Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And all the girls walk by dressed up for each other

August 31, 1945 -
As he did not sue me last year, I will try to wish George Ivan Morrison, singer and songwriter, happy birthday again, this year.

Van the Man, is still the greatest living blue-eyed soul singer.

August 31, 1946-
Howard Hawks' version of Raymond Chandlers classic Marlowe yarn (William Faulkner was one of the screen writers), The Big Sleep, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, was put into general release on this date.

The Big Sleep is known for its convoluted plot. During filming, allegedly neither the director nor the screenwriters knew whether chauffeur Owen Taylor was murdered or had killed himself. They sent a cable to Chandler, who told a friend in a later letter: "They sent me a wire ... asking me, and dammit I didn't know either".

August 31, 1946 -
Los Angeles police arrested actor Robert Mitchum, for years the coolest cat in Hollywood, for marijuana possession.

He later received a 60-day sentence (Jack Nicholson had nothing on him.)

August 31, 1957 -
This second Looney Tunes with Rocky and Mugsy, Bugsy and Mugsy, was released on this date.

I don't know how yas done it but I know yas done it!

August 31, 1958 -
Glenn Tilbrook, singer, guitarist and with his writing partner Chris Difford, formed the pop group, Squeeze, was born on this date.

In for bingo, all the nines, A panda for sweet little niece.

August 31, 1987 -
Epic/CBS Records released the Michael Jackson album, BAD on this date.

An 18 minute video of the title song, written by novelist and screenwriter Richard Price and directed by Martin Scorsese, debuted on CBS TV on this same day, as well.

Today in History -
Gaius Caesar Caligula was born on August 31 in the year 12. Caligula succeeded Tiberius in the year 37, and his reign was most notable for its policy of Sex with the Emperor.

(Please note - this guy not only slept with the unwilling wives of senators and his sisters, he married his horse and tried to have him made a god.) This turned out to have been a weak Political Philosophy, because the Romans all had classical educations and saw right through him.

So they killed him.

August 31, 1422 -
Henry V of England, one of the great warrior kings of the Middle Ages, dies suddenly of dysentery on this date. He was 34 at the time.

At the time of his death, Henry had not only consolidated power as the King of England but had also effectively accomplished what generations of his ancestors had failed to achieve through decades of war: unification of the crowns of England and France in a single person.

In 2002 he was ranked 72nd in the 100 Greatest Britons poll. And yet, lack of proper sanitary conditions carried him away. Let this be a lesson to us all - wash your hands after visiting the rest room.

August 31, 1919 -
"Workers of the world unite!"

In Chicago, journalist John Reed established the American Communist Labor Party, on this date.

providing entertainment for Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover for decades.

August 31, 1879 -
Alma Maria Schindler, noted in her native Vienna for her beauty and intelligence, was born on this date.

In her youth she was an aspiring composer. But that not why I bring her up. She was the wife, successively, of the composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and novelist Franz Werfel, and lover to the painter Oskar Kokoschka. Rather than try to encapsulate the story of this very busy woman,

Listen to Tom Lehrer's song Alma, which nicely gives you the gist of her life.

August 31, 1976 -
George Harrison was found guilty of unintentionally plagiarizing My Sweet Lord .

Those damn Beatles could never come up with an original tune.

August 31, 1977 -
Ian Smith, espousing racial segregation, won the Rhodesian general election with 80% of overwhelmingly white electorate's vote.


August 31, 1997 -
A couple of day previously in 1997, My wife and I were coming out of the revolving doors at the Ritz Hotel in Paris and a very famous couple were coming in. A few days later on this date, a charming, slightly addled, beautiful divorcee with two children decides to take a car ride with her very rich Middle Eastern boyfriend and his very drunk driver. She makes the fatal mistake of not buckling her seat belt and pays a very heavy toll.

So ends the glamorous and controversial life of Diana Spencer Mountbatten-Windsor.

Kids, if you don't want to end up dying in the backseat of a black 1994 Mercedes-Benz W140 in a road tunnel in Paris - BUCKLE UP.

