Sunday, April 23, 2017

Running late this morning

April 23, 1896 -
Thomas Edison presented the first publically-projected Vitascope motion picture (with hand-tinting) in the US to a paying American audience on a screen, at Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York City (at 34th Street and Broadway), with his latest invention - the projecting kinetoscope or Vitascope.



Customers watched the Edison Company's Vitascope project a ballet sequence in an amusement arcade during a vaudeville act.


April 23, 1958 -
Orson Welles'
noir thriller Touch of Evil, starring Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh, was released on this date.



Janet Leigh's agent initially rejected her participation in this film due to the low salary offered without even consulting the actress. Orson Welles, anticipating this, sent a personal letter to the actress, telling her how much he looked forward to their working together. Leigh, furious, confronted her agent telling him that getting directed by Welles was more important than any paycheck.


April 23, 1977
-
Please get ready to shake your groove thang - Thelma Houston's remake of the song, Don’t Leave Me This Way reached no.1 on the Billboard charts on this date.



Thelma Houston won the 1977 Grammy Award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance for the song.


April 23, 1988 -
... And I am not frightened of dying. Any time will do, I don't mind. Why should I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it – you've got to go sometime....



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

How did they ever make ends meet?


Today in History:
April 23, 303
-
St George, the future patron saint of England, literally lost his head when he annoyed the Emperor Diocletian so much that the emperor had him separated from his head.



According to legend, George, saved a Libyan king's daughter (Cleodolinda) from a fiery dragon.  You'd think people would be more patient with a local dragon slayer.


William Shakespeare was born on this date in 1564 and wrote a lot of plays then died in the end—on April 23, 1616.



His accomplishments are all the more remarkable when you consider that he died on the same day he’d been born.


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



Sometimes that's all there is.


April 23, 1867 -
The Zoetrope was patented (#64,117) by William E. Lincoln of Providence, Rhode Island on this date. The device was the first animated picture machine.



It provided an animation sequence of pictures lining the inside wall of a shallow cylinder, with vertical slits between the images. By spinning the cylinder and looking through the slits, a repeating loop of a moving image could be viewed .


April 23, 1899  -
A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.



(This is some kind of trifecta for writers.) Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, writer and avid butterfly collector, was born in Saint Petersburg on this date. His work included Lolita, Pnin and Pale Fire.


April 23, 1936 -
I may be a living legend, but that sure don't help when I've got to change a flat tire.









Roy Orbison, the coolest singer in sunglasses,was born on this date.  ( Luxuriate in the voluptuousness of despair.)


April 23, 1940 -
A fire broke out in the Rhythm Night Club in Natchez, Mississippi on this date. More than 200 people died, making it one of the worst fires in US history at the time.



News of the tragedy reverberated throughout the country, especially among the African American community, and blues performers have recorded memorial songs such as The Natchez Burning and The Mighty Fire ever since.


April 23, 1967 -
The USSR launched Soyuz One on this date.



The next day, forced to return to earth, cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first casualty of space flight when his capsule's parachute opened improperly.

Oops.


April 23, 2005 -
The first video uploaded to YouTube, entitled Me at the zoo, made its online debut on this date. The 19-second video was shot by Yakov Lapitsky and shows YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo.



It racked up 19 million views in its ten years online. It currently has over 37 million views.



And so it goes


1369

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day!



On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment.



Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.



So go outside and hug a tree.



If you don't want to be this familiar with nature, give a warm but firm shake hands to your house plants.


It's also Record Store Day. This year, Record Store Day, an international celebration of independent record stores, takes place Saturday, April 22.

Click here to see which stores in the NY area are participating


April 22, 1935 -
Universal Studios released the sequel to the original Frankenstein movie, Bride of Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, Colin Clive and Elsa Lanchester on this date.



Boris Karloff protested against the decision to make The Monster speak, but was overruled. Since he was required to speak in this film, Karloff was not able to remove his partial bridgework as he had done to help give the Monster his sunken cheek appearance in the first Frankenstein. That's why The Monster appears fuller of face in the sequel.


April 22, 1939 -
Warner Bros. released the film, Dark Victory, starring Bette Davis (in one of her favorite roles) and George Brent (her favorite actor with whom she had an affair) on this date.



Bette Davis pestered Warner Brothers to buy the rights to the story, thinking it a great vehicle for her. WB studio chief Jack L. Warner fought against it, arguing that no one wanted to see someone go blind. Of course, the film went on to become one of the studio's biggest successes of that year.


April 22, 1942 -
One of Hitchcock's brilliant World War II efforts (and with his first all-American cast), Saboteur, premiered in Washington D.C. on this date.



Alfred Hitchcock's original director's cameo was cut by order of the censors. He and his secretary played deaf-mute pedestrians. When Hitch's character made an apparently indecent proposal to her in sign language, she slapped his face. A more conventional cameo in front of a drugstore was substituted.


April 22, 1950 -
Peter Frampton, musician, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, was born on this date.



If you were a teenager in the mid 70s, you were issued your standard copy of Frampton Comes Alive to face your 'awkward' years.


April 22, 1953 -
Twentieth Century Fox releases the surrealistic science fiction film Invaders from Mars, directed by William Cameron Menzies on this date.



This was actually one of the first science-fiction scripts written in the 1950s. The revised version of the script was completed in September 1950. The film wasn't produced until 1952 and released in early 1953.


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


Today in History:
April 22, 1451
-


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



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



Well, it's interesting to some people.


April 22, 1904 -
Robert Oppenheimer was born on this date. Mr. Oppenheimer is known as the father of the atomic bomb.



The bomb's mother has never been identified to anyone's satisfaction, which only underscores the lax security at Los Alamos.


