Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The birthday of whippets -

August 22, 1939 -
The first U.S. patent (US Patent #2170531 A) was issued for a disposable whipped cream aerosol container on this date. 

Julius S. Kahn's patent was titled "An Apparatus for Mixing a Liquid with a Gas" and was specifically concerned with making whipped cream, using a ordinary soda bottle. I've got nothing else to say.

August 22, 1929 -
Walt Disney
released the animated short film The Skeleton Dance (The first of Disney's Silly Symphony series,) animated by Ub Iwerks, on this date.

Worried that he would be too dependent on Mickey, Walt Disney wanted to diversify. Carl W. Stalling came up with the idea of producing "musical novelties" (which would later become Silly Symphonies).

August 22, 1930 -
W.C. Fields'
classic short, The Golf Specialist, premiered on this date.

According to the wanted poster among the offenses that Bellweather has committed are "Eating spaghetti in public" and "Telling the facts of life to an Indian."

August 22, 1946 -
The last of Alfred Hitchcock's wartime thrillers, Notorious, premiered on this date.

After filming had ended, Cary Grant kept the famous UNICA key. A few years later he gave the key to his great friend and co-star Ingrid Bergman, saying that the key had given him luck and hoped it would do the same for her. Decades later at a tribute to their director Alfred Hitchcock, Bergman went off-script and presented the key to him, to his surprise and delight.

August 22, 1972 -
The movie that introduced Monty Python and its seminal brand of comedy to American audiences, And Now for Something Completely Different, premiered on this date.

According to Terry Gilliam, executive producer Victor Lownes, who primarily represented Playboy magazine (which funded the movie), insisted on getting an animated credit equal in size to those of the group members.

August 22, 1990 -
Allan Moyle's teen comedy-drama, Pump Up the Volume, starring Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis, premiered on this date.

Christian Slater became physically ill several times during filming due to all the cigarette smoking he had to do.

Our moment of Zen

Today in History:
August 22, 565
St. Columba, the man credited with introducing Christianity to Scotland, reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness on this date.

St. Columbia made the sign of the cross and told the monster, "you will go no further," and it fled. There was no written report on how many drams of whiskey the saint had downed before his encounter.

August 22, 1485 -
At the Battle of Bosworth, England's King Richard III was terminated for having made a fiscally irresponsible bid on a horse.

For evermore, kingdoms went for a great deal more than small pieces of hardware.

August 22, 1770 -
Captain James Cook claimed Australia for the British crown when he landed on a small island off the coast of Queensland.

This must have come as a great shock to the indigenous inhabitants there.  But then again, they didn't have a flag.

August 22, 1776
George Washington asked the Continental Congress for permission to burn New York City, to stop the city from being used to quarter troops arriving via the British fleet. It is declined, but his soldiers set 1/4th of the town ablaze on September 21.

There are still many in the government that would like to enact Washington's plan right now.

August 22, 1849 -
In the first air raid in history, Austria launched 200 pilotless balloons, each attached with 30-pound bombs, against the city of Venice on this date.

The bombs don’t cause much damage. But on this August day, exactly a hundred years later,

Japan dedicated the town of Hiroshima as a shrine of peace after a single nuclear bomb killed 130,000 people

August 22, 1851 -
The American schooner America was allowed, through special dispensation of Queen Victoria, to enter the annual Royal Yacht Squadron's Regatta. The America won the race, beating out 15 competitors and the trophy was renamed the America's Cup after the yacht.

The race was a 53-mile (85-kilometer) regatta at the Isle of Wight. The Cup is the oldest trophy awarded in international sports.

August 22, 1864 -
12 nations sign the first Geneva Convention specifically calling for the protection of the wounded during times of active warfare on this date. This leads directly to formation of the Red Cross.

In 1882, U.S. President Chester Arthur signed the treaty, making the U.S. the 32nd nation to do so.

August 22, 1893 -
If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.

Dorothy Parker was born in New York City, to Henry and Eliza Rothschild (... My God, no, dear! We'd never even heard of those Rothschilds ....) on this date.

Her birth was two months premature, allowing her to say that it was the last time she was early for anything. She was quoted, when discussing her early years, "All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn’t sit in the same room with me."

While she was a successful writer, she was just plain lousy at committing suicide. Dorothy Parker attempted suicide four times herself before succumbing to a heart attack in 1967.

August 22, 1902 -
President Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. chief executive to ride in an automobile (a purple-lined Columbia Electric Victoria) in Hartford, Ct. on this date. The police detail covering the event rode bicycles.

I'm sure he had a bully time, but the truth is a year earlier William McKinley rode in a car, although it was the electric ambulance that took him to the hospital after he was shot.

August 22, 1906 -
The Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, New Jersey, manufactures its first Victrola record player.

The devices, including the hand cranked unit and horn cabinet would sell for $200.

August 22, 1920 -
The late great Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer whose works include The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, was born on this date.

Though considered by many to be the greatest science-fiction writer of the of the 20th century, he suffers from a fear of flying and driving. He has never learned to drive, and did not fly in an airplane until October 1982.

August 22, 1938 -
Fred Astaire
and Ginger Rogers, one of Hollywood's most famous dancing duos, appeared on the cover of Life Magazine.

There were on the cover to promote their current film, Carefree. The film is often remembered as the film in which Astaire and Rogers shared their first long on-screen kiss.

August 22, 1962 -
A group called the OAS (Secret Army Organization in English) plotted an assassination attempt on President Charles De Gaulle, who they believed had betrayed France by giving up Algeria (in northern Africa) to Algerian nationalists.

Frederick Forsyth dramatized the events of that August in his best-selling novel The Day of the Jackal, later made into a film.

August 22, 1973
Henry Kissinger, German-born American bureaucrat, succeeded William Rogers as Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, on this date.

Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year, (he's also considered a war criminal by others.) He continued in office until 1977.

(I really don't care about the man but it gave me an excuse to play the Python song.)

And so it goes.


Before you go
- Your good dr's daughter is taking ASL in high school. I saw this video and asked her did she recognized these signs. (She said no.)

I think she lied.

