Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's another ACME PSA

This has nothing to do with the court ordered community service we received last year - Major Gridlock Alert - Avoid, like the plague or swine flu, midtown today!

Thousands will gather at Rockefeller Center in New York City for the 78th Annual Christmas tree lighting ceremonies tonight. Do you really want to be stuck in the middle of Jersey Shore wannabees and bratty little girls who dragged Grandma to the American Girl Store? So once again, I'm giving native New Yorkers a gentle reminder - watch last year's lighting here.

Today's theme: People who feel their electric company doesn't make enough money - Christmas Light Shows:

November 30, 1971 -
The TV movie Brian's Song, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.

The interior of what was supposed to be Gale Sayers' house was actually the interior set of Darrin and Samantha's house from Bewitched.

November 30, 1990 -
Rob Reiner's adaptation of Stephen King's thriller, Misery, premiered on this date.

Stephen King had originally planned to release the novel under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. While writing it, however, it was discovered that King was Bachman. King subsequently published the novel under his real name, and announced that Bachman had died from "cancer of the pseudonym."

Gentle readers, we here at 'Today in History' hope that you will find today's posting a useful tool to help you count the blessing in your lives. Those who remain cynical and ungrateful might find cause for gratitude for at least one of the following historical events.

On November 30, 1935, the German government proclaimed a failure to accept the tenets of Nazism as grounds for divorce.

Be grateful you never married a Nazi.

Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667,

and Mark Twain was born exactly 170 years later, in 1835.

Be grateful that not everyone is taking everything so goddamn seriously.

Winston Churchill (one of my favorite American who became British Prime Minister) was also born on November 30, in 1874, in a coat closet of his family home (really).

Be grateful that not everyone was so grateful for Peace In Our Time.

Otherwise, here are some other events that occurred on this date

November 30, 1900 -
Celebrated Irish author and noted sodomite Oscar Wilde, died in Paris of meningitis on this date. Wilde had been charged three times with indecency, specifically "the seduction and corruption of young men." Evidence admitted against him included testimony about fecal stains on his sheets.

Be thankful that we obviously have better cleaning detergents than the French did in 1900.

And remember, "I don't think that Wilde was a homosexual or bisexual, I think he just got carried away at those orgies".

November 30, 1929 -
Dick Clark, the American Bandstander, was born on this date. We heard a rumor about extensive facial plasticizing treatments in the early 1970's. While this rumor remains unverified, we must note that before his unfortunate stroke, the man seemed to no longer age and may not even be human.

Be thankful the few of us are faced with bargaining with Satan for our careers.

November 30, 1936 -
The Crystal Palace, originally built by Sir Joseph Paxton in London's Hyde Park for the 1851 Great Exhibition, burns to the ground on this date.

It was said that over 75,000 people came to watch the blaze, among them Winston Churchill, who said, "This is the end of an age". The glow was visible across eight counties.

Be thankful that you weren't down wind from this one.

November 30, 1954 -
At 1 pm, an 8.5 pound stone meteorite falls from the sky and strikes Ann Elizabeth Hodges from Sylacauga, Alabama. The housewife was seriously bruised but survived, although the meteorite destroyed her radio.

Oh the humanity!

Tomorrow is Hanukkah and there are 25 more shopping days until Christmas, (Festivus is just around the corner.)

Get your potato graters ready..

And so it goes

Monday, November 29, 2010

But That's not important right now.

Leslie Nielsen died from complications from pneumonia at a hospital this weekend.

You know what a hospital is – it's a large building with a lot of beds

Run for your lives - It's Cyborg Monday.

Wait - this just in - it's Cyber Monday. Continue to shop til you drop!!!

Our Third Annual Christmas video countdown. Today is - Really Bad Holiday Songs:

Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rea:

Chris, either speed up and get home or drive off the road and put us all out of our misery.

The Christmas Shoes - Newsong :

In case you need to 'purge' music

PS- if your Mom is dying, there are more important things to worry about than buying her new shoes.

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney:

Sir Paul got a new synthesizer and after a few drinks during a holiday party this is what he came up with

Any Christmas song processed by Mannheim Steamroller.

This is the music that people who are deeply concerned with the cholera epidemic in Haiti but tweet about the new flavor of free trade coffee Starbucks has, listen to during the holidays.

