

I'm testing out the scheduled posting feature so I've written this yesterday and it's posted today (actually I'm writing it right now but - oh never mind, you know what I mean.)

Here is your Today in History -

April 19, 1775 -
The American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord. In New York, Lexington seems to have won as there is no Concord Avenue.

April 19, 1824 -
Notorious drug user, buggerer, sister sleeping, club footed man about Europe, oh yeah, and poet, Lord George Gordon Byron, dies from fever in Greece. His body is set back to England for burial (his heart, literally remains in his beloved Greece, buried under a tree in Messolonghi) but he is so imfamous that neither the deans of Westminster and St Paul's will accept his body for proper burial. His family at last buries him in a small fault vault in Northern England.

April 19, 1910 -
Halley's comet reappears, last seen in 1835. The Earth passes safely through the comet's tail with no perceptible effect, not counting the death of Mark Twain.

April 19, 1927 -
Mae West, suspected transvestite, was jailed for her performance in Sex, the Broadway play she wrote, directed, and starred in. She was sentenced to ten days in prison. While incarcerated on Roosevelt Island, she was allowed to wear her silk panties instead of the scratchy prison issue and the warden reportedly took her to dinner every night. She served eight days with two days off for good behavior. Media attention to the case enhanced her career - it didn't make her change her act, but it did bring her national notoriety—and helped make her one of Hollywood's most memorable, and quotable, stars. She said: "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."

April 19, 1943 -
During an early-morning operation to exterminate the residents of the Warsaw Ghetto, Nazi troops experience heavy casualties and are forced to retreat before nightfall. Jewish resistance fighters, armed with rifles and molotov cocktails, manage to kill or wound at least 200. The battle will rage on for another three weeks.

April 19, 1987 -
The Simpsons make their television debut in the short "Good Night" a segment for The Tracey Ullman Show. I wonder whatever happened to The Simpsons.

(I'd like to show you the clip but the goons, I mean lawyers from Fox would break my legs and I've just about gotten used to walking.)

April 19, 1993 -
More than 80 Branch Davidians burn to death in Waco, Texas as the FBI stages a disastrous final assault on their compound. This brings a sudden end to the 51-day siege. They really pised off Janet Reno.

April 19, 1995 -
Timothy McVeigh kills 168 Oklahomans when his truck bomb detonates in front of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.

April 19, 1995 -
Singer Bobby Brown is arrested at Disneyworld for beating a man and tearing off his ear. Neil Kelly, the man with the reattached ear, later sues Brown for $6.6 million but eventually settles out of court for an undisclosed sum. Cocaine rattling around in his brain.

And so it goes

Friday, April 18, 2008

Great response on the train

While I was going to work this morning, two women starting fighting. One woman threw coffee on the other and the entire car fell into utter silence, listening to these women scream at each other.

Suddenly a young man stood up and shouted, "Hey, it's a Holy week. The Pope coming to town - You don't want to make the Pope cry?". Everybody in the car cracked up. So please remember in your dealing today, not to make the Pope cry.

Here is your Today in History -

It was a tense April in Boston in 1775. The colonists were simmering with resentment toward the motherland, on account of King George III having strewn the colonies with excessive tacks, painful to step on and bothersome to the horses. Furthermore, British cabbies had refused to unionize, and the colonists were adamantly opposed to taxis without representation.

King George III tried to assuage the riled colonists by sending them boatloads of tea. (King George III was insane.) The colonists dressed up like Indians and poured all the king’s tea into Boston harbor, proving they could be perfectly insane without any help from the king.

Meanwhile, a network of colonists had been secretly meeting for some time. They reasoned that since they preferred coffee to tea, liked salad before rather than after the entree, and couldn’t make any sense whatever of cricket, they were obviously no longer British. Perhaps they had become French, or Portuguese. Finally they took a vote, which proved they were American.

The king’s colonial representatives overheard some of these discussions, and decided to arrest as many of these patriots as possible, unless they could kill them first.

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere got wind of the British officers’ plan to arrest John Hancock and Sam Adams in Lexington that very night--arrests that would have been calamitous to the colony’s fledgling insurance and beer industries.

Anticipating colonial unrest, British officers had deployed Regulars on all the key roads between Boston and Lexington. (The Regulars had previously proved effective even where the Irregulars and Extra Longs had failed.)