And so it goes

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's National Toasted Marshmallow Day

It must be close to the end of summer.

August 30, 1959 -
Bobby Darin's jazzy interpretation of Mack The Knife began its 26-week stay on the pop-singles charts.

... And he keeps it out of sight.

August 30, 1967 -
John Boorman's crime drame thriller, Point Blank, premiered on this date.

This was the first major picture to film on location at Alcatraz Island after the closure of the federal prison in 1963.

August 30, 1968 -
Apple Records released its first single, Hey Jude by The Beatles on this date.

They were so lucky to sign them up to the label.

Today in History:
On August 30, in the year 30 BC, Egypt's Queen Cleopatra clutched a snake to her breast and died. History has judged this a suicide, but there is room for doubt: she had previously clutched Julius Caesar and Marc Antony to her breast without dying, and may have therefore considered herself immunized.

Dilligent readers will realize that this is the second time that I have mentioned the death of Cleopatra - the dates came from different sources.

Folk remember, the Romans were much too busy giving themselves lead poisoning with their wine goblets, engaging in enormous orgies and changing their calendars to appease the newest head of the Julio-Claudian clan to take accurate notes.

August 30, 1780 -
General "Eggs" Benedict Arnold secretly promised to surrender the West Point fort to the British army during the American Revolution. The measure of Arnold's treachery was made worse by the fact that he was considered by many to be the best general and most accomplished leader in the Continental Army.

In fact, without Arnold's earlier contributions to the American cause, the American Revolution might well have been lost; notwithstanding, his name, like those of several other prominent traitors throughout history, has become a byword for treason and a brunch staple.

August 30, 1859 -
At the University of Göttingen, PhD candidate Albert Niemann isolates the alkaloid C17H21NO4 from leaves of the plant Erythroxylum coca.

Niemann names his white, powdery discovery cocaine and observes firsthand its peculiarly strong anesthetic effect: "it benumbs the nerves of the tongue, depriving it of feeling and taste."

Oh, that's what cocaine does. Now I know.

August 30, 1930 -
Warren Edward Buffett often called the "Sage of Omaha", "Oracle of Omaha", or "Omaha Steak", American investor, businessperson and philanthropist is born on this date. Buffett has amassed an enormous fortune from astute investments managed through the holding company Berkshire Hathaway, of which he is the largest shareholder and CEO.

With an estimated current net worth of around $37 billion, he was ranked by Forbes as the second-richest person in the world as of February 2009, between Bill Gates and Mexican businessman Carlos Slim HelĂș.

I, on the other hand, did not make a blip on the list.

August 30, 1993 -
On CBS-TV The Late Show with David Letterman premiered.

Billy Murray was his first guest and Billy Joel was the first musical guest.

(I hope Dave gets his new dog under control - those were some very ugly bites he showed Drew Barrymore.)

And in case you didn't see him talking with Brian Williams yesterday, stop looking at the President's forehead, he's stopped posting his birth certificate there ( I definitely have a place they can look for it.)

And so it goes.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It doesn't seem like it's been five years

August 29, 2005
Hurricane Katrina devastates much of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. The death toll eventually reached at least 1,600. An estimated 300 Louisiana residents died out of state; some 230 people perished in Mississippi. Property damage estimates were in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Parts of the affected area has still not fully recovered. Please remember the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

August 29, 1958 -
Michael Joseph Jackson, the self-crowned King of Pop was born on this date.

I'm really half expected Michael and his legion of zombie dancers to swarm out of the cemetary any day now.

August 29, 1915 -
Ingrid Bergman, the Swedish three-time Academy Award, two-time Emmy Award, and Tony Award- winner (what a slouch) and "a horrible example of womanhood and a powerful influence for evil" was born (and died in 1982) on this date.

... A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous....

August 29, 1920 -
Charles Christopher "Bird" Parker, jazz saxophonist and composer was born on this date.

August 29, 1953 -
Warner Brothers introduced Speedy Gonzalez in the cartoon Cat-Tails for Two on this date.