April 22, 1923 -
I never kept up with the fashions. I believed in wearing what I thought looked good on me.



Bettie Mae Page was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on this date.


April 22, 1946 -
I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty.



John Waters, film director, actor and raconteur, was born on this date.


April 22, 1964 -
President Johnson opened the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadow, Corona Park, New York, on this date.



The Fair also is remembered as the vehicle Walt Disney utilized to design and perfect the system of "audio-animatronics," in which a combination of sound and computers control the movement of life-like robots to act out scenes. In the It's a Small World attraction at the Pepsi pavilion, animated dolls and animals frolicked in a spirit of racially-insensitive unity on a boat-ride around the world.



Once the fair was over, Walt feverishly pushed his Imagineers to build him an 'actual' President. Historians argue that this was the beginning of Ronald Reagan campaign for the Presidency.


April 22, 1994 -
Richard M. Nixon suffered a fatal stroke on this date. His body was laid to rest in the unhallowed grounds of his Presidential Library.



His head was severed from his body and wooden stakes were driven through his heart to make sure he was dead.



And so it goes


1370

Friday, April 21, 2017

How faint the tune

April 21, 1951 -
Les Paul and Mary Ford topped the charts with their hit of the classic How High the Moon on this date.



Although it was written by lyricist Nancy Hamilton and composer Morgan Lewis for the 1940 musical Two For The Show, the definitive version of "How High The Moon" was recorded by the husband and wife team of Les Paul and Mary Ford. This recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1979.


April 21, 1981 -
 “Weird AlYankovic made his first national television appearance on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder.



He never receives royalties from the single’s initial release because the record company has gone bankrupt.


April 21, 1990 -
Sinead O'Connor topped the charts with a cover of Prince's Nothing Compares 2U on this date.



The video was the first time most people saw what O'Connor looked like and were surprised that she was bald. She shaved her head when she first started recording because she wanted to make a statement and not be known for her beauty. Some people believe this is the saddest song ever recorded (but wait.)



Did you make it through Jimmy Scott's version without crying?


April 21, 1990 -
The largest anti-drug PSA effort in history: the Saturday morning simulcast of Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue broadcast on the ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox networks respectively.



This monumental anti-drug (and, to a lesser extent, anti-alcohol) collaboration came at the acme of Nancy Reagan's "just say no!" era,


Today's PSA


Today in History:
April 21, 753 BC
-
Today is the traditional date of the foundation of Rome by Romulus and his brother, Remus, as a refuge for runaway slaves and murderers who captured the neighboring Sabine women for wives (they are hoping to finish building it any day now.)



But since the Gregorian Calendar was just a gleam in Pope Gregory eye - who knows.  But by all means, please bring enough lubricant with you to the commemorative orgy tonight.


April 21,1792 -
Jose da Silva Xavier, Tiradentes, considered by many to be Brazil's George Washington, was having an extremely bad day. The Portuguese rulers of Brazil were not happy with his seditious talk of independence. Tiradentes was hung in Rio de Janeiro on this date. His body was broken into pieces.

With his blood, a document was written declaring his memory infamous. His head was exposed in Vila Rica. Pieces of his body were exposed in the cities between Vila Rica and Rio, in an attempt to scare the people who had listened to the independence ideas of Tiradentes.



He began to be considered a national hero by the republicans in the late 19th century, and after the republic was proclaimed in Brazil in 1889 the anniversary of his death (April 21) became a national holiday.


April 21, 1836 -
With the battle cry, 'Remember the Alamo!' Texan forces under Sam Houston defeated the army of Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, assuring Texas independence .



According to legend, Santa Anna was astride a mulatto, or "yellow" prostitute, Emily Morgan, who came to be celebrated in song as The Yellow Rose of Texas.

Now you know.


April 21, 1910 -
Halley's comet reappeared on this date. It had been last seen in 1835, the year Samuel Clemens was born.



The Earth passes safely through the comet's tail with no perceptible effect, of course, not counting the death of Mark Twain on this date.

This time, the reports were not exaggerated.


April 21, 1918 -
German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as The Red Baron, was shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme in France on this date.



There is no truth to the rumor that Snoopy fired the fatal shot.


The following people were born on this day:
Alexandra Mary Windsor (1926),




Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterberg) (1947) ,




Patti LuPone (1949),




Tony Danza (1951)




and Robert Smith (1959)




Make of this coincidence what you will


April 21, 1932 -
The only thing experience teaches you is what you can't do. When you start, you think you can do anything. And then you start to get a little tired.



Elaine May, one of the funniest human being who ever lived, was born on this date.


April 21, 1962 -
President John F. Kennedy took time out of his busy schedule, of banging starlets and interns, two, three at a time, to push a button in Palm Beach, Florida and officially open the Top of the Needle (the first revolving restaurant in the United States,) atop the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington on this date.



The President was so high on pain killers that he did not realize that he wasn't in Seattle at the time.


April 21, 1997 -
The ashes of Timothy Leary and Gene Roddenberry were launched into orbit (this marked the beginning of the space funeral industry,) on this date.



I guess this is the highest Dr. Leary will ever get.


April 21, 2003 -
Nina Simone, dubbed the high priestess of soul, died in France on this date.



Kids go out and buy one of her CD's, your life will be better for it.



And so it goes.


1371

Thursday, April 20, 2017

In case this comes up

 From the British Quiz show QI, What's the best thing to do if you find yourself in a falling elevator cab?



So now you know.


If you or your kid cut school or work today, lock up the snacks. They may come home with a case of the munchies.



If they were out celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Klara Hitler's bouncing baby little evil bastard named Adolf on this date in 1889, smack them hard across the back of the head.



If they were celebrating the anniversary of the Columbine attack, have them talk to Michael,



That's all we're gonna say.