Macarena Christmas - Los Del Rios:

A song so odious that they won't even play it on the 'all holiday music' radio stations.

November 29, 1940 -
I'm very fond of children. Girl children, around eighteen and twenty.

W.C. Fields at his peak, The Bank Dick, premiered on this date.

Universal's censors initially objected to W.C. Fields' script and demanded many changes. Director Edward F. Cline suggested that Fields should go ahead and film it their way, and that the front office wouldn't notice the difference. They didn't.

November 29, 1945 -
Remarkable for it frank portrayal of alcoholism (for it's day), The Lost Weekend, opened in Los Angeles on this date.

Paramount were very nervous about releasing a film with such an adult theme and very nearly buried it when it didn't do too well with preview audiences. Ultimately, of course, it went on to become a major hit and Academy Award winner.

November 29, 1950 -
Jean Cocteau's beautifully magical, Orphee, opened in the US on this date.

The opening scenes set in the Cafe des Poetes were originally set to be filmed with regular extras. However, Cocteau found them to be too self-conscious and artificial so they were all dismissed. Instead, real bohemians from Paris' real cafe culture were drafted in. These proved to be so natural and relaxed with the cafe setting, they actually stayed on for two extra days after filming had finished, just hanging out in the cafes that the film crew had been using.

Today in History:
November 29, 1864 -
The Sand Creek Massacre occurred, on this date, when Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington, in retaliation for an Indian attack on a party of immigrants near Denver, massacred at least 400 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants (mostly children, women, physically- and mentally-challenged, and elders) inside Colorado Territory.

It also generated two Congressional investigations into the actions of Chivington and his men. The House Committee on the Conduct of the War concluded that Chivington had "deliberately planned and executed a foul and dastardly massacre which would have disgraced the varied and savage among those who were the victims of his cruelty."

The American Government has so much to be proud of with their dealings with the Native Americans.

November 29, 1929 -
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd (on a break from his experiments with frozen vegetables) radioed that he'd made the first airplane flight with pilot Floyd Bennett, over the South Pole: "My calculations indicate that we have reached vicinity of South Pole."

After briefly loitering around the Pole, Byrd and his crew headed back to their home base, Little America and more intense testing of frozen zucchini.

November 29, 1961 -
The US sends the chimpanzee Enos into space, on the Mercury Atlas 5 capsule from Cape Canaveral.

Enos returns to earth safely but dies less than a year later before he can sign with the William Morris Agency.

November 29, 1986 -
82 year old Archibald Leach, better known as Cary Grant, died on this date.

While rumors of Grant's sexuality have been around for years, consider in perspective the words of US congressman Bob Dornan, spoken on the House floor: "I do not think Cary Grant was a homosexual or bisexual. He just got carried away at those orgies."

I love that quote.

November 29, 2001 -
The "quiet" Beatle George Harrison silenced by cancer on this date.

Oh yeah, millions of years ago (or at least more than half a century ago) the earth cooled and formed a hard crust, huge dinosaurs ruled the land and John was there to see it all. Happy Birthday John.

About a decade later, vast plains with wildflowers sprung up and Mary skipped along them all. Happy Birthday Mary.

2 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 26 more shopping days until Christmas.

Start scouring the paper for cooking oil sales.

And so it goes

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's National French Toast Day

Who cares why - French Toast (pan perdu) is a Great breakfast.


November 28, 1943 -
Randall Stuart Newman, singer/songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist was born on this date.

Newman had the dubious distinction of receiving the most Oscar nominations (15) without a single win. His losing streak was broken when he received the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2001, If I Didn't Have You, from Monsters Inc.

November 28, 1943 -
Vincente Minnelli's gift to his future wife, Judy Garland, the musical film Meet Me In St. Louis, opened in NYC on this date.

Judy Garland did not want to portray yet another teenager and wanted nothing to do with the film. However, Vincente Minnelli convinced her to play the part of Esther Smith, and Judy later fell in love with the story. In her later years she considered it one of her favorite roles.

November 28, 1962 -
Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, comedian, television host, and political satirist, was born on this date.

Jon Stewart was named the most influential man of 2010 by AskMen.

We're going to start our holiday video countdown tomorrow - so hang on

Today in History -
Sorry boys and girls but it's not a pleasant day in history today -

November 28, 1942 -
A fire at the sleazy Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, kills 491 people. Flammable artificial palm trees aided the spread of the fire.