While this is the first cartoon featuring the character Speedy Gonzales, his depiction here is vastly different from the character he would later become. It wasn't until his second appearance, Speedy Gonzales, that he was re-designed as the character we know him as today.

August 29, 1964 -
The first movie I ever saw (but not on this date), Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins opened on this date.

Robert Wise and Ernest Lehman visited the set to view rushes of Julie Andrews' performance. She was cast immediately in the lead for The Sound of Music on the strength of that visit.

August 29, 1967 -
ABC'S television ratings soared through the roof as David Janssen and Barry Morse starred in the final episode of The Fugitive.

Some sources incorrectly state that an alternate ending for the series was planned in which Kimble would be seen removing a false arm, revealing him as the true killer. In the book The Fugitive Recaptured, Barry Morse reveals that this rumor may have started with a never-realized plan that he and David Janssen had for pulling a "false arm" gag at public appearances.

Today in History:
More on Political Philosophy...

John Locke was born on August 29, 1632. Mr. Locke was a political philosopher, and many of his ideas found their way into the American Constitution.

He is best known for his essay concerning human understanding, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, which remains famous to this day as the shortest essay ever written.

Another important political philosopher was born this week: Jean Baptiste Colbert was born on August 29, 1619.

Colbert was the finance minister to King Louis XIV of France. His own Political Philosophy consisted of a big pile of money. This was a very effective politics, and therefore deemed insufficiently philosophical, which is why you tend to hear more about Locke and Hegel.

August 29, 1896 -
The Chinese-American dish Chop Suey was invented in New York City by the chef to visiting Chinese Ambassador Li Hung-chang.

Here is one of those bright dividing lines: if you know what chop suey is - you're old. If you've tasted chop suey - you're really old.

August 29, 1966 -
The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

The performance marked the end of a four-year period dominated by touring and concerts including nearly sixty U.S. appearances and over one thousand four hundred internationally.

And so it goes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Important trivial fact of the day

August 28, 1837 -
Pharmacists John Lea and William Perrins began commercially manufacturing Worcestershire Sauce, based on an Indian recipe brought to them by Lord Marcus Sandys -- an ex-governor of Bengal.

If they told you the recipe (it contains anchovies), they'd have to kill you.

A very clever video by Weird Al

I didn't even know he was still writing songs. Who knew?

August 28, 1930 -
Hooray for Captain Spaulding!

The Marx Brothers second outing at Paramount, Animal Crackers, opened on this date.

Animal Crackers did not appear on television until fifty years after its release. When it finally did reach the small screen, it was via a prime-time broadcast on the CBS network in summer 1980.

August 28, 1946 -
Universal's film-noir classic version of Ernest Hemingway's story, The Killers, premiered in NYC on this date.

Former Warner Bros. producer Mark Hellinger, who had started his own independent production unit at Universal-International, wanted Wayne Morris to star in this, his first picture. Warners wouldn't loan him out, so Hellinger cast the unknown Burt Lancaster in his first movie. It made Lancaster a star.

August 28, 1951 -
Paramount's second film version based on Theodore Dreiser's novel, An American Tragedy, A Place in the Sun, opened in NYC on this date.

George Stevens often referred to Technicolor as having an "Oh what a beautiful morning" quality to it, something completely inappropriate to the tone of this film, hence it was made in black and white.

Today in History:
Today is believed to be the date in 476 A.D. when the Western Roman Empire, which had lasted for almost 500 years, came to an end as Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by a barbarian.

Historians have been theorizing about the causes of the fall of Rome ever since. Edward Gibbon's book The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776) put forward the idea that the Christian Church was to blame. After Christianity became the official religion of the empire, the best and the brightest leaders became leaders of the church rather than leaders of the government or the military. Another theory is that the aqueducts, which carried the water supply, were lined with lead, and so the Romans slowly went crazy. Some geologists believe that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius released so much ash into the air that it ruined Roman agriculture and weakened the empire. One of the more recent theories is that the Roman army had been infiltrated by the barbarians themselves.