April 20, 1959 -
Desilu Productions launched its new TV series The Untouchables with a two-part episode The Scarface Mob on this date



The only actors to reprise their roles as members of The Untouchables from the series pilot, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, were Robert Stack as Eliot Ness and Abel Fernández as William Youngfellow. All of the other team members were recast for the series.


April 20, 1977 -
Annie Hall, at 93 minutes, the shortest color film to ever win the Best Picture Oscar, premiered on this date (Marty, in glorious B and W was 91 minutes.)



Woody Allen and Diane Keaton had trouble keeping a straight face when working together. An example of the uncontrollable laughter between the two was the lobster dinner scene. It was the first scene shot for the movie and neither Woody nor Diane had to do much acting for the scene, for their laughter was completely spontaneous.


April 20, 1981 -
ABC unceremoniously aired the final episode of Soap, leaving many of the plotlines unresolved.



Susan Harris, the creator of the series, went on to create The Golden Girls and Empty Nest, using many of the same actors who first appeared on Soap.


Weren't we promised this?


Today in History:
April 20, 1233
-
Pope Gregory IX placed the Inquisition, in existence since 1227, under the aegis of the Dominican Order on this date. Torture is apparently sometimes necessary to save souls, and the office continues to exist today as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.



And until a decade or so ago, the congregation was headed by Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.


April 20, 1940 -
The first electron microscope was demonstrated by RCA on this date.

The company was among the first to develop the electron microscope, which remains widely used in many forms of scientific research today.


April 20, 1979 -
President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a Killer Swamp Rabbit, while on vacation in Plains GA on this date. The rabbit swam menacingly towards him, and he had to repel the ferocious creature with a paddle. There were no injuries.



Press Secretary Jody Powell leaked the story to the press, and the White House had a lot of explaining to do.


April 20, 1992 -
Alone in his apartment watching TV, British comedic legend Benny Hill suffered a fatal heart attack on this date.



His bloated toupee-less body with his underwear around his ankles were found four days later


April 20, 2010 -
While drilling at the Macondo Prospect, an explosion on the rig, Deepwater Horizon, caused by a blowout which killed 11 crewmen and ignited a fireball visible from 35 miles away. The resulting fire could not be extinguished and, on this date, Deepwater Horizon sank, leaving the well gushing at the sea floor and causing the largest offshore oil spill in United States history.



BP announced on April 18, 2012 that it has reached a class-action settlement with attorneys representing thousands of businesses and individuals who made claims after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As late as January of 2014, BP was still attempting not to pay claims made against them in the suit.  The court has rejected BP attempts.

BP originally projected that its settlement costs would be $7.8 billion. As of last year, a federal judge approved a $20 billion settlement to end years of litigation. The settlement will be paid over 16 years.



And so it goes


1372

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It's nature's way to provide peristaltic stimulation

Probing deep into the dark recesses of the intraweb, I found a product for "folks over 35" - Serutan (thanks to the good people at Neatorama.)



We must get them as one of our new sponsors.


Hey kids sorry, vacation's over; back to school.


April 19, 1927 -
Cecil B. Demille's silent-film version of The King of Kings premiered on this date.



It is rumored that the film featured author Ayn Rand as one of the hundreds of people in a crowd. At a time when Rand was a struggling immigrant, Cecil B. DeMille gave her the job to help get her on her feet.


April 19, 1946 -
Raymond Chandler's film-noir classic The Blue Dahlia premiered on this date.



When Alan Ladd was called up for military service, production on the movie (then still in the screenplay stage) had to be rapidly stepped up. According to a near-legendary story, screenwriter Raymond Chandler offered to finish the screenplay by working drunk: in exchange for sacrificing his health to produce the requisite pages on time, Chandler was permitted to work at home (a privilege rarely granted to screenwriters) and was provided two chauffeured cars, one to convey the completed pages to the studio and the other for his wife. Chandler turned the script in on time. Many now believe the "drunkenness" was simply a ruse by Chandler to wrangle extraordinary privileges from the desperate studio.


April 19, 1961 -
Frederico Fellini's
iconic, La Dolce Vita, premiered in the United States on this date.



The film contributed the term "paparazzo" to the language. The term derives from Marcello's photographer friend Paparazzo. Federico Fellini took the name "Paparazzo", as he explained in a later interview, from the name of someone he met in Calabria (Southern Italy) where Greek names are still common. "Paparazzi" is the plural meaning.


April 19, 1967 -
MGM released a truly bizarre James Bond spoof, Casino Royale, starring just about everybody, including Woody Allen(?), premiered on this date.



The scenes with Woody Allen were shot in London. Producers delayed his final day of shooting so many times that out of frustration Allen left the set, went directly to Heathrow Airport and flew back to New York City without changing out of his costume.


April 19, 1987 -
The Simpsons make their television debut in the short Good Night - a segment for The Tracey Ullman Show.



(Once again, I had to hang around the murky world of the internet underground to get this blurry copy of the clip. I'd like to show you a better version of the clip but the goons, I mean lawyers from Fox would break my legs and I've just about gotten used to walking.)

I wonder whatever happened to The Simpsons.


April 19, 1978 -
The Patti Smith Group released the song Because the Night on this date.



Bruce Springsteen wrote this song. He gave it to Patti Smith in 1976 because he thought it would suit her voice. He was also in a legal battle with his manager, Mike Appel, that kept him from recording for almost three years.


April 19, 1990 -
On the BBC, the television program, French and Saunders show, airs a Pythonque courthouse sketch featured the guitarists David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore and Lemmy.



The sketch ended with a jam by the musicians. Please watch the clip; you may thank me later.