Monday, August 21, 2017

But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

At some point today, the sun will be swallowed by a large evil dragon ... no, no, we will be experiencing a total solar eclipse over a wide swath of the US.

This will be the last total solar eclipse in the United States until April 4, 2024.

August 21, 1952 -
The classic John Ford film, The Quiet Man was released on this date.

During the filming of a take of the scene where John Wayne first kisses Maureen O'Hara, she slaps his face. When he blocked the blow, she broke a bone in her hand. Since the movie was being filmed in sequential order, she couldn't wear a cast to fix the broken bone.

August 21, 1965 -
The Lovin' Spoonful's
released their first no. 1 hit, Do You Believe In Magic on this date.

The Lovin' Spoonful turned down an offer to sign with Phil Spector because they didn't want to "be swallowed up under his name." The group signed to a new record label called Kama Sutra. This was the first song they recorded for the label, and it was the first of a string of hits for the group, which included Daydream, Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? and Summer In The City.

August 21, 1979 -
Gary Numan
released his hit Cars from his album The Pleasure Principle, on this date.

This song is about how people use technology and material goods to isolate themselves from human contact. Numan has stated that he has Asperger Syndrome, which is a mild form of autism, but until he was diagnosed, he had a lot of trouble relating to other people.

August 21, 1981 -
John Landis'
classic comedy horror film, An American Werewolf in London, starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Griffin Dunne, premiered in the US on this date.

John Landis had to avoid filming any full-frontal nudity of David Naughton during the transformation scene and dream sequences after Naughton informed Landis that he was not circumcised, even though his role, David Kessler, was written as being Jewish.

August 21, 1987 -
The low-budget film, directed by  Emile Ardolino, Dirty Dancing, starring Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Cynthia Rhodes, and Jerry Orbach, premiered in the US on this date.

Patrick Swayze had to convince Jennifer Grey to be in this film, because she had disliked him so much while filming Red Dawn a few years earlier.

August 21, 1991 -
The Coen Brothers take on 30s Hollywood, Barton Fink, starring John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, John Mahoney, and Jon Polito went into general release on this date.

The film is the first film to win all three major awards at the Cannes Film Festival (Palme D'or, Best Director, and Best Actor). Also, it was unanimously chosen for the Palme D'or.

Word of the Day

Today in History:
August 21, 1614
Erzsebet Bathory, ruler of Transylvania, died at 54, on this date. She had sought immortality by killing young virgins and bathing in their blood (or so they say.) It apparently didn't work.

I wonder if Elizabeth Arden in Union Square is still offering this service and where are they finding enough virgins.

August 21, 1888 -
William Seward Burroughs of St. Louis, Missouri (grandfather of Beat Generation writer William S. Burroughs) was granted four patents for the first successful “Calculating-Machine,” sometimes referred to as an “adding and listing machine.” (US No. 388,116-388,119)

One year after making his first patent application on January 10, 1885, he incorporated his business as the American Arithmometer Corporation, with an investment of $100,000.

August 21, 1906 (
or 1905?) -
Happy Birthday Friz

Isadore 'Friz' Freleng, one of the original tennants of Warner Bros. Termite Terrace, was born on this date.

August 21, 1911 -
Pablo Picasso
was having a very bad day.

His so called friend, French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who had once called for the Louvre to be "burnt down," came under suspicion when the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Lourve on this day; he was arrested and put in jail. Apollinaire, as all bad French dadaist poets would do, ratted out his friend Pablo Picasso, who was also brought in for questioning, but both were later exonerated.

Very nice guy.

At the time, the painting was believed to be lost forever, and it would be two years before the real thief was discovered. Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia stole it by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet and walking out with it hidden under his coat after the museum had closed. Peruggia was an Italian patriot who believed da Vinci's painting should be returned to Italy for display in an Italian museum.

Peruggia may have also been motivated by a friend who sold copies of the painting, which would skyrocket in value after the theft of the original. After having kept the painting in his apartment for two years, Peruggia grew impatient and was finally caught when he attempted to sell it to the directors of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence; it was exhibited all over Italy and returned to the Louvre in 1913. Peruggia was hailed for his patriotism in Italy and only served a few months in jail for the crime.

August 21, 1912 -
Arthur R. Eldred
was the first person to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest in the Boy Scouts of America.

A few weeks after becoming the first Eagle Scout, Eldred helped to save another Scout from drowning and was awarded the Bronze Honor Medal for his actions.

August 21, 1959 -
Hawaii became the 50th state to enter the Union when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the order, granting the stolen island nation, Hawaii statehood on this date.

Several bills for Hawaii had been presented to the US Congress, in 1919, 1935, 1947 and 1950, but none had passed until this day in 1959. (Nixon gleefully looking on.  He was ensuring that little Barry Obama would be born on U.S. soil.  Nixon was at the heart a many a conspiracy.)

August 21, 1983 -
Longtime political opponent of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, former Philippine senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. was not having a very good day. As Benigno stepped off a airplane at the Manila airport (ending his three years of self-imposed exile in the US,) he was assassinated on this date.

He was returning home to run in the Philippine's next election. These kind of things tend to put people off of travel.

August 21, 1986 -
1,700 people were killed in Cameroon when Lake Nyos emitted a huge cloud of fast-moving fog, quickly enveloping the villages of Nyos, Kam, Cha and Subum on this date.

The lethal mist, consisting mainly of carbon dioxide and water vapor, displaces the oxygen in the low-lying zones, killing thousands of cattle and even more birds and wild animals. One eyewitness later describes the landscape as being "littered with human remains and animal carcasses."

That would have ruined a vacation.

And so it goes.


Before you go - You'll probably hear this -

or this -

or this -

and definitely this -

by the end of the day today.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Radio is sweeping across the nation

August 20, 1920 -
The first commercial radio station begins operating in Detroit, Michigan with call sign 8MK (Now WWJ (Newsradio 950) ). The radio station was started by The Detroit News newspaper and is now owned and run by CBS.

To celebrate the event, today is National Radio Day. UNESCO formally announced the formation of International Radio Day in February of 2012 (celebrated February 13th), after a suggestion put forward by Spain to celebrate this important means of communication. In some parts of the world, radio still remains an important lifeline to the outside world.