Revere told some friends to hang two lanterns in Boston’s Old North Church, in order to signal his wife that he’d be late for dinner, and immediately set out for Charlestown. Once there, he mounted a horse and began the ride to Lexington.

He found himself almost immediately pursued by Regulars, whom he eluded by means of wily Boston riding tactics: he took a series of lefts from the right lane and a series of rights from the left, utterly confounding his pursuers, who were anyway accustomed to riding on the other side of the street and still weren’t sure what to do at a blinking red light. One of the Regulars rode straight into a fruit stand and ended up covered in produce. Another rode through a big plate glass window that two workmen were carrying across the road. It was pretty funny.

Just before midnight, Revere finally arrived at Jonas Clarke’s Lexington home, where he breathlessly informed Adams and Hancock that the British were coming. This confounded Adams and Hancock, who, like Revere, were themselves British.

Once the confusion was cleared up, Adams and Hancock fled for safety while Revere and two others rushed on to Concord. Many memorable and important historical events ensued, such as the American Revolution, but by then it was April 19th, and therefore no longer appropriate to this date's entry.

(Once again, sorry for the colorized version)

April 18, 1906 -
A devastating earthquake strikes San Francisco at 5:13 a.m., followed by a major aftershock three hours later. More than 3,000 people are killed from either collapsing structures or any of the 59 separate fires which burn over the next three days. In the downtown area, the U.S. Army is forced to dynamite whole city blocks in order to contain the flames, due to the lack of water pressure.

April 18, 1955 -
Nobel Prize recipient Albert Einstein dies in his hospital bed from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Seven hours later, his brain is plunked into a jar of formalin and taken away by the pathologist. Those began a 40 year journey of "They Stole Einstein's Brain".

April 18, 1983 _
62 people are killed and more than 100 injured in a suicide bombing against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. The attacker used a van packed with one ton of high explosives. Included among the dead is the CIA's entire Middle East bureau. The group Islamic Jihad claims responsibility, although the intelligence community believes it was actually the work of Hezbollah.

April 18, 1988 -
American auto worker John Demjanjuk is convicted of crimes against humanity by an Israeli court. They determined that he was Treblinka's notorious "Ivan the Terrible." The court sentences him to hang one week later, but the conviction is later overturned when it appears to have been a case of mistaken identity. In 2002, a U.S. federal court later strips Demjanjuk of his citizenship after it rules that he did in fact work as a Nazi prison guard, although at Sobibor, Majdanek, and Flossenburg.

And so it goes

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Have the debates ended yet?

The Democrats had their 400th debate last night. Why haven't they discussed the important issue of the day - does the Jelly go side up or down in a PB&J sandwich?

Here is your Today in History -

It was a lovely April, but a certain beautiful young woman walked about in a daze, heavy of heart and despairing of hope. She was betrothed to a rich and cruel young man who didn’t love her. Then she met a boyishly handsome young ruffian who loved her for who she really was. His every sentiment seemed to echo those in her own soul, sentiments that had gone too long unanswered; his smile radiated warmth and joy, and quickened her blooming young heart, which had withered too long from neglect; his touch sent shivers down her spine, which had always consisted of numerous vertebrae. They fell in love abruptly and completely. Sadly, the sea broke through the dikes, and they were drowned along with 100,000 other less interesting people on April 17, 1421, in Dort, the Netherlands. (On April 15, 1912, the unsinkable Titanic sank, drowning 1,523 of her 2200 passengers and crew. On April 16, 1951, the British submarine Affray sunk in the English Channel, drowning 75. On April 18, 1906, the San Francisco earthquake left 200,000 homeless and over 1000 dead. Let's be careful out there.)

April 17, 1524 -
Giovanni da Verrazzano, another in a long line of European knuckleheads trying to find a shortcut to India, reaches the Narrows, the strait between Staten Island and Long Island. He finds that he does not have enough change to go through and is turned around by local authorities. For some reason, we (the U.S.) named two bridges after him.

April 17, 1937 -
Oh people call me Daffy
They think that I am goony
Just because I’m happy is no sign I’m looney tooney
Oh when they say I’m nutsy
It sure gives me a pain
Please pass the ketchup I think its going to rain
Oh you can’t bounce a meatball
Though try with all your might
Turn on the radio I want to fly a kite
Good evening friends

Daffy Duck debuted in Looney Tune "Porky's Duck Hunt". This short, starring Porky Pig, is notable for being the first appearance of the character who would later be named Daffy Duck. Also notable is that this is the first cartoon in which Mel Blanc voices both Porky and Daffy.