But whatever the cause, the fall of Rome actually wasn't the catastrophic event most people think it was. So-called barbarian rulers kept most of the basic laws in place, Latin remained the official language of government, everyone remained Christian and orgies continued but in private.

August 28, 1907 -
United Parcel Service begins service, in Seattle.

Hopefully some of those packages will arrive soon.

August 28, 1922 -
The first radio commercial aired on WEAF in New York City (WEAF stood for "Water, Earth, Air and Fire.)

It was a 10-minute advertisement for the Queensboro Realty Co., which had paid $100.

Programming must have really stunk if people listened to a 10 minute commercial.

August 28, 1963 -
During a 200,000-person civil rights rally in at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his famous "I have a dream speech".

August 28, 1982 -
Two crazy kids got married on this date.

Some of the people who were at that wedding are still alive. Some of them are unfortunately not. Some of them have gotten married (even to each other.) Others are not. Some of them had children. Some did not.

Those two crazy kids are still alive, married and have children.

Happy Anniversary Mary.

August 28, 1996 -
Unfortunately for others, the fairy tale has a very unhappy ending,

Britons Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, are divorced on this date. One year later, almost to the day, Diana, will have a very nasty accident in an Paris underpass.

(sorry I couldn't help myself - I promise I'll hold off on the Elvis Costello clips for awhile.)

And before I forget,
Happy Birthday Claudia and Romolo.

And so it goes

Friday, August 27, 2010

Another important PSA from your friends at ACME

Most people have learned to watch their cholesterol and blood pressure, but how many Americans really know how to protect themselves against assassination? Not many. And yet, each year, millions of people are killed by assassins.

It’s tragic because these are needless deaths, almost all of which could have been prevented. I have found on the internet, a few simple precautions can help ensure that no assassin’s bullet will ever have your name on it:

a) First, get plenty of exercise, eat plenty of vegetables, and avoid being born into royalty.
b) Don’t be president, prime minister, or other Top Person.
c) Don’t create a military junta or mastermind a coup.
d) Don’t say or write anything that might be considered disparaging by anyone with their own military junta.
e) Do not found a religion.
f) Do not oppose a religion.
g) If your parents are gods, dismember them.
h) If your children are gods, devour them.
i) Excel at nothing.
j) Stay indoors.
k) Always call shotgun when driving with suicide car-bombers.

It's the Feast day of St. Monica of Hippo. Monica, originally from Wart Hog and moved to the better neighborhood of Hippo, was known as a virtuous woman and was the mother of St. Augustine. She continually nagged her son about his debauched ways until she successfully convinced him to convert to Christianity. She is the patron saint of those with disappointing children.

Hey wait a minute, wouldn't this make her the patron saint of all Jewish mothers.

August 27, 1947 -
20th Century Fox's classic film-noir, crime-drama, Kiss of Death, premiered on this date.

Often cited as Victor Mature's best performance. Richard Widmark's crazed gangster, though, all be steals the picture.

August 27, 1882,
Schmuel Gelbfisz, (Samuel Goldwyn), glove maker, sales man and pioneer filmmaker was born in Warsaw, Poland.

August 27, 1916 -
Martha Raye, singer, actor, denture wearer was born in Butte, Montana.

August 27, 1952 -
Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman) American actor, writer, comedian and public masturbator was born on this date.

I know you are but what am I.

Today in History -
August 27, 410 -
In case you were keeping score, the Sack of Rome still continued unabated. The orgies were winding down as everything that moved had been used. The Visigoths were forced to engage in unnatural acts with furniture.

I dare not say more.

Political Philosophy has caused more human death and suffering than any other disease. No inoculations exist. Outbreaks are sudden and almost always fatal. Political Philosophy strikes young and old alike, healthy and sickly, nimble and clumsy, lefty and righty. By the time its symptoms are visible, you have very little time to protect yourself. Popular referendums will only exacerbate the problem.

Emigrate at once.

Case studies:

On August 27, 1793, the Committee of Public Safety in Paris, France, accepted its newest member, Maximilien Robespierre.