August 20, 1941 -
William Wyler's
pitch-perfect adaptation of Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, starring Bette Davis, premiered on this date.

Bette Davis was a contract player for Warner Brothers at the time, earning $3000 a week. When she heard how much Warners was receiving for her services she demanded a share of the payment.

August 20, 1942 -
An almost forgotten comedy from Columbia Pictures, Talk of The Town, directed by George Stevens starring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur and Ronald Colman, premiered on this date.

This was the first time since the silent era that Ronald Colman was billed below another male lead.

Don't forget to check out our other site: Dr. Caligari's Cupboard

Today in History:
August 20, 1865
In the great tradition of the American presidency, President Andrew Johnson rouses himself from an alcoholic stupor,

and formally declared the Civil War over (months after Lee's surrender at Appomattox.)

August 20, 1885  -
Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, The Mikado opened at the Fifth Street Theatre in New York on this date.

The production originally opened on March 14, 1885, in London, where it ran at the Savoy Theatre for 672 performances.

August 20, 1940 -
Soviet Professional Leon Trotsky liked his job, but the strain was wearing on him — dictatorial burnout. In the summer of 1940 he finally used some of the vacation time he'd accumulated to head down to Mexico and think through his options.

On this date, in Mexico City, Trotsky met with one of Stalin's human resources representatives, who suggested he take an early retirement.

The suggestion was accompanied by several persuasive blows to the head with an axe, which seriously impeded Trotsky's growth potential. Sadly, he died the next day before he could sue for damages.

August 20, 1948 -
... There's nothing worse than a bunch of jaded old farts, and that's a fact....

Robert Anthony Plant CBE, button phobia rock singer and songwriter, was born on this date.

August 20, 1977 -
NASA bizarrely decided to go into the record business. Scientists, not quite understanding the record industry, press only one record but make it out of gold, believing that the unaffordable price will boost profit. The record is nearly unlistenable except for the recording of the Chuck Berry song, "Johnny B Good". NASA decided to hide this costly blunder by including the recording in the payload of the space probe Voyager 2, launched on this date, on a mission to Jupiter and beyond. (This will confused the aliens when they realize that NASA launched Voyager 1 on September 5, 1977.)

The contents of the record were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University. Dr. Sagan and his associates assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind, and thunder, and animal sounds, including the songs of birds and whales. To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earthlings in fifty-five languages, and printed messages from President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Secretary-General (and ex-Nazi) Kurt Waldheim. Remember these facts when the aliens come to invade the planet. It passed Jupiter in the summer of 1979, and is still traveling, probably right out of our solar system .

In a memorable Saturday Night Live segment, it was announced by Steve Martin that the first message from extraterrestrials was being received. Once decoded, the message stated, "Send moreChuck Berry."

August 20, 1986 -
US Postal worker Patrick Sherrill shot and killed 14 coworkers, and then himself, on this date.

The shooting, which happened in Edmond, Oklahoma, is generally accepted as the event that spawned the "going postal" phrase.

August 20, 1989 -
The two Menendez brothers, Lyle and Erik, shot their parents to death on this date and then went to the movies to establish an alibi. They called 911 when they returned home from the movies to report the murders.

Though they weren't initially suspected, the two brothers ultimately were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

On August 20, 1991, the Estonian parliament declared independence from the Soviet Union.

The next day, Latvia declared its independence from the Soviet Union and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev declared he was back in full control after a 60-hour coup by old-school Communists finally crumbled.

Full control of exactly what?

Today's brief quiz:
What did Vincenzo Peruggia steal on August 21, 1911?

a. The Shroud of Turin
b. Home plate
c. The Mona Lisa
d. The Sistine Chapel
e. The Hope Diamond

Bonus: what was his day job?
(Answer tomorrow)

And so it goes.

Before you go - Bunkies as if you could forget, there's a Total Solar Eclipse all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide.

Please remember mama always told you not to look into the eyes of the sun. 

I don't care if that's were the fun is - don't do it; you'll burn your eyes out!


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Another conspiracy perpetrated by Big Dairy

Today is National Soft Ice Cream Day. Soft Serve Ice Cream has been around since the 1930s. There are conflicting reports of the origins of the dessert. In 1934, Tom Carvel, the founder of eponymous ice cream brand and franchise, had to sell melting ice cream on a parking lot because his ice cream truck had a flat tire. He noticed that people were delighted with soft frozen dessert and concluded that it was a potentially good business idea.

Dairy Queen also claims to have invented soft ice cream as an experiment. Owners J.F. McCullough and his son, Alex, decided to find out if customers preferred ice cream before it was completely frozen, which was how they liked it best.

Just in case this comes up in conversation - an average dairy cow can produce enough milk in her lifetime to make a little over 9,000 gallons of ice cream.

So now you know.

August 19, 1932
The Marx Brothers' fourth movie, Horse Feathers, went into general release on this date.

According to Groucho Marx, when Thelma Todd fell out of the boat, he kept rowing as she cried for help, not knowing she really couldn't swim. Crew members got her out of the water.

August 19, 1964 -
The Beatles first US tour began in San Francisco, California with their concert at the Cow Palace.

They played ten songs to a crowd of over 17,000. The Beatles returned there for another concert in 1965.

August 19, 1972 -
NBC-TV presented The Midnight Special for the first time on this date.

John Denver hosted the first episode of the show with guests including: Mama Cass, The Everly Brothers, The Isley Brothers, Harry Chapin, Linda Ronstadt and Argent. Helen Reddy was also a musical guest on the show, but did not host this first episode.

August 19, 1981 -
Sidney Lumet's crime drama, Prince of the City, starring Treat Williams and Jerry Orbach premiered on this date in NYC.

To prepare for the role, Treat Williams spent a month with New York City police, participated in a drug bust and lived with Robert Leuci, the person on whom his character is based.

August 19, 1988 -
Orion Pictures released Jonathan Demme's ganster comedy, Married to the Mob, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Modine, Dean Stockwell, and Alec Baldwin, on this date in the US.

So many scenes didn't make it into the movie that Jonathan Demme decided to place them at the end during the credits, to retell the story.