Bill was always a clever lad


Today in History:
April 19, 1775
-
Alerted by Paul Revere, the American Revolutionary War began at Lexington Common with the Battle of Lexington-Concord on this date. Eight Minutemen were killed and 10 wounded in an exchange of musket fire with British Redcoats.



In New York, Lexington seems to have won as there is no Concord Avenue.


April 19, 1824 -
Notorious drug user, buggerer, sister sleeping, club footed man about Europe, oh yeah, and poet, Lord George Gordon Byron, died from malaria fever in Greece on this date.



His body was set back to England for burial (his heart, literally remains in his beloved Greece, buried under a tree in Messolonghi) but he was so infamous that neither the deans of Westminster and St Paul's would accept his body for proper burial. His family at last buried him in a small family vault in Northern England.)


April 19, 1906 -
It was a rainy day in Paris. One of those days that song writers write about. Nobel-winning chemist Pierre Curie was preoccupied and in a hurry. He tried to run across the street and did not look both ways. He slipped and then was hit and run over by a horse drawn vehicle. His skull was badly fractured.

Kids' once again - Your mother is always right. Just because you're a Nobel winning - look both ways before crossing.


April 19, 1927 -
Mae West, suspected transvestite, was jailed, on this date, for her performance in Sex, the Broadway play she wrote, directed, and starred in. She was sentenced to ten days in prison. While incarcerated on Roosevelt Island, she was allowed to wear her silk panties instead of the scratchy prison issue and the warden reportedly took her to dinner every night.

She served eight days with two days off for good behavior. Media attention to the case enhanced her career - it didn't make her change her act, but it did bring her national notoriety—and helped make her one of Hollywood's most memorable, and quotable, stars.

She said: "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it."


April 19, 1993 -
More than 80 Branch Davidians died in Waco, Texas as the FBI stages a disastrous final assault on their compound on this date. This brought a sudden end to the 51-day siege.



As you about to see, this helped us a great deal.


April 19, 1995 -
At 9:02 am, 22 years ago today, a large car bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, and injuring 500 including many children in the building’s day care center.



Authorities charged Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, with the crime.

Both were convicted. McVeigh was executed in 2001 and Nichols is currently serving a life sentence.



And so it goes


1373

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Kids, don't do drugs

It's that time of the year again - It's another court ordered, I mean, ACME approved PSA

Remember, drugs are bad, okay.


Sorry to remind you but -

file your taxes if you haven't done so yet.


Today is Velociraptor Awareness Day.  Velociraptors are small vicious dinosaurs that usually ruin everyone's day at your local millionaire's amusement park.

Remember large windows and doorways are Velociraptor points of entries. Mark them accordingly and avoid at all cost. Once you’ve finished locating possible velociraptor entry points within your building, you can mark those areas so that your loved ones are also aware of the building’s vulnerabilities.

Velociraptor attacks are a very serious matter. Educate yourself, and make sure you always have at least four possible escape routes, since three of those will be occupied by velociraptors in the event of an attack.

Remember you don't have to outrun a raptor, you just have to outrun one of your friends.


April 18, 1963 -
Harvard's most successful 'failure' Conan O'Brien was born on this date



Hopefully Coco will still have a show next year.


April 18, 1975 -
John Lennon released Stand by Me on this date.



Lennon's cover was his last hit prior to his five-year retirement from the music industry.


In dreams


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



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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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



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

Although Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem immortalized Paul Revere alone. Revere was the least heroic, he was captured by British patrols and held for awhile before he was released without his horse.

Please indulge your local tea party members today.


April 18, 1906 -
A devastating earthquake struck San Francisco at 5:13 a.m., followed by a major aftershock three hours later. More than 3,000 people were killed from either collapsing structures or any of the 59 separate fires which burned over the next three days.



In the downtown area, the U.S. Army was forced to dynamite whole city blocks in order to contain the flames, due to the lack of water pressure.


April 18, 1942 -
The Doolittle raids took place over Tokyo (the first U.S. air raid to strike the Japanese home islands during WWII,) and were led by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, who received a congressional medal of honor for his actions.



Though the raid did not do much material damage to Japan, it demonstrated how vulnerable the Japanese home islands were to air attack just four months after their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.


April 18, 1955 -
Nobel Prize recipient Albert Einstein died in his hospital bed from a ruptured aortic aneurysm on this date.



Seven hours later, Dr. Thomas Harvey, chief pathologist at Princeton Hospital, performed Albert Einstein’s autopsy. He removed the brain and took it home. Thus began a 40 year journey of "They Stole Einstein's Brain".


April 18, 1983 -
62 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a suicide bombing against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut on this date. The attacker used a van packed with one ton of high explosives. Included among the dead was the CIA's entire Middle East bureau.



The group Islamic Jihad claims responsibility, although the intelligence community believes it was actually the work of Hezbollah.


April 18, 1988 -
American auto worker John Demjanjuk was convicted of crimes against humanity by an Israeli court on this date. They determined that he was Treblinka's notorious Ivan the Terrible. The court sentences him to hang one week later, but the conviction is later overturned when it appears to have been a case of mistaken identity.

In 2002, a U..S. federal court later strips Demjanjuk of his citizenship after it rules that he did in fact work as a Nazi prison guard, although at Sobibor, Majdanek, and Flossenburg. On May 11 2009, Demjanjuk left his Cleveland home by ambulance, and was taken to the airport, where he was deported by plane to Germany. Starting in late 2009, his trial began in Munich on charges he helped kill 29,000 Jews as a Nazi prison guard at the Sobibor death camp in 1943. On May 12, 2011, Ivan Mykolaiovych Demianiuk was convicted as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews and sentenced to five years in prison.