Robespierre soon rose to prominence on the basis of his Political Philosophy, the Guillotine, which was quicker than Inalienable Rights and more readily understood than Separation of Powers.

On August 27, 1770, George William Hegel was born on this date. Hegel was also a kind of political philosopher.

He believed in theses and antitheses and that sooner or later everyone ended up in Synthetics. Unfortunately there was no way to test his theory, as this was well before the invention of polyester.

August 27, 1967 -
Brian Epstein is the man who discovered the Beatles, and guided them to mega-stardom, died at his London residence, from an overdose of sleeping pills.

Many critics believe this traumatic event ultimately lead to the Beatles breakup.

And so it goes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I have a funny feeling in my tummy (it must be a miracle.)

Today is the Feast of The Transverberation of St. Teresa of Avila (again, find an old lady saying her rosary in church to explain it to you.)

If you find yourself in Rome, run, do not walk, to see the Santa Maria della Vittoria Church. It houses one of the most amazing statues - The Ecstasy of St. Teresa by Bernini.

The statues depict a moment described by Saint Teresa of Avila in her autobiography, where she had the vivid vision of an angel piercing her heart with a golden shaft, over and over again, causing her both immense joy and pain. The flowing robes and contorted posture abandon classical restraint and repose to depict a more passionate, almost voluptuous trance.

Give me that old time religion!!!

August 26, 1953 -
Considered to be one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s, George Pal's The War of the Worlds was released on this date.

Cecil B. DeMille, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, at one time considered, then turned down the chance to direct a version of this H. G Welles classic.

Today in History:
August 26, 1743 -
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier was born on this date. Dr. Lavoisier discovered oxygen.

The discovery was a great boon to science, as it enabled Breathing, without which many subsequent scientific advances would have been impossible.

August 26, 1883-

Krakatoa erupted, between Java and Sumatra. The two-day eruption and related tidal waves killed 36,000 people and destroyed two thirds of the island. (Yeah, yeah, I know, Krakatoa is West of Java.)

On a lighter note, "Krakatoa" sounds like "cracked a toe, huh?" and can be used in many humorous puns.

August 26, 1920 -
US Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

American women win the right to vote as the 19th Amendment to the U-S Constitution takes effect on this date .

Most women opposed the amendment, on the grounds that they had suffered enough already, but it passed anyway since only men could vote.

August 26, 1982 -
The Argentine government ended its ban on political parties. This resulted in more festive politicians, and the great National Hangover of 1983.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What the hell was on his mind?

Is the Governor back on the crack pipe?

Oh David, January can't come soon enough for you.

It's the birthday of Declan Patrick MacManus, one of the most prolific musicians of the late 20th Century. Not too bad a description for an old punk rocker.

Today in History (sponsored by the all day Elvis Costello birthday bash):
The Council of Nicaea ended on August 25, 325, resulting in the Nicene Creed. This established the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which proved that the Father and Son were not two, but three and therefore one. This controversial creed alienated many math teachers from the church.

Its repercussions eventually caused a Schism, which caused in Infidels, which caused considerable bloodshed and ultimately resulted in more Political Philosophy.

August 25, 1718 -
French colonists, led by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur De Bienville, established the Louisiana settlement and fortress of Nouvelle Orleans.

In honor of the Big Easy, flash a cop on horse back.

August 25, 1830 -
The 'Tom Thumb' steam locomotive, designed by Peter Cooper, ran the famous first race between a locomotive and a horse-drawn vehicle, over a nine mile stretch, between Relay and Baltimore, Maryland.

The locomotive was off to a promising start, but broke down, and the horse won .

August 25, 1835 -
The New York Sun publishes stunning revelations that Sir John Hershel has observed little men living on the surface of the moon.

The stories, now generally believed to be false, brings the paper record circulation.

August 25, 1900 -

No, Nietzsche is dead.

God finds this very amusing.

August 25, 1925 -
The Sleeping Car Porters' Union was established by A. Phillip Randolph,

a political malcontent who'd been agitating for reform ever since his ejection from the Wide Awake Car Porters' Union.