Don't forget to tune into The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour

Today in History:
August 19, 1601
The end of the 16th century was dominated by the personality of Michael the Brave. He became Voivode of Wallachia in 1593, joined the Christian League - an anti-Ottoman coalition initiated by the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire and he succeeded, following heavy battles (Calugareni, Giurgiu) to actually regain the independence of his country.

In 1599-1600 he united for the first time in history all the territories inhabited by Romanians, proclaiming himself "prince of Wallachia, Transylvania and the whole of Moldavia." The domestic situation was very complex, the neighboring great-powers - the Ottoman Empire, Poland, the Hapsburg Empire - were hostile and joined forces to overthrow him; so this union was short-lived as Michael the Brave was assassinated in 1601 on this date.

This bit of historical fluff was totally unnecessary but the next time you want to shut up some snooty blowhard, ask them to name their favorite Voivode of the sixteenth century.

August 19, 1934 -
The All-American Soap Box Derby, the first official soap box derby, took place for the first time in Dayton, Ohio.

The race continues annually with the World Championship race held every July.

August 19, 1934 -
Adolf Hitler won absolute power when 89.9% of the German electorate consolidates the positions of President and Chancellor into a single office, occupied by him (amazing, given the fact that Hitler was not officially a German citizen.)

Years after the war, many Germans swear that they voted for another candidate but the 'whole hanging voter' thing got in the way.

August 19, 1936 -
Federico Garcia Lorca retired from his position as Spain's most celebrated poet (and playwright) in order to become a gravedigger.

This proved to have been a poor career move: his Fascist supervisors were so displeased with his work that they shot him to death after he had dug only one grave on this date.

August 19, 1946
Bubba is 71 today! (No jokes.)

William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III) 42nd President of the United States of America was born on this date.

August 19, 1960 -
The Soviet Union convicted U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers of espionage on this date, sentencing him to three years in prison and seven years of hard labor.

All because he didn't jab himself with the poison needle; another example of our faulty military training.

August 19, 1960 -
The Soviet Union launched Sputnik V into orbit on this date. On board are two dogs (Belka and Strelka,) along with two unnamed rats and 40 mice. The menagerie was recovered safely the next day from the landing capsule.

The two rats were later appointed wardens of gulags in Siberia. Belka entered politics and nearly became Soviet Premier in the late 60s, unfortunately he developed mange and had to retire from public life. Strelka enjoyed a long career on Russian TV, appearing in such classics as, I Love Lenin and 14's Company. Scandal ruined his later career when doctored photos appeared of Strelka humping the leg of Gore Vidal.

August 19, 1977 -
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

One of the world's leading commentator on the human condition, Julius Marx gave up the ghost on this date.

And so it goes.

Before you go - Puddles released a cover of REM's Losing My Religion -

Puddles wasn't appreciated on AGT - that's all I'm saying.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Something always happens everyday

After invading Denmark and capturing Sweden, Charles XII of Sweden forced Frederick IV of Denmark to sign the Peace of Travendal, on this date in 1698 - but you don't care. Today is National Bad Poetry Day in the United States.

There's a very fun website will generate on command a great deal of very bad poetry here.

August 18, 1957 -
Denis Colin Leary,
actor, comedian, writer, and director was born on this date.

His interest in the perils of firemen and his co-creation of the series Rescue Me stemmed from a tragic 1999 warehouse fire in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, that took the lives of six firemen, including his cousin and a childhood friend.

August 18 1989 -   
Columbia Pictures
released Brian DePalma's memorable war drama, Casualties of War, starring  Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, John C. Reilly, and John Leguizamo, in the US on this date.

Brian De Palma said that he had been trying to make this film since 1969 when he first read the Casualties Of War article in The New Yorker. But with the Vietnam War still going on, there was no way that was going to happen, even for many years after it ended.

August 18, 1993 -
Woody Allen
reunited with one of his favorite actress, Diane Keaton when Sony Pictures released Manhattan Murder Mystery in the US on this date.

Manhattan Murder Mystery was actually the generic working title during production--Woody Allen films usually have generic titles during production like "Woody Allen Fall Project"--but since no new title could be thought of, Allen decided to leave that as the title.

It's always 5 PM somewhere

Today in History:
August 18, 1227
Genghis Khan died in his sleep, after a fall from his horse on this date. His old age and drinking probably contributed to his death.

(or perhap a Tangut princess, to avenge her people and prevent her rape, castrated him with a knife hidden inside her - ouch) , which the Mongols manage to keep secret for some time. Apparently, it was only just announced.

August 18, 1503 -
... In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed — they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock....

Pope Alexander VI (a Borgia) died on this date. He was the father of seven illegitimate children, and during his reign chose as his lover the lovely sixteen year old Guilia Farnese. He is said to have uttered the last words "Wait a minute" before expiring. (Interesting aside - before the pope could be properly buried, his corpse bloated then exploded.  Share that at the dinner table tonight.)

August 18, 1590
Sent to England to get supplies three years prior, John White finally returns to Roanoke Island and discovers his colony "strongly enclosed with a high palisade of great trees, with [curtain walls] and [bastions] -- very fort-like."

There is no sign of the settlers or where they may have gone, but carved in the bark of one of the trees is the word CROATOAN.

Luckily, REDRUM wasn't carved in the trees, because that would have been scary.

August 18, 1920 -
When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on this date, all American women were guaranteed the right of to vote.

It appeared that the amendment might fail by one vote in the Tennessee house, but 24 year-old Harry Burn surprised observers by casting the deciding vote for ratification. At the time of his vote, Burns had in his pocket a letter he had received from his mother urging him, "Don't forget to be a good boy" and "vote for suffrage."

August 18, 1936 -
Robert Redford, American actor was born on this date.

He is the founder of the Sundance Film Festival, which he named after his character from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He set up the Sundance Film Institute in Utah for independent filmmakers and in 1997 announced the creation of Sundance Cinemas, a venture with a major distributer to set up a chain of theaters for the screening of independent films.

August 18, 1940 -
King George VI felt bad that his brother The Duke of Windsor hadn't really found work after resigning from his previous job, as King Edward VIII of England (but that's another story,) and had him installed as Governor of the Bahamas, on this date.