Mr. Demjanjuk died on March 17, 2012, still attempting to appeal his case. Since his appeal was not heard at the time of his death, his conviction was invalidated and he died without a criminal record.



And so it goes



1374

Monday, April 17, 2017

I'm exhausted

I'm glad I can pretend that I have the day off because it's Easter Monday.


Today is National Blah Blah Blah day. It’s the day to do any of the following, or whatever.

Stop smoking, take out the trash, empty the cat litter, lose weight, pick up your clothes, put dirty dishes in the sink, get a job or quit your job.


April 17, 1924 -
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios was created following a merger of the Louis B. Mayer Company, Goldwyn Pictures, and Metro Pictures, on this date.



The MGM studio was a division of Loew's, Inc., one of the largest theater chains in North America at the time.


April 17, 1937 -
A very funny Looney Tunes cartoon Porky's Duck Hunt premiered on this date.



This short, starring Porky Pig, is notable for being the first appearance of the character who would later be named Daffy Duck. It also notable that this is the first cartoon in which Mel Blanc voices both Porky and Daffy.


April 17, 1971 -
Joy to the World, by Three Dog Night, made it to the top of the pop music charts on this date. The song was number one for six weeks.



Hoyt Axton wrote this for an animated TV special called The Happy Song that never materialized. Axton, who was a popular Country singer/songwriter from Oklahoma, pitched it to the group while he opened for them on a tour. Three Dog Night also had a Top-10 hit with Never Been to Spain, which was also written by Axton.


It's going to be an abbreviated posting this morning -
Today in History:
It was a lovely April, but a certain beautiful young woman walked about in a daze, heavy of heart and despairing of hope. She was betrothed to a rich and cruel young man who didn’t love her. Then she met a boyishly handsome young ruffian who loved her for who she really was. His every sentiment seemed to echo those in her own soul, sentiments that had gone too long unanswered; his smile radiated warmth and joy, and quickened her blooming young heart, which had withered too long from neglect; his touch sent shivers down her spine, which had always consisted of numerous vertebrae. They fell in love abruptly and completely.

Sadly, the sea broke through the dikes, and they were drowned along with 100,000 other less interesting people on April 17, 1421, in Dort, the Netherlands.


April 17, 1524 -
Giovanni da Verrazzano, another in a long line of European knuckleheads trying to find a shortcut to India, reaches the Narrows, the strait between Staten Island and Long Island on this date. He finds that he does not have enough change to go through and is turned around by local native authorities.

For some reason, we (the U.S.) named two bridges after him.  Little know fact -  he tried that trick again of not having exact change for the tolls while exploring the island of Guadeloupe and was eaten by native toll takers.


April 17, 1960 -
Eddie Cochran
, the man behind Summertime Blues and C’mon Everybody, was killed, and Gene Vincent is injured, when the taxi carrying them from a show in Bristol, England, crashed en route to the airport in London, where he was to catch a flight back home to the US.



The taxi driver lost control on a bend in the road and spun backwards into a concrete lamp post. Cochran, who was seated in the center of the back seat, threw himself over his fiancée Sharon Sheeley, to shield her, and was thrown out of the car when the door flew open.


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



In three days of fighting, Cuba captures 1,197 of the rebels and killed approximately 200.


April 17, 1964 -
On March 19th, 1964, Geraldine 'Jerrie' Mock, a 38-year-old mother of three, jumped in the family Cessna 180 and departed Port Columbus (OH) Airport. Just over 23,000 miles later, after nearly a month dealing with unfamiliar cultures, mechanical problems and dangerous weather, she arrived back in Columbus to become the first woman to fly solo around the world on this date.



Mock's journey took about a month; aside from being the first woman to fly around the world by herself, she also set several speed records and was also the first woman to fly both the Atlantic and the Pacific.


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



The base price was $2,368. Industry experts in 1996 picked the 1964 Mustang as the number one favorite car.


April 17, 1969 -
A Los Angeles jury convicted Sirhan Sirhan of assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy on this date. Sirhan received a death sentence, but it is later reduced to life in prison.



Poor Mr. Sirhan, one of the only people who might have spoken in his defense, Robert F. Kennedy, was dead.



And so it goes


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(I just noticed that this was the 3400th posting; I've wasted a lot of time.)
Don't forget to visit our other site: Dr. Caligari's Cupboard

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Khristós Anésti!

Happy Easter folks!

We've spoken about Ishtar before: there is an ancient story about Tammuz (also known as Attis, Osiris, Dionysus, Adonis, Orpheus or Jesus - you'll get the idea) who was born of a virgin, died, was reborn. He was the lover of Ishtar.


The festival associated with Tammuz began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection.  Tammuz, beloved of Ishtar, was killed by a wild pig. As Tammuz was killed by a pig, a pig must be slaughtered and eaten on that Sunday.



His blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree, and the stump grew into a full new tree overnight.  This made the evergreen tree sacred by the blood of Tammuz.



There is a forty day period of sorrow each year prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz. During this time, no meat is to be eaten. Worshipers were to make the sign of "T" in front of their hearts in honor of Tammuz. They were to make and eat sacred cakes with the marking of a "T" on the top.



Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, the celebration begins. That is Ishtar's Sunday and is commemorated with rabbits and eggs which are sacred to her.

Now that Lent is completely over, resume all of your previous bad habits with barely any new-found spiritual insights.



Hopefully you'll find all those Easter eggs or you'll be sorry. Year old hard boiled eggs left behind grandma's couch really, really stink - enough said.


A mid-1950s construction worker involved in the demolition of the J. C. Wilber Building finds a box inside a cornerstone. He opens it to reveal a singing, dancing frog (that came to be called Michigan J. Frog,) complete with top hat and cane.