The numerous dead were crushed, burnt, and asphyxiated, all within minutes.

There's a lesson here boys and girl - sleazy nightclubs kill!!!

November 28, 1953 -
Frank Olson, government scientist, jumps to his death from the Statler Hotel in New York City.

In 1975 it is revealed that Olson had been administered LSD by Dr. Sidney Gottlieb in a CIA experiment.

Only bad CIA agents kill!!!

November 28, 1981 -
A drunken Natalie Wood topples off her yacht near Catalina Island and drowns. Her husband Robert Wagner, and melodramatic friend Christopher Walken, were on board and unaware of her predicament, apparently having some sort of argument in the cabin -

possibly about whether or not a drunken Natalie Wood could float (you know that's still an awful joke.)

November 28, 1994 -
Jeffrey Dahmer is beaten to death with a broomstick by inmate Christopher Scarver while cleaning the prison bathroom.

Dahmer's brain was to be preserved in formaldehyde at the request of Mom, but a court ordered its destruction in late 1995.

There's yet another lesson here boys and girls, dirty prison bathrooms kill!!!

3 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 27 more shopping days until Christmas.

And so it goes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How not to advance your career

President Barack Obama received 12 stitches in his upper lip on Friday after being elbowed during a friendly basketball game by Rey Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the White House said.

Expect Mr. Decerega's promotion to dog catcher in Kabul by early next week.

November 27, 1948 -
Another (less familiar) Daffy & Porky pairing, Riff Raffy Daffy, premiered on this date.

I had to open my big beak!

November 27, 1967 -
The Beatles released Magical Mystery Tour in the US on this date.

This track was used in the last scene of the movie Magical Mystery Tour, where the four Beatles dance in tuxedos. Paul McCartney wore a black carnation while the others wore red, fueling rumors that Paul was dead.

November 27, 1980,
The sitcom Bosom Buddies, staring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

Main characters named after two bars in Berkeley, CA: "Kips's" and "Henry's."

Today in History:
While you read this today on your computer, let us ruminate upon the life of Ada Lovelace, who died on this date in 1852.

Ada would have seemed to have been born into a charmed life. She was the only child of a titled lord and a very wealthy mother. Unfortunately for her, her father was the notorious, womanizing homosexual (let your mind rattle that around for a second) and not half bad poet Lord Byron.

She was named after Byron's half-sister, Augusta Leigh, by whom he was rumoured to have fathered a child (oh yeah, I forgot that - he slept with his half sister). It was Augusta who encouraged Byron to marry to avoid scandal, and he reluctantly chose Annabella Milbanke (very wealthy heiress and noted stick-in-the-mud). On January 16, 1816, Annabella left Byron, taking 1-month old Ada with her. On April 21, Byron signed the Deed of Separation and left England for good a few days later. He was never allowed to see either of them again.

Ada lived with her mother, as is apparent in her father's correspondence concerning her. Lady Byron was also highly interested in mathematics (Lord Byron once called her "the princess of parallelograms"), which dominated her life, even after marriage. Her obsession with rooting out any of the insanity of which she accused Lord Byron was one of the reasons why Annabella taught Ada mathematics at an early age. Ada was privately home schooled in mathematics and science by William Frend, William King and Mary Somerville. One of her later tutors was Augustus De Morgan. An active member of London society, she was a member of the Bluestockings in her youth.

In 1835 she married William King, 8th Baron King, later 1st Earl of Lovelace. Her full name and title for most of her married life was The Right Honourable Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace. She is widely known in modern times simply as Ada Lovelace, or by her birth name, Ada Byron.

Mary Somerville, one of her tutors, was a noted researcher and scientific author of the 19th century, who introduced her in turn to Charles Babbage on June 5, 1833. Other acquaintances were Sir David Brewster, Charles Wheatstone, Charles Dickens and Michael Faraday. She apparently ran in heady circles for her day.

During a nine-month period in 1842-1843, Ada translated Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea's memoir on Babbage's newest proposed machine, the Analytical Engine. With the article, she appended a set of notes which specified in complete detail a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers with the Engine, recognized by historians as the world's first computer program.