Edward continued as governor of the Bahamas until 1945. Afterward, he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives essentially in retirement, waiting for death.

Not a particularly happy ending for a fairy tale.

August 18, 1958 -
... Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul....

Lolita, a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, first written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, later translated by the author into Russian, was finally published on this date in New York. The novel is both internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the book's narrator and protagonist, Humbert Humbert, becoming sexually obsessed with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze.

August 18, 1963 -
James Meredith
graduated with a political science degree from the University of Mississippi on this date; he was the first African-American to do so.

He continued on to earn a law degree from Columbia in 1968.

August 18, 1999 -
A giant black rainbow encircled the Earth, sucking all oxygen from the atmosphere. The air returns shortly thereafter, but only after millions die from asphyxiation. On the bright side, the survivors go on to build a Utopian civilization.

It all happens precisely as predicted in the 1950s by Criswell, the TV psychic immortalized in the movie Plan 9 from Outer Space. If you don't remember this happening, fear not, our new alien Overlords deemed you too stupid to handle this terrifying information and had you anally probed to erase your memory.

It's much too complicated to explain to the likes of most of you.

And so it goes.

Before you go - having intermittent connectivity issues with the internet - it is possible that I may not be able to post until Monday.  We'll see.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

I'm wearing second hand hats

August 17th
Today is National Thrift Store Day.  ReuseNYC, is promoting National Thrift Store Day by encouraging everyone to shop secondhand in New York today.

Hey, it's not always the highest quality, but the price is right.

(Remember the dog days are over.) The term Cat Night harks back to a rather obscure old Irish legend concerning witches and the belief that a witch could turn herself into a cat eight times, but on the ninth time (August 17), she couldn’t regain her human form.

This bit of folklore also gives us the saying, “A cat has nine lives.” Because August is a yowly time for cats, this may have prompted the speculation about witches on the prowl in the first place.

August 17, 1908 -
, film historians site as the first fully animated film in history, was exhibited for the first time ever at the Théâtre du Gymnase in Paris, on this date.

To make this film, the director, Émile Cohl placed each drawing on an illuminated glass plate and then traced the next drawing-with variations-on top of it until he had some 700 drawings.

August 17, 1934 -
MGM released its version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, starring Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper and Lionel Barrymore, on this date in NYC.

Wallace Beery was going to appear in a 1920 silent production of Treasure Island for Paramount but was replaced at the last minute by another actor.

August 17, 1959 -
Kind of Blue
, Miles Davis' brilliant and influential jazz album, was released on this date by Columbia Records.

It has been regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz album of all time.

August 17, 1960 -
A great George Pal sci-fi classic, The Time Machine was released on this date.

Yvette Mimieux was actually underage when shooting began (she turned 18 during the shoot) and was not legally supposed to work a full shooting schedule, but did. She was inexperienced - as she worked on this film she kept getting better and better so that by the end of the shoot they wound up going back and re-shooting some of her earliest scenes.

August 17, 1979 -
Handmade Films released the classic religious satire film, Monty Python's Life of Brian in the US on this date.

After the first take of the scene where a nude Brian addresses the crowd from his window, Terry Jones pulled Graham Chapman aside and said "I think we can see that you're not Jewish", referring to Chapman being uncircumcised. It was corrected in subsequent takes with a rubber band.

August 17, 1986 -
Pixar Animation Studios released its first film, Luxo Jr., directed by John Lasseter.

The film sent shock waves throughout the industry. At the time most animators were fearful of the computer; Luxo Jr. made them appreciate that it was just another tool.

Another ACME PSA

Today in History:
August 17, 1807
Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat began heading up New York's Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany. It was the first vessel to demonstrate the commercial use of a steam engine for river transportation.

For some unknown reason, a friend and biographer of Fulton incorrectly referred to the steamboat as 'The Clermont' and the wrong name has stuck ever since.

August 17, 1892 -
Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

Brooklyn's own, Mae West, actress in burlesque, vaudeville, Broadway, and movies, was born on this date.

August 17, 1896 -
Bridget Driscoll
, a 44-year-old mother of two, becomes the world's first automobile fatality when she steps in front of a car outside the Crystal Palace in London. At the coroner's inquest, Arthur Edsall stated he had been driving at only 4 mph.

The motorist also claims that when he saw the pedestrian, he rang his bell and shouted "Stand back!" For whatever reason, the coroner accepts Edsall's preposterous story.

August 17, 1929 -
James Horace Alderman
, convicted of murdering two Coast Guardsmen and a Secret Service agent in 1927, was hanged at 5:00 a.m. at Coast Guard Base 6 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on this date. It was reported in the media that Alderman's neck was broken and he died a painless death.

Unfortunately, Alderman kicked and strangled for a full twelve minutes before being pronounced dead by a local doctor. He was the only person ever executed on Coast Guard property.

And I always thought seamen knew how to tie knots.

August 17, 1943 -
Robert DeNiro
, American actor, was born on this date.

He and Martin Scorsese were brought up blocks apart in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan, but never formally met when they were young. When introduced at a party in 1972, the two came to realize that they had seen each other many times but had never spoken.

August 17, 1945 -
... All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others....

Animal Farm by George Orwell, the most famous satirical allegory of Soviet totalitarianism, was first published, on this date.

August 17, 1948 -
founder L. Ron Hubbard was arrested for passing bad checks in San Luis Obispo, California, on this date.  In court a fortnight later, Hubbard pays the $25 fine.

If I say anymore, I might be forced to watch several new releases starring little Tommy Cruise.

August 17, 1980 -
Dingos snatch baby Azaria from a campground near Ayers Rock, Australia, on this date. Her mother, Lindy Chamberlain (Meryl Streep - A dingo ate my baby), is later convicted of murder and spends three years in prison, but the conviction is ultimately overturned.

Apparently there have been a number of baby/dingo incidents over the years; dingos cannot differentiate animals from humans. Finally, Ms. Chamberlain was cleared of any wrong doing in regards to the death of her daughter.