August 25, 1967
George Lincoln Rockwell, the leader of the American Nazi Party,

was relieved of his duties by means of the usual Nazi method: he was shot to bloody hell.

Happy Birthday Elvis

And so it goes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another modest proposal

We need to stop watching Fox News

So now we know, Jon Stewart's funny little show is indirectly funding international terrorism; News Corp, on the other hand, is directly involved with it.

August 24, 1937 -
The crime-drama film, Dead End, premiered in NYC on this date.

When producer Samuel Goldwyn visited the huge set constructed for the film (a very detailed depiction of a New York City slum) he shouted, "Why do directors always want these slums to be so dirty? Clean it up!" He was eventually persuaded by director William Wyler that very few people lived in clean slums and that it would hurt the picture's credibility if a slum were depicted as a nice place to live.

August 24, 1966 -
Another one of the defining films of the 60's, Alfie, opened in the US on this date.

Several well-known actors (including Richard Harris, Laurence Harvey and Anthony Newley) turned down the title role due to the then taboo subject matter of abortion. Despite having played Alfie on Broadway, Terence Stamp categorically declined to reprise the role on film, thus giving his good friend and then roommate Michael Caine the breakthrough role of his career.

August 24, 1966 -
The (still surprising good) sci-fi film, Fantastic Voyage, premiered on this date.

When filming the scene where the other crew members remove attacking antibodies from Ms. Peterson for the first time, director Richard Fleischer allowed the actors to grab what they pleased. Gentlemen all, they specifically avoided removing them from Raquel Welch's breasts, with an end result that the director described as a "Las Vegas showgirl" effect. Fleischer pointed this out to the cast members - and on the second try, the actors all reached for her breasts. Finally the director realized that he would have to choreograph who removed what from where, and the result is seen in the final cut.

It is believed that the original potato chip recipe was created by chef George Crum, at Moon's Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York, on August 24, 1853.

He was fed up with a customer (the popular myth wrongly identifies him as Cornelius Vanderbilt) who continued to send his fried potatoes back, claiming that they were too thick and soggy. Crum decided to slice the potatoes so thin that they couldn't be eaten with a fork, nor fried normally in a pan, so he decided to stir-fry the potato slices. Against Crum's expectation, the guest was ecstatic about the new chips. They became a regular item on the lodge's menu under the name Saratoga Chips. They soon became popular throughout New York and New England.

You don't want to know how Crum got the vinegar flavor for that damn chip.

Today in History:
August 24, 79
The entire city of Pompeii was fired by Mount Vesuvius. Vesuvius, ever the vengeful volcano god buried that happening spot by the sea, Pompeii, apparently to punish the debauchery that made the town famous. Tens of thousands of people perished only to have plaster casts made centuries later of the hollows their bodies once occupied.

Once again, people, this is what happens when a city goes on the cheap and starts scarifying any old whore rather than a proper virgin.

August 24, 410
In what was possibly the largest layoff in history,

all of Rome was sacked (again).

August 24, 1572 -
Troops loyal to the French crown alongside Catholic civilians massacre the Protestant Huguenots of Paris, estimates range between 20,000 and 100,000 deaths. At news of this carnage of this St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, a gleeful Pope Gregory XIII ordered celebrations and a medal to be struck.

Sometimes, you just have to be embarrassed to be a Catholic.

August 24, 1814 -
The White House and other public buildings in the District of Columbia are torched by the British.

The President's wife, Dolley Madison and Paul Jennings, her husband's enslaved manservant, are torn away from Mrs. Madison's ice cream and candy making duties to save a couple of chairs

and an unfinished portrait of some dead Virginian Slave holder, Masonite and dope smoker.

August 24, 1958 -
Red China commences the shelling of the islands of Quemoy and Matsu, which hold one-third of Chiang Kai Shek's troops. The United States threatens nuclear retaliation for this, but the American people do not support the stance. A very strange compromise is worked out, permitting China to shell the islands on odd dates and Chiang Kai Shek's troops to resupply the islands on even dates.