(Sorry, this is a coloized version of the cartoon)

April 17, 1961 -
In an effort to overthrow Fidel Castro, 1,500 Cuban exiles make a series of amphibious landings at the Bay of Pigs. After it becomes painfully obvious in just a matter of hours that the forces were trained, equipped, and armed by the United States, the speed freak and known sex hound President John F. Kennedy withholds necessary air cover. In three days of fighting, Cuba captures 1,197 of the rebels and kills approximately 200.

April 17, 1964 -
The Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Mustang, championed by Ford Division general manager Lee Iacocca, at the New York World's Fair.

April 17, 1965 -
The FBI Laboratory in Washington reports their inability to make out the vocals on the hit single "Louie Louie." Thus, the Bureau is unable to determine whether the record constitutes obscene matter.

April 17, 1969 -
A Los Angeles jury convicts Sirhan Sirhan of assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Sirhan receives a death sentence, but it is later reduced to life in prison. Poor Mr. Sirhan, one of the only people who might have spoken in his defense, Robert F. Kennedy was dead.

And so it goes

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Men in dresses invade DC

The Pope is in Washington DC this morning. Elderly men in dresses from around the world come out to greet him.

I'm hoping to get the pope on the rope soap souvenir.

Today in History:

April 16, 173 BC -
"We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

"... how his naked ears were tortured, by the sirens sweetly singing."

A solar eclipse may have marked the return of Odysseus, legendary King of Ithaca and one of the most recurrent characters in Western literature, to his kingdom after the Trojan War.

April 16, 1865 -
President Abraham Lincoln lies in state. Two days previously, he receives a cranial gunshot wound from a member of the nation's most famous acting families, John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln dies the following day, primarily from ill-advised attempts to extract the bullet lodged in his brain. At approximately the same time, a co-conspirator of Booth's, Lewis Powell breaks into the Secretary of State William Seward's home and attacks his family. Incredibly, Mr. Seward survives a stabbing to the face and neck. The president's death came only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox, effectively ending the American Civil War. The president's death came only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox, effectively ending the American Civil War.

April 16 1912 -
The remains of the R.M.S. Titanic comes to reset at the bottom of the sea. The unsinkable ship sank after being torn by iceberg. Of a total of 2,208 people, only 712 survived; 1,496 perished. If the lifeboats had been filled to capacity, 1,178 people could have been saved. Of the first-class, 201 were saved (60%) and 123 died. Of the second-class, 118 (44%) were saved and 167 were lost. Of the third-class, 181 were saved (25%) and 527 perished. Of the crew, 212 were saved (24%) and 679 perished. Of particular note, the entire complement of the 35-member Engineering Staff (25 engineers, 6 electricians, two boilermakers, one plumber, and one writer/engineer's clerk) were lost. The entire ship's orchestra was also lost. Led by violinist Wallace Hartley, they played music on the boat deck of the Titanic that night to calm the passengers. It will probably forever remain unknown what this orchestra selected as their last piece. Based on evidence from various sources some argue it was "Nearer my God to Thee" while others say it was "Autumn." The majority of deaths were caused by victims succumbing to hypothermia in the 28 °F (-2 °C) water.

April 16, 1943 -
LSD was first synthesized on April 7, 1938 by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, as part of a large research program searching for medically useful ergot alkaloid derivatives. Its psychedelic properties were unknown until 5 years later, when Hofmann, acting on what he has called a "peculiar presentiment," returned to work on the chemical. He attributed the discovery of the compound's psychoactive effects to the accidental absorption of a tiny amount through his skin on April 16. Here is the first instance of the defense "I did not inhale" - "I accidential dropped acid".

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Hofmann's diary concerning this day -

"Last Friday, April 16,1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away. "

Oh wow, the colors, the lights man.

On a personal note, I want to wish Michael and Stephanie a very Happy Anniversary.

And so it goes

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Day of Reckoning is at hand.

It's tax day folks - time to 'fess up and come clean to the tax man.

Here's your Today in History

April 15, 1792 -
The Guillotine is first tested on human corpses. Delis all over France have to wait years for the meat slicer to be invented.

April 15, 1865-
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, dies from a bullet wound inflicted the night before by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer. The president's death came only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox, effectively ending the American Civil War.