Lovelace's prose also acknowledged some possibilities of the machine which Babbage never published, such as speculating that "the Engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent."

Ada Lovelace was bled to death at the age of 36 by her physicians, who were trying to treat her uterine cancer, on this day. Thus, she perished, coincidentally, at the same age as her father and from the same cause - medicinal bloodletting. So while she considered the possible of the computer, doctors were still using leeches to cure their patients.

At her request, Lovelace was buried next to the father she never knew at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottingham.

Alfred Nobel signed his last will, which established the Nobel Prize on this date in 1895.

Mr Nobel is interesting because his fortune was founded in large part on the commercial success of something he invented in 1866: dynamite. Dynamite proved so lucrative for Mr Nobel that he was able to spend most of the rest of his life blowing things up in the interests of world peace. World peace was not achieved in his lifetime, however, and he therefore endowed a foundation with millions of dollars to give prizes to the men and women of future generations who helped bring the world closer to peace by blowing things up.

Sadly, in recent years the foundation appears to have forgotten its roots and has begun awarding prizes to men and women whose work for peace has resulted in things blowing up.

I encourage you all to write the Nobel Committee to take immediate corrective action, lest they continue to mislead people into thinking that Peace can be achieved by anything other than the blowing up of Evil Bastards.

November 27, 1978 -
City Supervisor Dan White enters San Francisco City Hall through an open basement window (avoiding metal detectors), walks into the office of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, and shoots him dead. Then White continues to kill Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Apparently, Mr. White consumed too many Twinkies.

28 more shopping days until Christmas, 4 more shopping days until Hanukkah. Shop til you drop. Remember, if you don't, we won't have an economy.

And so it goes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

If your reading this, you probably don't need this

As most of you know, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year in the US. Hopefully you are still well into your cups from yesterday.

Today is the third annual National Day of Listening. StoryCorps has designated the Friday after Thanksgiving to being 'a day of listening' .

This holiday season, ask the people around you about their lives: it could be your grandmother, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood. By listening to their stories, you will be telling them that they matter and they won’t ever be forgotten. It may be the most meaningful time you spend this year. (It's a good lie to tell yourself when you are listening to your drunk old uncle tell you for the umpteenth time how much he could by with a nickel in his day.)

Even though Hallmark has not yet put out a card totally devaluing the holiday, it still remains to be seen whether or not the event will catch on.

November 26, 1942 -
"Round up the usual suspects."

One of Bogart’s classic films, Casablanca, premiered in NYC on this date.

Director Michael Curtiz’ accent often caused confusion on the set. He asked a prop man for a "poodle" to appear in one scene. The prop man searched high and low for a poodle while the entire crew waited. He found one and presented it to Curtiz, who screamed "A poodle! A poodle of water!"

November 26, 1952 -

The first modern 3-D movie Bwana Devil, viewed with special glasses, premiered in Hollywood.

(sorry about the quality of the trailer)

November 26, 1952 -

MGM released the first musical in 3-D, Kiss Me Kate on this date.

The original stage show was based upon the backstage bickering of the illustrious married stage couple Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne during their 1935 Broadway production of Taming of the Shrew.

This is a travel day for us, so this is an abbreviated - Today in History:
November 26, 1789 -
The first national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress.

Thanks George.

November 26, 1865 -

Oxford Don and nude child photographer Charles Dodgson, sends the manuscript for the psychedelic novel "Alice in Wonderland" to his 12 year old special friend Alice Liddell.

For some reason her parents did not notify the authorities.

November 26, 1965

Arlo Guthrie was arrested in Stockbridge, Mass., for dumping some trash following a Thanksgiving feast at a restaurant run by Alice Brock.

He wrote a song about the event that became a folk classic and was turned into a movie in 1969.

Yes kids, it really happened.

November 26, 1976 -
Anarchy in the UK, (as a single) by the Sex Pistols is released.

The song later appeared on Never Mind the Bollocks.

And so it goes

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ricordate amici

It's about 20 minutes per pound for a frozen turkey and 15 minutes for a fresh one.

Here is a brief history of the holiday you may wish to share with your loved ones:

In the winter of 1620-1621, a group of immigrants in Massachusetts experienced a devastating winter. The weather was fierce. Food was scarce. Many died. At last spring came, then summer, and by the time of the autumn harvest things were looking about as rosy as they ever look in Massachusetts.