August 24, 1968
France explodes its first hydrogen bomb, thus becoming the world's fifth nuclear power.

The Germans break out in an ever slight sweat. (The 1998 film Godzilla uses this particular test as the basis for the monster Godzilla, an infant green iguana mutated by the fallout from the blast.)

Another reason to hate the French.

August 24, 1989 -
Pete Rose is suspended from baseball for life for gambling

Remember, Pete just gambled, he didn't take any damn steroids.

And so it goes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Study this face

This is moral cowardice (or far worse.)

... The president says he's a—the president says he's a Christian, I take him at his word. I don't think that's in dispute....

August 23, 1940 -
Preston Sturges' Oscar winning satire on political corruption, The Great McGinty, premiered on this date.

Brian Donlevy and Akim Tamiroff reprised their roles as Governor McGinty and The Boss in Preston Sturges's The Miracle of Morgan's Creek.

August 23, 1957 -
20th Century Fox released its film adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel, The Sun Also Rises, on this date.

Fans of Tyrone Power were shocked by his tired and aged appearance in the movie, since he was only 42 at the time of filming. Years of chain smoking cigarettes and drinking heavily had taken a toll on his looks. In addition he was reportedly taking pills so he could survive with only three hours sleep every night.

August 23, 1969 -
The Rolling Stones hit, Honky Tonk Women reached number one on the pop-singles charts, on this date.

Mini quiz for all you kids, What was the b-side of the single? You Can't Always Get What You Want

August 23, 1996 -
One of the most bizarre films ever made (starring Marlon Brando) The Island of Dr. Moreau, was released on this date.

Rent it just to see the scene where Marlon and his mini-me play piano, I'll say no more.

It's Gene Kelly's birthday.

Everybody run outside and dance!

Today in History:
August 23, 1305 -
Scottish patriot William Wallace (Mel Gibson) was persuaded to take an early retirement.

According to one eyewitness: "He was hung in a noose, and afterwards let down half-living; next his genitals were cut off and his bowels torn out and burned in a fire; then and not till then his head was cut off and his trunk cut into four pieces. At this point he was given a gold watch, and a humorous card that we had all signed."

August 23, 1914 -
Japan declared war on Germany. Much confusion and embarrassment ensues about 25 years later when this point is brought up at a meeting of the Axis powers.

August 23, 1926 -
Rudolf Valentino dies and caused a worldwide frenzy among his fans, on this date. Sales of the Sheik condoms soar.

There's a very dirty joke I could insert here but recent FCC rulings prevent me.

August 23, 1927 -
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, convicted of murder in 1921, were executed in Boston in spite of worldwide protests, on this date.

Their guilt is still disputed.

August 23, 1939-
Joachim von Ribbentrop and Josef Stalin signed a non-aggression pact, allowing Germany to attack Poland and the USSR to invade Finland without fears of reprisal. Three years later, the Battle of Stalingrad began. (The battle of Stalingrad was fought by Germans and Russians, in case the irony was lost on you.)

Moral: secret wartime pacts with evil conquering bastards aren't any more reliable in the real world than they are in a game of Risk.

August 23, 1944 -
Romanian Prime Minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael (another cousin of Elizabeth and her itinerant sailor husband Philip Mountbatten), paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies.

King Michael organized a coup against the pro-Nazi dictator, Marshal Ion Antonescu, but was double-crossed by Joseph Stalin and betrayed by the Allies who ceded the country to the Russians at the Yalta summit in 1945.

August 23, 1968 -
The Youth International Party designates Pigasus as their choice of candidate for U.S. President. The boar hog is introduced at a press conference outside the Chicago Civic Center, with the slogan "They nominate a President and he eats the people. We nominate a President and the people eat him."

The gathering is broken up shortly thereafter when the Chicago PD takes into custody the Yippie organizers and their pig.

Alright, now that I've calmed down, here's another fun way to waste five minutes

and their follow up hit

I can't wait until they perform it live.

And so it goes.