April 15, 1912 -
Unsinkable ship Titanic sinks after being torn by iceberg, with a loss of 1493 passengers.

April 15, 1945 -
British and Canadian troops liberate the Bergen-Belsen death camp in northern Germany.

April 15, 1955 -
The first McDonald's franchise opens in Des Plains, a suburb of Chicago. Because it is the first one launched by Ray Kroc, he names it "McDonald's #1" despite the fact that the McDonald brothers had
already opened eight of their chain restaurants before they began accepting licensees. Kroc's unfortunate numbering system guarantees perpetual confusion for amateur fast food historians the world over.

April 15, 1962 -
Actress Clara Blandick, 80, the Auntie Em of the Wizard of Oz, takes an overdose of sleeping pills and ties a plastic bag around her head in a Hollywood hotel room. Prior to this, she had prominently
arranged her resume and press clippings so the newspapers would get her obituary right.

April 15, 1989 -
96 soccer fans are crushed to death at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, England. During the opening minutes of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, Sheffield police order a gate opened at one end of the stadium. A throng of 2,000 Liverpool fans attempt to surge into the seating section, smashing more than 250 already-seated fans against the security fence.

April 15, 1990 -
Greta Garbo dead. She finally got her wish.

April 15, 1990 -
Mass food poisoning kills 150 people at an engagement party in Basti, Uttar Pradesh. Advice: Don't eat the bread.

April 15, 1999 -
Dutch airlines KLM issues an apology for shredding 400 ground squirrels at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. The squirrels did not have proper importation papers, and thus were forced to meet their fate of grinding steel rotary blades. A public outcry forced KLM's apology.

And so it goes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I wonder what they'll do?

The Yankees seemed to have gone to a lot of trouble to find that shirt. I wonder what they'll do when they find out that the stadium is built over an old Indian grave site?

Here is your Today in History -

April 14, 73 -
With the 10th Roman Legion about to breach the gates of their mountaintop fortress, 960 Sicarii Jews commit mass suicide at Masada. According to Josephus, the radical cult selected ten swordsmen by
lottery to perform the killing. Then they held a second lottery to choose one man to kill the remaining nine. Finally, the last one fell on his sword.

April 14, 1828 -
Noah Webster published his American Dictionary of the English Language. He was a man who'd grown up in America at a time when Americans from different states could barely understand each other, because they spoke with such different accents and even different languages. Americans in Vermont spoke French, New Yorkers spoke Dutch, and the settlers in Pennsylvania spoke German. All these different languages were influencing American English, and there were no standards of spelling or meaning.

Please note: the word"blogger" was not in that edition of the dictionary.

April 14, 1865 -
President Abraham Lincoln receives a cranial gunshot wound from the nation's most famous actor, John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln dies the following day, primarily from ill-advised attempts to extract the
bullet lodged in his brain. So, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln.

On April 14, 1894, a public Kinetoscope parlor was opened by the Holland Bros. in New York City at 1155 Broadway, on the corner of 27th Street—the first commercial motion picture house. The venue had ten machines, set up in parallel rows of five, each showing a different movie. For 25 cents a viewer could see all the films in either row; half a dollar gave access to the entire bill. The machines were purchased from the new Kinetoscope Company, which had contracted with Thomas Edison for their production; the firm, headed by Norman C. Raff and Frank R. Gammon, included among its investors Andrew M. Holland, one of the entrepreneurial siblings, and Edison's former business chief, Alfred O. Tate. The ten films that comprise the first commercial movie program: Barber Shop, Bertoldi (mouth support) (Ena Bertoldi, a British vaudeville contortionist), Bertoldi (table contortion), Blacksmiths, Roosters (some manner of cock fight), Highland Dance, Horse Shoeing, Sandow (Eugen Sandow, a German strongman), Trapeze, and Wrestling. As historian Charles Musser describes, a "profound transformation of American life and performance culture" had begun.

They were sure plenty of kleenex were on hand.

April 14, 1912 - 11:40 P.M.
The Unsinkable RMS TITANIC hits an iceberg causing damage to six of her sixteen 'water tight' compartments. (Lat. 41° 46' N. and Long. 50° 14' W.)

April 14, 1986 -
Hindus crossing a bridge over the sacred Ganges river at Hardwar, India to bathe during the Kumbha Mela fete somehow stampede. 46 pilgrims are trampled.