At a fundraising dinner that fall, Governer Bradford stood up and gave a speech.

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God this harvest gives us a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to the Committee to Re-Elect the Governor, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

The ensuing winter didn't turn out too badly, so the superstitious immigrants concluded that Governor Bradford's magic spell of "Thanksgiving" had done the trick.

The holiday was intermittently celebrated for years, with an enthusiasm scaled to the previous winter's weather, until November 26, 1789, when President Washington issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide day of thanksgiving for the establishment of the Constitution.

Washington's proclamation wasn't much different from Bradford's.

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God we've got a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. Thank God we've got our own damn country now and don't have to put up with a bunch of meddling European bastards. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to Federalists for Washington, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

Washington, the Constitution, and many of the immigrants (who were now Americans) survived the winter, so this new spell was also deemed effective.

President Lincoln later proclaimed the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day in 1863, but President Roosevelt moved it back to the fourth Thursday of the month in 1939 to extend the time available for holiday shopping.

President Ford proposed making it the third Wednesday in September, in order to really extend the time available for holiday shopping, but he only made the proposal to his golden retriever, Liberty, so the suggestion never reached congress.

And so we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year, in honor of having survived last winter, having got rid of those meddling European bastards, having invented our own rules, having bitch-slapped the Confederacy, and having plenty of time to shop before the holidays.

Today in History: 11/25 -
According to Biblical scholars, a powerful rain storm began on this date in BC 2348. It rained an inch every ten seconds. Imagine that. An inch every ten seconds. The sheer volume and velocity of the deluge, comparable to rapid-fire artillery, ought to have been enough to kill every living thing on the planet in seconds, and yet it reportedly continued at this rate for a full 960 hours.

The only human survivors were a crotchety six-hundred-year-old man and his family. Fortunately, these sturdy souls had had the foresight to gather up two to seven specimens of every species on the planet (excepting, one assumes, the undaunted creatures of the sea) and load them onto a wooden boat before the storm began.

It may not sound like much, put like that, but considering the far-flung distribution of all the various creatures of the earth, and the difficulty of tracking down, say, all the varieties of paramecium without the benefit of a microscope, or sustaining desert flora on a water-logged ship, it was a considerable accomplishment.

I applaud the foresight, initiative, and ambition displayed by Noah and his family, but remain a little wary of the person or persons behind all that rain.

November 25, 1867 -
Patent granted to Alfred Nobel for dynamite. To quote Big Jim McBob and Billy Sol Hurok , "May the Lord take a liking to you and blow you up real good!!!"

I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize - George Bernard Shaw

On November 25, 1914, Joe DiMaggio was born. In addition to leading the New York Yankee to ten World Series championships, Joe DiMaggio also got to marry Marilyn Monroe.

Be grateful for role models.

November 25, 1940 -
Walter Lantz's introduced Woody Woodpecker with the release of Knock Knock on this date.

November 25, 1970 -
Japanese playwright, poet, novelist, nationalism and patron of transvestite bars, Yukio Mishima commits seppuku (self disembowelment) after an aborted coup attempt in Japan.

He had authored over 100 works and was deemed by Life magazine the "Japanese Hemmingway".

One has to ask themselves - what is it that requires "true manhood" to face one's own death willingly.

On November 25, 1977, Greece announced the discovery of the tomb of King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great.

On November 26, 1922, archeologists Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter opened the tomb of Egypt’s King Tutankhamen.

Be grateful that the high point of your job isn’t digging up people who’ve been dead for thousands of years.

November 25, 1987 -
Fawn Hall, Oliver North's assistant, removes documents from sealed National Security Council offices inside the White House by hiding them inside her skirt, causing President Ronald Reagan to form a task force which eventually put both North and Hall on trial.

Another true American Patriot

30 more shopping days until Christmas, 6 more shopping days until Hanukkah. (Black Friday is tomorrow.)

And so it goes

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get ready to go over the river and through the woods

Hey, Turkey day is a day away. Begin thinking about all the creative ways to consume 3 or 4 types of pies. Here's today's tip for all cooks - continue drinking today but pace yourselves - you want to make it to Thursday without a trip to the emergency room.

Here's another holiday tip: Don't let your pet dog and his pet bird set your holiday table. They have not washed their hands after using the facilities.