According to the cartoon, One Froggy Night (1955), the box also contains a commemorative document dated April 16, 1892.


April 16, 1889 -
Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr, actor, writer, songwriter, composer, film producer and director was born on this date.



According to his daughter Geraldine Chaplin, in the last years of his life Chaplin began to worry that he might not be remembered after his death. This was a major reason why he allowed his trademark character The Little Tramp to appear on several commercial products in the 1970s.


April 16, 1932 -
The Music Box, moment by moment one of the funniest Laurel and Hardy sound movies, premiered on this date.



The crate that Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy wrestle with was empty, but the one shown sliding down the staircase really did have an upright piano in it. As it careens down the steps muffled, discordant tones can be heard.


April 16, 1936 -
Frank Capra's Oscar winning romantic comedy, Mr. Deed Goes to Town, starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur premiered in New York on this date.



This movie marks the entry of the verb doodle (in the sense of absent-minded scribbling) into the English language. The word was coined for the movie by screenwriter Robert Riskin.


April 16, 1939 -
Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, one of the leading pop singer and entertainer of the 1960's was born on this date.



The uniqueness of Dusty Springfield's voice was described by Burt Bacharach as: "You could hear just three notes and you knew it was Dusty."


April 16, 1962 -
This is the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite



Walter Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of The CBS Evening News on this date.


April 16, 1964 -
The Rolling Stones released their first, eponymously named album in the UK on this date.



It became an immediate hit, and stayed number one on the UK charts for 12 weeks.


Today in History:
April 16, 1178 BC -
... The sun has been obliterated from the sky, and an unlucky darkness invades the world. - Theoclymenus



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



April 16, 1865 -
President Abraham Lincoln lay in state on this date. Two days previously, he receives a cranial gunshot wound from a member of the nation's most famous acting families, John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln died the following day, primarily from ill-advised attempts to extract the bullet lodged in his brain.

At approximately the same time, a co-conspirator of Booth's, Lewis Powell broke into the Secretary of State William Seward's home and attacks his family.

Incredibly, Mr. Seward survives a stabbing to the face and neck. The president's death came only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox, effectively ending the American Civil War.

So once again, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?


April 16, 1866 -
Dmitry Karakozov, a minor nobleman from Kostroma attempted to assassinate Tsar Alexander II of Russia at the gates of the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg on this date.

As the Tsar was leaving, Dmitry rushed forward to fire. The attempt was thwarted by Osip Komissarov, a peasant-born hatter's apprentice, who jostled Karakozov's elbow right before the shot was fired


April 16, 1912 -
Harriet Quimby, in a Bleriot monoplane, became the first woman to fly solo over the English Channel on this date.



Her achievement was overshadowed in the press however, by reports of the sinking of the Titanic.


April 16 1912 -
The remains of the R.M.S. Titanic came to rest at the bottom of the sea on this date. The unsinkable ship sank after being torn by iceberg. Of a total of 2,208 people, only 712 survived; 1,496 perished.



If the lifeboats had been filled to capacity, 1,178 people could have been saved. Of the first-class, 201 were saved (60%) and 123 died. Of the second-class, 118 (44%) were saved and 167 were lost. Of the third-class, 181 were saved (25%) and 527 perished. Of the crew, 212 were saved (24%) and 679 perished. The majority of deaths were caused by victims succumbing to hypothermia in the 28 °F (-2 °C) water.  Of particular note, the entire complement of the 35-member Engineering Staff (25 engineers, 6 electricians, two boilermakers, one plumber, and one writer/engineer's clerk) were lost.



The entire ship's orchestra was also lost. Led by violinist Wallace Hartley, they played music on the boat deck of the Titanic that night to calm the passengers. It will probably forever remain unknown what this orchestra selected as their last piece. Based on evidence from various sources some argue it was Nearer my God to Thee while others say it was Autumn.


April 16, 1943 -
LSD was first synthesized on April 7, 1938 by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, as part of a large research program searching for medically useful ergot alkaloid derivatives. Its psychedelic properties were unknown until five years later, when Hofmann, acting on what he has called a "peculiar presentiment," returned to work on the chemical. He attributed the discovery of the compound's psychoactive effects to the accidental absorption of a tiny amount through his skin on this date.

Here is the first instance of the defense I did not inhale - I accidentally dropped acid.



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

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



Oh wow, the colors, the lights, man.


April 16, 1947 -
The French freighter Grandcamp, loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer, exploded at a port in Texas City, Texas on this date. The blast caused other explosions at a nearby chemical plant, spreading fires across oil refineries along the port.



An estimated 600 people were killed by the blast and the ensuing fires which swept the port and the surrounding town. The accident is considered the worst industrial accident in US history because of the high number of fatalities.


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



And so it goes.


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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sabbatum Sanctum

Today is Holy Saturday, also known as the Great Sabbath, Black Saturday, or Easter Eve. You kids today are soft; we used to have to fast the entire day today.

Today is the last day of Lent - you have one more day of having to give up something (or one could have done something extra.)


You might think that today, April 15, is the deadline for submitting personal tax returns, but this is not always the case. (Please follow along) when the date falls on a weekend, it is often moved to the following Monday.

However, once again, this year's deadline the 15th occurs on a weekend, so the Internal Revenue Service has given taxpayers until April 18 to pay their taxes, but not thought the goodness of their heart.

Instead, the IRS is observing a holiday that is usually only observed in Washington, DC.

Emancipation Day marks the day that the Compensated Emancipation Act was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on April 16 1862. Emancipation Day is a legal holiday in DC, and public employees are given the day off work. However, because April 16, 2017, falls on a Sunday, it is celebrated on the closest weekday, which is Monday April 17. (Are you following?)