April 14, 1989 -
California winery worker Ramon Salcido picks up a butcher knife and kills his wife, mother-in-law, two sisters-in-law, and two of his own daughters. Then he goes to work and kills his supervisor. He wasn't having a very good day

And so it goes.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm still trying to get the hang of this

I tried using the draft function yesterday but it appears that it dated the post from Friday. I'm about to try it again. Let's see how it goes (I've had to go in and re-edit in order to date the posting on the 13th)-

Here's Your Today in History

April 13, 1598 -
Henry IV of France issues the Edict of Nantes established tolerance for Huguenots in France. The Huguenots were the band of merry sailors that served as Jason’s crew on the Hugo, and the French had persecuted them because they were carrying Golden Fleas.

April 13, 1883 -
Alferd Packer, one of the few people in the US ever to be jailed for cannibalism, having allegedly killed and eaten five of his traveling companions while trapped in the Rocky Mountains during fierce winter weather, is sentenced to death in Colorado. During the trial, the judge supposedly said:

"Damn you, Alferd Packer! There were seven Dimmycrats in Hinsdale County and you ate five of them!"

An alternate version of the judge's outburst is -
"Packer, you depraved Republican son of a bitch! There were only five Democrats in Hinsdale County and you ate them all!"

The actual sentencing statement, of course, was a little more in character for an educated state judge:
"Close your ears to the blandishments of hope. Listen not to the flattering promises of life, but prepare for the dread certainty of death."

Packer is a legend in popular culture. He has been quoted as having said, in jest, "the breasts of man...are the sweetest meat I ever tasted." In 1968, students at the University of Colorado at Boulder named their new cafeteria grill the Alferd G. Packer Memorial Grill with the slogan "Have a friend for lunch!" Even today students can enjoy the meat-filled "El Canibal" underneath a giant wall map outlining his travels through Colorado. Trey Parker, co-creator of South Park and graduate of University of Colorado, made a student film - Alferd Packer: The Musical, based loosely on Packer's life, while there.

April 13, 1919 -
The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, also known as the Amritsar Massacre, was named after the Jallianwala Bagh (Garden) in the northern Indian city of Amritsar, where, British Indian Army soldiers under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children. The firing lasted about 10 minutes and 1600 rounds were fired. Official sources place the casualties at 379. According to private sources, the number was over 1000, with more than 2000 wounded, and Civil Surgeon Dr Smith indicated that they were over 1800. And the British wonder why they lost an empire.

April 13, 1970 -
56 hours and 205,000 miles from planet Earth, the crew aboard Apollo 13 hears "a pretty loud bang" when oxygen tank number two spontaneously explodes. Astronaut Jack Swigert informs Mission Control in Houston: "Hey, we've got a problem here." Miraculously, the crew manages to return home in their crippled spacecraft.

April 13, 1981 -
Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke wins a Pulitzer Prize for her story about Jimmy, an 8 year old heroin addict. Strangely, police could find no trace of this boy. And this was one of those investigative journalism Pulitzers, not a fiction Pulitzer, so she was forced to return the award two days later. Cooke later clerked part-time at a department store cosmetics counter in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

April 13, 1982 -
The premiere sperm donor to lesbian rock stars, David Crosby of CSNY arrested while freebasing cocaine and for illegal possession of a .45 handgun. Sentence: 5 years.

April 13, 1990 -
The Soviet Union admits after vehemently denying for 49 years to the Katyn Massacre of 15,000 Polish army officers in. Oops.

April 13, 1992 -
Chicago's downtown business center is crippled by massive flooding, as 124 million gallons of water inundate 50 miles of underground freight tunnels and adjoining basements. City workers dump sandbags, rocks, and mattresses into the Chicago River in a vain attempt to slow the floodwaters. All told, it will take 12 days to seal the leak and drain the tunnels. The disaster causes $800 million in damage, and the IRS graciously grants one week of amnesty for Chicago-area residents to file their tax returns.

April 13, 1994 -
The United Nations Human Rights Committee declares sodomy to be a basic human right. The committee determined that laws against buggery (particularly in Tasmania) breach articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. So that's what they do at the UN.

April 13, 2029 -
Mark this date in your calendars. A meteor will pass by the Earth, we hope, breaking the record for the closest passing by of any other previous meteor. Unless it goes wildly off course and crashes into Earth.

Have a good day.

And so it goes