Also please note: Woodstock is willing to eat other birds.

Today in History:
November 24, 1740 -
William Duell was hanged for rape and murder. A few hours later, whilst being prepared for dissection by medical students, he awakens .

The authorities took pity on him and commuted his sentence to one of transportation to Australia.

Wow that must have freaked him out.

November 24, 1859 -
Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species 151 years ago today.

And depending on your point of view, either this is a seminal work in scientific literature and arguably the pivotal work in evolutionary biology or

you're a monkey's uncle.

November 24, 1871 -
National Rifle Association was established (in New York City) on this date. It's original goal was to teach its members to shoot accurately.

Who knew?

November 24, 1963 -
Extra-terrestrials used mass-hypnosis to persuade the world that someone resembling Jack Ruby had fatally shot someone resembling the person alleged to have been Lee Harvey Oswald. This also becomes the first actual murder captured on live TV.

The next day, November 25, a coffin containing the purported remains of the man, many Americans believed to have been John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. And on November 29, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren the head of a commission to investigate the alleged assassination of the person believed to have been John F. Kennedy.

Be grateful the CIA, the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians, extraterrestrials, and the Children's Television Workshop don't give a damn about you.

November 24, 1971 -
On Thanksgiving eve, DB Cooper boarded Flight 305 in Portland, Or., and demanded $200,000 with the threat of a bomb. He parachuted from a Northwest Airlines 727 with the money over the Cascade Mountains near Ariel, Wash., and was never seen again.

A packet containing $5,880 of the ransom money was found in 1980 on the north shore of the Columbia River, just west of the Washington city of Vancouver, but he's still is missing.

31 more shopping days until Christmas, 7 more shopping days until Hanukkah. (Black Friday is just 2 days away.)

You will never have to watch SNL again - here is Cookie Monster's' audition tape:

This clip is funnier than most shows

And so it goes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This could be THE Christmas gift of the year

An emergency Martini Kit (Kids - use less vermouth)

Now if I can only come up with instant ice.

Today is the birthday of both Boris Karloff (1887)

and Harpo Marx (1888).

And that makes this a good day.

Today in History:
November 23, 1910 -
English murderer Hawley Crippen an American physician is hanged in Pentonville Prison, London, England, after he was caught aboard the SS Montrose attempting to escape to Britain, on this date.

It was the first use of wireless radio for the apprehension of a criminal.

November 23, 1936 -
The first edition of Life, the picture magazine created by Henry R. Luce, was published.

It was an immediate sellout.

November 23, 1963 -
The first episode of Doctor Who, The Unearthly Child, premiered on the BBC, on this date.

William Hartnell was the first Doctor Who.

November 23, 1976 -
Jerry Lee Lewis has been a bad boy again. On this date, he was arrested in front of Graceland in Memphis for public drunkenness, and carrying a chrome plated .38.

Looking for Elvis, I bet.

32 more shopping days until Christmas, 8 more shopping days until Hanukkah. (Black Friday is just 3 days away.)


Here's a great GIF of Bill Murray in all of his great roles

And so it goes

Monday, November 22, 2010

Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey

November 22, 1968 -
The Beatles released their long-awaited double album, simply called The Beatles, but better known as The White Album.

The album was the first The Beatles undertook following the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, and the first released by their own record label, Apple.

November 22, 1940 -
This is Bette Davis at her best - The Letter, premiered in NYC on this date.

Due to the restrictive the Production Code, the film ending is different from the original play because it would not allow one of its characters be seen to get away with adultery and murder.

Today in History
November 22, 1888 -
Tarzan of the Apes (Lord Greystoke) was born on this date, according to Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel.

November 22, 1928 -
Bolero by Maurice Ravel has it's first public performance in Paris.

Forget about Bo Derek, sex itself, is never the same.

November 22, 1963 -
If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be no help. - from the address that President Kennedy never got to deliver in Dallas on this date.

A covert CIA operation privately funded by a plutocratic cabal of multinational industrial interests acting in conjunction with extraterrestrial forces and the Knights Templar succeeded in making it appear that Lee Harvey Oswald had assassinated President John F. Kennedy, on this date.

Or if this is too much for you, you can always believe in the MAGIC BULLET.