This means that public employees such as those that work for the IRS will have April 17 off of work, and so it pushes the tax deadline to April 18, a Tuesday, which is the next business day.

(For taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts, another holiday helped pushes their tax deadline back to Tuesday April 18. This legal holiday is Patriots' Day, and it is always observed on the third Monday of April.)

This will absolutely be on the test.  If you haven't started your taxes, you better hustle.


April 15, 1923 -
Dr. Lee De Forest demonstrates his Phonofilm sound-on-film process to the first paying movie audience at an invitation-only event at the Rialto Theater in New York City.



Dr. De Forest received in 1959 an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


April 15, 1966 -
Decca Records released the fourth British studio album of The Rolling Stones, Aftermath, on this date.



This was their first album to consist entirely of Mick Jagger/Keith Richards compositions.


Don't forget to tune in to today's episode of The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour


Today in History:
April 15, 1792 -
The Guillotine was first tested on human corpses on this date.

Delis all over France have to wait years for the meat slicer to be invented.


April 15, 1865 -
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, died from a bullet wound inflicted the night before by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer.



The president's death came only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox, effectively ending the American Civil War.


April 15, 1910 -
In San Francisco detective Tim Riordan arrested Jolly Trixie, aka Miss Kitty Plunkett on this date, for allegedly violating the Penal Code. She was accused of being deformed and exhibiting her deformity in a Fillmore Street show house.

Plunkett said she weighed only 585 pounds as opposed to the alleged 685 pounds. Two physicians testified that she was perfectly symmetrical.You just know if television was around at the time, this would have been a reality series on Fox TV.


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



There were 212 staff members among the 712 survivors. Nearly all of the first-class women passengers survived, except for Ida Straus, Bessie Waldo Allison and Loraine Allison, Edith Corse Evans, and Elizabeth Ann Isham.

Only 306 of the victims bodies were found. The dead were taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Its Maritime Museum has a dedicated section that includes a deckchair recovered from the wreck, mortuary bags, and the shoes of an unknown victim.

Charles Joughin, the ship’s baker, reportedly trod water for two hours before being rescued with little ill-effects. He claimed he had not felt the cold due to the amount of whiskey he had drunk.


April 15, 1945 -
British and Canadian troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen death camp in northern Germany on this date.



Bergen-Belsen was located in a village in West Germany about 30 miles north of Hanover. About 40,000 people were liberated from the camp, although about 13,000 later died of illness. Overall, about 70,000 people died in Belsen.


April 15, 1947 -
Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball when he played his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers on this date.



Taking the field that day made him the first African-American to play Major League Baseball.


April 15, 1955 -
The first McDonald's franchise opens in Des Plains, a suburb of Chicago. Because it is the first one launched by Ray Kroc, he names it "McDonald's #1" despite the fact that the McDonald brothers had already opened eight of their chain restaurants before they began accepting licensees.

Kroc's unfortunate numbering system guarantees perpetual confusion for amateur fast food historians the world over.


April 15, 1962 -
Actress Clara Blandick, 80, the Auntie Em of The Wizard of Oz, took an overdose of sleeping pills and tied a plastic bag around her head in a Hollywood hotel room on this date.



Prior to this, she had prominently arranged her resume and press clippings so the newspapers would get her obituary right. Police also found her suicide note, which read: “I am now about to make the great adventure. I cannot endure this agonizing pain any longer. It is all over my body. Neither can I face the impending blindness. I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.


April 15, 1983 -
Tokyo Disneyland, the first Disney park built outside of the United States, opened on this date.



It is owned by The Oriental Land Company, which licenses the theme from The Walt Disney Company. Tokyo Disneyland and its companion park, Tokyo DisneySea, are the only Disney parks not owned by The Walt Disney Company either partially or outright.


April 15, 1990 -
Greta Garbo finally got her wish,



and died in New York City at age 84, on this date.


April 15, 2013 -
Two pressure cooker bombs were set off at the Boston Marathon near the finish line, killing three people and injuring another 264 people, on this date.



The bombers were Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Police eventually chased down the suspects during a confrontation in which Tamerlan was run over by Dzhokar while trying to escape. Tamerlan was killed after a gun battle with the police and Dzhokar still awaits the results of his death penalty appeal.


April 15, 2014 -
More than two hundred schoolgirls were kidnapped from their school after an attack by the Boko Haram Islamist militant group in Chibok, Nigeria, on this date.



It is believed that the girls were taken to a hard to reach area of forest in the country or out of the country. Over fifty of the girls had been able to escape.



And so it goes.


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Friday, April 14, 2017

People should have found it a stumbling block to faith.

Today is Good Friday, (also know as, Great Friday, Holy Friday or Long Friday.)





On Good Friday, parishioners (the old ladies who populate church in the middle of most days) follow the officiant and observe the Stations of the Cross.


Today is International Moment of Laughter Day. Unlike many of the 'holidays' that litter the internet, we know who created this one. The unofficial holiday, created by motivational speaker Izzy Gesell, encourages people to forget the stresses of daily life and give into the healing and relaxing power of laughter.



Alright, now have some pancakes and grapes and go back to your miserable life.


April 14, 1883 -
Leo Delibes'
opera Lakme, premiered in Paris on this date.



The main reason you've probably even know this opera is because of the duet, Viens and Mallika sing, les liens en fleurs (The Flower Duet) in Act I has become widely used in ads, as well as in films (I'll stop now.)



That anyone knows an opera from the late 19th century is amazing.


April 14, 1939 -
William Wyler's Wuthering Heights, starring Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier, premiered in New York, on this date.