August 17, 1987 -
Rudolf Hess
was found hanged by an electrical cord at Spandau prison,aged 93. He had been incarcerated there for 40 years, 21 of those years as the solitary inmate.

In 1941 Hess flew to Scotland with ideas of peace in his head, making Hitler very very upset.

August 17, 1998
President Bill Clinton became the first sitting president in American history forced to testify in a criminal case investigation of which he was the focus (having sex with Monica), on this date. Other presidents before Clinton had testified before grand juries in the past, but they had always done so to give evidence against others.

Thomas Jefferson testified against former Vice President Aaron Burr. Gerald Ford testified in a trial of a man who had tried to assassinate him. Jimmy Carter testified in the bribery trial of a financier named Robert Vesco. But Clinton was the first sitting president ever to be served a subpoena to testify in his own indictment.

Perhaps the President was celebrating the anniversary (August 17, 1992) of Woody Allen admitted to being romantically involved with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, (his longtime companion.)

August 17, 2008
American swimmer Michael Phelps became the first person to win eight gold medals in one Olympic Games on this date.

Phelps win of the eight gold medals surpassed Mark Spitz for the most golds by an athlete at a single Games.

And so it goes.

Before you go - Puddles covers the Lou Reed song, Perfect Day -

Even if you didn't have a good day today, you'll have a perfect day after listening to this.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

you may scream your head off and it's not for ice cream

Each year on August 16th, many people at amusement parks and theme parks across the country participating in National Roller Coaster Day which is celebrated on this date.

J.G. Taylor received one of the earliest patents (US patent #128,674) for an inclined railway in 1872.  In 1878, Richard Knudsen received a patent (US #198,888) for an inclined-plane railway.  For years, history has believed the first roller coaster in America designed by LaMarcus Thompson, opened at Coney Island on June 16, 1884.

An article was discovered reporting the anticipated excitement of J.G. Taylor’s elevated railway in 1872 at Rocky Point, Rhode Island. According to the Providence Evening Press from June 18, 1872, the reporter describes a ride of 400 feet where nine passengers are given a shove and gravity does the rest. 

So whenever the roller coaster was first in operation, get out and enjoy the ride.

August 16, 1930 -
Fiddlesticks, was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's first sound cartoon. It is about a happy-go-lucky, needy frog, named Flip the Frog.

This cartoon was created by Ub Iwerks in 1930. He had drawn a frog and his girlfriend in Night, one of the last Silly Symphonies short films he drew while working for Walt Disney.

August 16, 1940 -
The first of Alfred Hitchcock's war-time thrillers, Foreign Correspondent, starring Joel McCrea, Laraine Day and Herbert Marshall, premiered on this date

Shooting on the film was completed on May 29, 1940, after which Alfred Hitchcock made a visit to England. He returned on July 3 with the word that the Germans were expected to start bombing at any time. Ben Hecht was hurriedly called in and wrote the tacked-on final scene set at a London radio station. It was filmed on July 5, and the real-life bombing started on July 10, 1940.

I hope that I inspire women to believe in themselves, no matter where they come from; no matter what education they have; what particular background they originate from.

Happy Birthday to the Material Girl.

August 16, 1976 -
release Dancing Queen, the most popular single of the 70s, in Sweden on this date.

The song was conceived as a dance song with the working title Boogaloo. ABBA members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson drew inspiration from the 1974 George McCrae disco hit Rock Your Baby, and from the drumming on the 1972 album Gumbo by Dr. John.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

Today in History:
August 16, 1819 -
Sixty cavalrymen charge into a crowd of approximately 70,000 protesters at St. Peter's Field in Manchester, England on this date.

The soldiers began to hack away at the people with their sabers and trample them under hoof. Eleven died and 400 were wounded in the Manchester Massacre, also called the Battle of Peterloo.

August 16, 1858 -
U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

However, once again America was ill advised by the request for Prince Albert in a can: Victoria was not amused. The cable stretched from Valentia, Ireland to Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Canada but failed after only five days and was discontinued being used by September of that year. The first permanent telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean was laid in 1866.

August 16, 1938 -
Blues musician Robert Johnson, who presumably sold his soul to the devil (the story was referred to in the movie Crossroads), was poisoned by a jealous husband in Three Forks, Mississippi and died on this date.

Besides being a seminal figure in the history of the Blues, Johnson is often cites as an early influence in the development of Rock and Roll.

August 16, 1948 -
Famed booze hound, skirt chaser and home-run slugger George Herman "Babe" Ruth died at age 53 in New York City.

He is credited with turning baseball from a game of speed and skill to one of power.

August 16, 1954  -
Sports Illustrated was first published by Time Inc. on this date.  It was claimed that 250,000 subscriptions had been sold before the first issue came off of the presses.

The magazine would become the most recognized, widely read sports periodical in the English language. The magazine is currently read by more than 23 million people each week and has more than 3 million subscribers.

August 16, 1956 -
Bela Lugosi, Broadway star, Hollywood star, portrayer of the undead in countless films and formaldehyde connoisseur, died of a heart attack on this day while lying in bed in his Los Angeles home. He was 73.

Bela Lugosi was buried wearing one of the many capes from the Dracula stage play, in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Contrary to popular belief, Lugosi never requested to be buried in his cloak; Bela Lugosi, Jr. has confirmed on numerous occasions that he and his mother, Lillian, made the decision.

August 16, 1977 -
Elvis Presley died (or not) in his home at the age of 42, while sitting on the toilet. While doing his business, he had been perusing The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus. Presumably, Elvis' search was concluded shortly thereafter.

Elvis has long left the building

Remember, add more bran to your diet.

August 16, 1987 -
Mercury, Venus and Mars
all get bunched up near the Sun in what some call the Harmonic Convergence on this date.

Thousands of nutballs clustered at sacred locations like Mount Shasta, California begin meditating their asses off for some damn reason.

August 16, 1991 -
Shamu the Whale died at 16, from respiratory failure, on this date.

After a brief but very moving service, the Japanese mourners at the graveside were invited to consume the dearly departed; wasabi sauce and pickled ginger was served on the side.

And so it goes.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Yah - you have to go to church.