November 22, 1968 -
Many a KKK member and Daughter of the Civil War were given the vapors on this date in history.

Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) share the first interracial kiss in TV history on Star Trek.

November 22, 1975 -
Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias is proclaimed king of Spain after he confirms with advisers that Francisco Franco planned to be dead for a while.

Juan Carlos is related to both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (and as you know they are related to each other.) To confuse matters even more, his wife Queen Sofia, is related to all three of them.

November 22, 1995 -
Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.

The animation team perfected the movement of the toy soldiers by gluing some sneakers to a sheet of wood and trying to walk around with them on.

33 more shopping days until Christmas, 9 more shopping days until Hanukkah. (Black Friday is just 4 days away.)

And so it goes

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Fine Bros. are at it again

50 Disney Spoilers in 3 Minutes.

If only they could explain derivatives as easily

Today is the 37th annual World Hello Day. Anyone can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people. This demonstrates the importance of personal communication for preserving peace. World Hello Day was begun in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in the Fall of 1973. Since then, World Hello Day has been observed by people in 180 countries.

I'm still hard at work trying to transform this day into Say Hello to Kevin and give him 10 bucks day.

November 21, 1931 -
James Whale classic retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, premiered on this date.

The method of animating the creature is never discussed in Mary Shelley's novel. In the book, Frankenstein, narrating, refuses to divulge how he did it so no one can re-create his actions. However, the use of lightning to resurrect the monster has become the accepted methodology and appears in virtually every Frankenstein movie since.

November 21, 1942 -
Babbit and Catstello, take-offs on Bud Abbott and Lou Costello try to catch Tweety bird (in his first appearance) in A Tale of Two Kitties, premiered on this date.

If the Hayes office would only let me, I'd give him the bird alright.

November 21, 1946 -
One of the greatest films about vets returning home after WWII, The Best Years of Our Lives, premiered in NYC on this date.

To avoid awkwardness when he first met his fellow cast members, Harold Russell made a point of reaching out with his hooks and taking their hands, thus putting them at ease with his disability.

November 21, 1976 -
Ok everybody, "...Gonna Fly Now, Flying High Now.."

Rocky, premiered in NYC on this date.

This was the first sports film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

Today in History -
November 21, 1694 -
Jean Francois Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) was born on this date.

Voltaire is best known for having said things. Here are some of the witty things he said:

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."

"To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."

"Anything too stupid to be said is sung."

"God created sex. Priests created marriage."

"It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge."

"He was unhappy only when he thought: and that is true of the majority of mankind."

"People who believe in absurdities will eventually commit atrocities."

And most significantly:

"A witty saying proves nothing."

November 21, 1921 -
U.S. President Warren G. Harding signed the Wills Campbell Act, which prohibited the medical prescription of beer and liquor on this date.

He was killed - probably by his wife - two years later and nobody seemed to mind (remember, this was the genius who lost the White House China in a poker game.)

Enough said.

November 21, 1964 -
The upper deck of The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened to traffic on this date(at the time it was the world's longest suspension bridge).

And it still takes forever to get to Jersey through Staten Island.

November 21, 1973 -
A gap of 18-1/2 minutes is revealed in one of the Watergate tapes, a conversation between Richard M. Nixon and Bob Haldeman. The erasure is blamed on an accident by Nixon's private secretary Rose Mary Woods, but scientific analysis determines the erasures to be deliberate. Later, Chief of Staff Alexander Haig blames the erasure on "some sinister force".

Forensic experts worked on Haldeman's notebook to see if they could find the imprint of any notes he may have taken that day but later destroyed. (The experts had inconclusive results.)

November 21, 1980 -
The third deadliest hotel fire in history occurs at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, caused by faulty wiring; 84 people dead. Helicopters were used to rescue stranded guests from the top floors.

No more pu-pu platters with charcoal grills in the suites.

November 21, 1997 -
Lead singer of INXS Michael Hutchence was found hanged in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Sydney Australia on this date. Police have denied that his death was due to Autoerotic Asphyxiation.

The fact that his pants were around his ankles and copies of the magazines "Hot Chicks in Tubs of Pudding" were scattered around the room, did not enter into it.

34 more shopping days until Christmas, 10 more shopping days until Hanukkah. (Black Friday is just 5 days away.)

And so it goes