David Niven dreaded the film not only because he was playing a thankless, secondary role, but because he dreaded working with William Wyler again. Merle Oberon was uncomfortable working with Niven after their year long love affair ended in 1936. Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier apparently detested each other. Legend has it that when William Wyler yelled "Cut!" after a particularly romantic scene, Oberon shouted back to her director about her co-star "Tell him to stop spitting at me!"


April 14, 1945 -
Tex Avery
retooled his Warner Brothers cartoon, Dangerous Dan McFoo, and remade it for MGM as The Shooting of Dan McGoo. It was released on this date.



This is probably the better version, but what do I know.


April 14, 1967 -
The Bee Gees released their single in England, New York Mining Disaster 1941, on this date.



There was no mining disaster in New York in 1941, although there was one in McIntire, Pennsylvania which killed 6 people. The song though appears to have been vaguely inspired by the Aberfan tragedy in South Wales. On October 21, 1966, 144 people were killed, 116 of them children, when a waste tip slid down a mountainside; unsurprisingly the story generated massive media coverage, and even 50 years on the name Aberfan is synonymous with the tragedy in South Wales.


April 14, 1969 -
The Monkees TV Special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee aired on NBC-TV, on this date.



This special was so terrible that it became the Monkees' final performance as a quartet until 1986, because Peter Tork left the group at the end of the special's production.


April 14, 1989 -
The British group Fine Young Cannibals had their first hit when the song She Drives Me Crazy hit #1 on the charts on this date.



When Fine Young Cannibals first tried to record this, lead singer Roland Gift used his regular voice and the song was She's My Baby. No one involved with the recording liked it, but a revamping of the lyrics and a falsetto voice for the new She Drives Me Crazy changed everybody's opinion of the song.


Today in History:
April 14, 73
-
With the 10th Roman Legion about to breach the gates of their mountaintop fortress, 960 Sicarii Jews committed mass suicide at Masada on this date. According to Josephus, the radical cult selected ten swordsmen by lottery to perform the killing.



Then they held a second lottery to choose one man to kill the remaining nine. Finally, the last one fell on his sword.

I 'll take my chances with the Powerball lottery.


April 14, 1828 -
Noah Webster published his American Dictionary of the English Language on this date. He was a man who'd grown up in America at a time when Americans from different states could barely understand each other, because they spoke with such different accents and even different languages.



Americans in Vermont spoke French, New Yorkers spoke Dutch, and the settlers in Pennsylvania spoke German. All these different languages were influencing American English, and there were no standards of spelling or meaning.

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


April 14, 1865 -
So, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

 On the evening of Good Friday, just after 10 p.m., President Abraham Lincoln received a cranial gunshot wound from well-known actor, John Wilkes Booth, while attending a performance of the play, Our America Cousin at the Ford Theatre on this date. Booth shouted out “sic semper tyrannis” (thus always to tyrants), Virginia’s state motto, after shooting Pres. Lincoln. He leaped to the stage, breaking his left leg on impact, and escaped through a side door.



Lincoln died the following day, primarily from ill-advised attempts to extract the bullet lodged in his brain.


On April 14, 1894, a public Kinetoscope parlor was opened by the Holland Bros. in New York City at 1155 Broadway, on the corner of 27th Street - the first commercial motion picture house. The venue had ten machines, set up in parallel rows of five, each showing a different movie. For 25 cents a viewer could see all the films in either row; half a dollar gave access to the entire bill.



The ten films that comprise the first commercial movie program: Barber Shop, Bertoldi (mouth support) Ena Bertoldi (a British vaudeville contortionist), Bertoldi (table contortion), Blacksmiths, Roosters (some manner of cock fight), Highland Dance, Horse Shoeing, Sandow (Eugen Sandow, a German strongman), Trapeze, and Wrestling. As historian Charles Musser described, a "profound transformation of American life and performance culture" had begun.

They were sure to have plenty of kleenex on hand.


April 14,1910 -
President William Howard Taft began a sports tradition by feebly throwing out the first pitch on baseball’s Opening Day.



Taft threw to Washington Senator pitcher Walter Johnson, who went on to hurl a shutout win, allowing the Philadelphia Phillies just one hit and ending the day with a 3-0 victory for Washington.

Be thankful that Gov. Christie's career is over and you'l never had to see him again in his baseball uniform sporting a camel toe.


April 14, 1912 - 11:40 pm.
Mr and Mrs Sturges are arguing about whether or not Mrs Sturges will return to Europe with her husband after the boat docks in New York.  In the heat of the moment, Julia Sturges reveals to her husband Richard, that Norman, their son is not his but but rather the result of a one-night stand after one of their many bitter arguments

Meanwhile in another part of the ship, Jack and Rose witness the horrific events of the evening after Jack had sketched Rose in the nude, wearing only the Heart of the Ocean, an engagement present from Cal (afterwards, they entered William Carter's Renault and engage in sexual congress) ...but that's another story.



The Unsinkable Titantic struck and iceberg, causing damage to six of her 16 'water tight' compartments. (Lat. 41° 46' N. and Long. 50° 14' W.)



Originally, a lifeboat drill was scheduled to take place on board the Titanic on earlier on this date. However, for an unknown reason, Captain Smith canceled the drill. Many believe that had the drill taken place, more lives could have been saved.


April 14, 1924 -
Form follows function - Louis Henri Sullivan



Louis Henri Sullivan, America's greatest 19th and early 20th Century architect died on this date. His autobiography was entitled The Autobiography of an Idea.


April 14, 1941 -
Julie Frances Christie, famous beauty and renown actress and Peter Edward "Pete" Rose, Sr. (Charlie Hustle) were born on this date.





Unfortunately, unless things change, one of them has a better chance of getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame than the other.



And so it goes. 


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Before you go - If you have tears, prepare to shed them now -



I don't know who is cutting onion around here, but cut it out.