Today is the Feast of Assumption of Mary. Kids it's a Holy Day of Obligation.

If you had problems understanding this or the Immaculate Conception, remember the old lady in church, saying her rosaries that I've made mention of in the past, please go bother her, I'm not even going to try explaining this one to you. Not that I can't - I just want to see her smack you upside the head.

August 15, 1948 -
inaugurated the first nightly news broadcast with anchorman Douglas Edwards.

Mr. Edwards held the job for 14 years and was succeeded by Walter Cronkite.

August 15, 1979 -
The very long delayed epic, Apocalypse Now, premiered in NYC on this date. (Order some Banh xeo and a couple of bottles of Tiger Beer, once again we're watching the Redux version tonight, in honor of the anniversary.)

It took director Francis Ford Coppola nearly three years to edit the footage. While working on his final edit, it became apparent to him that Martin Sheen would be needed to tape a number of additional narrative voice-overs. Coppola soon discovered that Sheen was busy and unable to perform these voice-overs. He then called in Sheen's brother, Joe Estevez, whose voice sounded nearly identical, to perform the new narrative tracks. Estevez was also used as a stand-in when Sheen suffered a heart attack during the shoot in 1976. Estevez was not credited for his work as a stand-in or for his voice-over work.

I must have skipped over this title in the library

Today in History:
Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.

It's the 105th birthday of Julia Child - Chef, Spy, Philosopher and in my opinion, one of the greatest Americans.

Besides Julia, today is the birthday of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769),

Rose Marie (1925),

Oscar Peterson (1925),

Linda Ellerbee (1944), (possibly the second greatest living American)

Jimmy Webb (1946),

Oh, and my friend Liz
(but she knows how old she is.)

August 15, 1057 -
was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire on this date, by Malcolm Canmore, the eldest son of King Duncan I, who was deposed by Macbeth years earlier

He had been king of Scotland for 17 years. For those of you who do not know, you're not suppose to say the name of the Scottish king 'aloud'.

August 15, 1534 -
St. Ignatius of Loyola
, Spanish ecclesiastic, founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in Paris with the aim of defending Catholicism against heresy and undertaking missionary work, on this date. Ignatius converted to Christianity while convalescing after a battle and wrote his Spiritual Exercises meant as a guide for conversion.

In Paris, Ignatius and a small group of men took vows of poverty, chastity and papal obedience. Ignatius formally organized the order in 1539 that was approved by the pope in 1540. The society‘s rapid growth and emphasis on scholarship aided in the resurgence of Catholicism during the Counter-Reformation.

You may now impress your friends with that bit of knowledge.

August 15, 1843 -
Tivoli Gardens
in Copenhagen, Denmark, the world's second oldest amusement park still in operation,offers rides such as roller coasters and carousels as well as exotic flower gardens, opened on this date. Today, it is the most visited amusement park in Scandinavia.

The world's oldest amusement park still in operation is the Dyrehavsbakken park, also in Denmark.

August 15, 1877 -
Thomas Edison wrote to the president of the Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh, PA on this date (stay with me.)

The letter stated that the word, "hello" would be a more appropriate greeting than "ahoy" when answering the telephone.

So now you know

August 15, 1911 -
Procter and Gamble unveiled Crisco shortening on this date.

The new motto should be, "When you open our can, the party's started!"

August 15, 1914 -
The SS Ancon cargo ship was the first to pass through the newly-built Panama Canal on this date.

Today, more than 14,000 ships pass through each year.

August 15,1914 -
years ago today, Julian Carlton, a servant of architect Frank Lloyd Wright burned down Wright's Wisconsin home, Taliesin and murdered seven people, including Wright's lover, Mamah Borthwick Cheney, and her two children. Wright was in Chicago at the time, working on a project.

Carlton was almost immediately captured and jailed, but died six weeks later (a result of having swallowed acid), without uttering a meaningful word about the motive behind his rampage.

August 15, 1935 -
Will Rogers
, the most famous man in America, died near Barrow, Alaska when his sea plane plunges into a lagoon. At the time, he and one-eyed aviator Wiley Post were surveying possible flight paths between Seattle and the Soviet Union.

Remember kids, let this be a lesson to you - don't take a flight with a drunken, one eyed pilot.

August 15, 1945 -
Harry Truman hadn't sobered up yet. He could not quite believe that he was President and got to drop not one but two atomic bombs.

Truman had announced the Japanese surrender the day before. But it was on this day in 1945 that the Allies officially declared V-J Day.

Aug 15, 1947 -
At the stroke of midnight on the 14th of August, Britain withdrew its control on the jewel in its crown and India and Pakistan became two separate, independent, democratic nations,after some 200 years of British rule.

The division of Pakistan from India prompted mass emigration: Muslims moving west to Pakistan and Hindus moving east toward India. The event also unleashed a period of religious turmoil in India and Pakistan that would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, including Gandhi.

August 15, 1965 -
The Beatles
played to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, on this date,  marking the birth of stadium rock.

People tend to forget that this was one of the first major stadium concerts by a rock group.

August 15, 1969 -
The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair began on this date, on Max Yasger's farm in upstate New York.

The greatest gathering of marketing and advertising professionals in American history, the festival featured the musical artists behind some of today's hottest commercial jingles.

August 15, 1977
The Big Ear radio telescope, operated at Ohio State University by the SETI project, receives a strong seventy-two second narrowband radio signal from deep space (6EQUJ5.) The event is named the “Wow! signal” for the notation made by Jerry Ehman, a volunteer on the project.

The signal appears to have come to the northwest of the globular cluster of M55 in the constellation Sagittarius, near the Chi Sagittarii star group. It will never be detected again.

And so it goes.

In case you needed it - the folks at Casually Explained, explain the solar system


Monday, August 14, 2017

In case this comes up in conversation

The longest one-syllable word in the English language is “screeched.

August 14, 1954 -
The clean-cut Canadian quartet, Crew-Cuts (wow, they're really white) topped the charts with their cover of the song, Sh-Boom, on this date.

Their cover of the Chords' "Sh-Boom" set the pattern, going to number one in 1954 and setting the stage for their other commercially successful pop treatments of R&B hits by the Penguins, Gene and Eunice, Otis Williams and the Charms, the Robins, the Spaniels, the Nutmegs, and others.

August 14, 1960 -
The Japanese anime Alakazam the Great, based on the manga by Osamu Tezuka, was released in Japan on this date.

The film is of special note, as it will become one of the first anime films ever to be released in the United States on July 26, 1961.

August 14, 1965 -
Salvatore Bono and Cherilyn Sarkisian La Pierre captured the #1 spot on the American pop charts with their song I Got You Babe, launching the careers of Sonny and Cher.

Sonny Bono was an up-and-coming record producer when he got Cher a job with Phil Spector as a session singer. They started dating and moved in to their manager's house. Bono would write songs on a piano in the garage. He came up with this tune and wrote the lyrics on a piece of cardboard. Cher didn't like it at first, but Sonny changed the key in the bridge to fit her voice and she loved it.

August 14, 1975 –
Time is Fleeting

The science fiction comedy horror musical, directed by Jim Sharman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, and many of cast members from the original stage productions, opened in the UK, on this date.

The film was shot at Oakley Court in Windsor, England, where several Hammer Horror productions were also filmed. Doctor Frank-N-Furter's former castle now serves as a luxury hotel.

Word of the day

Today in History:
August 14, 410
Visigoths under King Alaric sacked Rome after slave co-conspirators open the city gates for them on this date.

Looting lasts for six days. (Back in the pre-viagra days, six days of 'looting' was an impressive feat. Even more impressive when you consider that Visigoth scribes took time out from the orgies to write the date down.)

Barbarians at the Gate indeed.

August 14, 1040 -
Scotland's King Duncan I was killed in a battle against the man who would replace him, Macbeth on this date.

Shakespeare's famous tragedy Macbeth is based upon his life, but is not historically accurate. In the play, Macbeth and his wife murder the aged King Duncan when he comes to visit them in their castle.

August 14, 1900 -
years ago today the western powers quelled the Boxer Rebellion in China. In the clearing stood the Boxers, fighters by their trade, and they carried the reminders of every glove that laid them down or cut them til they cried out, in their anger and their pain, they were leaving, they were leaving, but the fighter still remained.

Unless that was Simon and Garfunkel, in which case the Boxers were bitter, out-of-work Chinese boxers who didn't think the western powers should be allowed to control China's ports, despite the fact that everyone knew China was a poor backward country without any modern conveniences.

Emboldened by the belief that their magical boxing powers made them invulnerable to bullets, they demanded that westerners get out of China or die.

Westerners refused to get out. They crushed the rebellion, and boxing remains a neglected sport in China to this day.

August 14, 1901 -
The first purportedly powered flight, made by Gustave Whitehead in his Number 21 took place in Bridgeport, Connecticut on this date.

Though the flight is accomplished more than two years in advance of the Wright Brothers, it will go largely undocumented, unnoticed, unremarked until long after the Wrights’ globally renowned feat at Kitty Hawk.

August 14, 1904 -
The cattle-herding Hereros, a tribe of Southwest Africa (later Namibia), became the first genocide victims of the 20th century. Queen Victoria's eldest grandson Kaiser Wilhelm II had sent General Lothar von Trotha to put down a Herero uprising along with the groups of rebellious Khoikhoi. Trotha drove the Hereros into the desert and then issued a formal "extermination order" (Schrecklichkeit) authorizing the slaughter of all who refused to surrender.

Out of some 80,000 Hereros, 60,000 died in the desert. Of the 15,000 who surrendered, half of those died in prison camps. Some 9,000 escaped to neighboring countries.

Oh those wacky Germans.

August 14, 1945 -
Emperor Hirohito recorded his unconditional surrender to Allied forces, thus bringing an end to World War II on this date. The Allied forces were so concerned that the emperor would kill himself before the broadcast that they had him pre-record his message.

This broadcast would be the first chance the Japanese people had to hear their god-emperor's speaking voice. Because of the Japanese anathema to surrender and the formal, somewhat archaic Japanese used by the old Imperial Court the emperor spoke, most Japanese didn't realize that they had actually surrendered until about a day later.

August 14, 1945 -
Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.

Steve Martin, actor, comedian, writer, playwright, producer and banjo player was born on this date.

August 14, 1945  -
Alfred Eisenstaedt
shot one of the most iconic images of the 40's on this date - the photographs of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square.

In 2007 Houston Police Department forensic artist Lois Gibson completed a detailed investigation and concluded that Glenn McDuffie (80) is the man in the image, which was published on the cover of Life Magazine on August 27.

August 14, 1951 -
...As it must to all men, death came to Charles Foster Kane.

10 years after the fictionalized version of his life premiered, Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst died at home in Beverly Hills, California, on this date.

August 14, 1972 -
Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.

Oscar Levant, pianist, composer, author, comedian, and actor, died on this date

August 14, 1995 -
Shannon Faulkner
officially became the first female cadet in the history of The Citadel, South Carolina's state military college.

She quit the school less than a week later, citing the stress of her court fight, and her isolation among the male cadets.

August 14, 2003 -
A widespread blackout (lasting almost two days for some), affecting approximately 45 million people in the eastern United States and ten million in Ontario, Canada, occurred on this date.

The final conclusion of the investigation into the incident revealed that the blackout began when a generating plant in Eastlake, Ohio went offline amid high electrical demand. It was the second largest blackout in world history next to the 1999 blackout in Brazil.

August 14, 2126 -
In 1973, astronomer Brian Marsden, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, calculated that the next scheduled perihelion (the point nearest the sun in the orbit of a celestial body) for the "Doomsday Rock," also known as the Swift-Tuttle Comet, would occur on this date. The six-mile-diameter mass is thought to be roughly the same size as the asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs.

Marsden has continued to refine his numbers.  Currently, his new calculations show Comet Swift-Tuttle will actually pass a comfortable 15 million miles from Earth on its next trip to the inner solar system in 2126. However, when Marsden ran his orbital calculations further into the future, he found that, in 3044, Comet Swift-Tuttle may pass within a million miles of Earth, a true cosmic ``near miss.''

Plan accordingly.

And so it goes.