Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Insert dirty sailor pun here

The 30th annual Fleet Week in NYC will take place from Wednesday, May 23, 2018 to Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (I will not play In The Navy again this year.)



Remember - Next week is Penicillin Week. 


It's World Turtle Day (again.) The purpose of World Turtle Day, sponsored yearly since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.







It's celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles to saving turtles caught on highways, to research activities.


May 23, 1929 -
Walt Disney
released the ninth film in the Mickey Mouse film series, The Karnival Kid on this date



This is first cartoon in which Mickey Mouse speaks. His first words are "Hot dogs!"


May 23, 1966 -
The Beatles released the single Paperback Writer on this date



This was a song that led the transition from early Beatles style to later Beatles style, from love songs to opening up the subject of songs to a wider variety of subjects. Paul's Aunt had been bugging him for months, challenging him to "Write a song that wasn't about love." So he wrote this just to shut her up.


May 23, 1969 -
... It's a boy Mrs. Walker, it's a boy ....



The Who released Tommy, the first rock opera on this date.

Somehow this may or may not be connected with the fact that



the BBC gave the go-ahead for 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus on this date as well.


May 23, 1980 -
Stanley Kubrick's classic horror thriller The Shining, opened on this date (I remember seeing it at the midnight showing on this date in Time Square.)



At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely, the trailer consists entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.


May 23, 1984 -
Steven Spielberg/ George Lucas'
theme park thrill ride film, Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom, opened on this date.



The rope bridge used during the final fight scene was actually suspended up a couple of hundred feet across a gorge on location in Sri Lanka. Acrophobic Steven Spielberg would never walk over it, and had to drive a mile and a half to reach the other side. Harrison Ford on the other hand had no such fear, and would run across it at full speed.


May 23, 1997 -
Steven Spielberg's
sequel monster movie, The Lost World: Jurassic Park opened nationally, on this date (this date must be a lucky day for Steve.)



Julianne Moore admitted that she did this film to pay off a divorce settlement.


Another failed ACME product


Today in History:
May 23, 1430
-
The French, they are a strange race.

A little french shepherdess goes out into a field for a picnic. And instead of getting food poisoning, which was common, heard the voice of God, which is not.



Joan, heeding God's command, heads the army of France to rout the English and help crown a new French King. And for her troubles, Joan of Arc was captured by Burgundians today at Compiegne, who sold her to the British. The British, known for their sense of humor, gave Joan the ultimate hot foot.



This is what comes from being the messenger of God.


May 23, 1498 -
What a day for an auto da fé...

Religious fundamentalist Girolamo Savonarola was executed in Florence, Italy, on this date, for his many heresies, after being excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI. The Catholic Church had already excommunicated the Dominican friar the year before, but Savonarola continued to preach for radical reforms. Among other things, he held bonfires of the vanities for his parishioners' worldly possessions, because they competed with the word of God for attention.



Brother Savonarola was first hanged along with two accomplices and their bodies burned. He was burned on the same spot as his famous 'bonfire of the vanities.'

This is what comes from trying to follow your own understanding of God's words. (Karma's a bitch.)


May 23, 1618 -
In what is later called the Second Defenestration of Prague, (yes there was a First) three men representing the soon-to-be Emperor Ferdinand II are thrown from a window in the Hradshin Palace by Protestant noblemen.



Luckily for the imperial emissaries, they land on a large pile of manure and survive (Catholics immediately proclaimed that God’s angels had saved them from certain death.) But when Ferdinand assumes the throne the following year, all hell breaks loose in Europe, starting with Bohemia.



Thus begins the horrific religious conflict that comes to be known as the Thirty Years War. Shockingly, given the European sense of time, the war actually lasted 30 years. It is generally agreed that the war set back the continent a full century.


May 23, 1701 -
Captain William Kidd was hanged in London on this date. After the first attempt fails when the rope snaps, Kidd was brought right back to the gallows and the process repeated. After death, the body is slathered in tar, chained up, and suspended over the Thames where it remains for years as an example to others considering a life of piracy.



Again, the British and their sense of humor.


May 23, 1734 -
Friedrich Anton Mesmer was born on this date.

Mr. Mesmer was a physician and hypnotist who developed a peculiar method of therapy-by-suggestion that bears his name to this day: Antonism.



(Antonism should not be confused with antonyms, an antonym for synonyms. Synonyms should not be confused with cinnamon, which is used on hot buns. It will spare embarrassment at the breakfast table if hot buns are confused with hot buns.)


May 23, 1873 -
The Northwest Mounted Police were founded on this date.  The Northwest Mounted Police was one of the first police forces in the Northwest Territories - present day Alberta and Saskatchewan - and the predecessor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, also known as the Mounties.



Please rise for the playing of the Mounties Anthem



Yes, this has nothing to do with that fine organization but isn't your day just a little better for having heard this again?


May 23, 1900 -
Sergeant William Harvey Carney from Company C of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, was the first African-American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, on this date, (although he did not get his medal until nearly 40 years after the battle.)

Carney was a soldier in the Civil War, and received the medal for saving the Union flag during a fierce battle, the Battle of Fort Wagner outside of Charleston, S.C. on July 18, 1863, despite the fact that he was severely wounded.


May 23, 1911 -
More than one million books were set in place for the official dedication of The New York Public Library (on Fifth Avenue on the site of the old Croton Reservoir and the largest marble structure in the US) on this date – exactly 16 years to the day since the historic agreement creating the Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations had been signed.

The ceremony was presided over by President William Howard Taft and was attended by Governor John Alden Dix and Mayor William J. Gaynor.

Please, all of you who forgot to return your books from the opening day, return them. All is forgiven.

No questions asked.


May 23, 1934
-
A group of FBI agents and police officers from two states ambush the notorious Bonnie and Clyde on a highway near Gibsland, Louisiana, on this date.



The men open fire as the bank robbers drive past the concealed posse, unloading hundreds of rounds into the car.


May 23, 2005
Today in pharmaceutical history -



Tom Cruise famously jumped around on Oprah Winfrey’s couch, proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes.



And so it goes.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

May 22, 1931 -
The Pre-code adaptation of the classic tale Trilby, Svengali, starring John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, and Donald Crisp, premiered in the US on this date.



The film stirred controversy due its nude modeling scene featuring a teenage Marian Marsh. The actress wore a body stocking for the scene and, in the long shot where she runs from the room, an older body double was used instead of her.


May 22, 1947 -
David Lean's classic, Great Expectations, premiered in NYC on this date.



David Lean was not a particularly well-read man, and only became aware of the power of Charles Dickens' story when his wife Kay Walsh dragged him along to a theatrical production of Great Expectations in 1939.


May 22, 1967 -

Today was the first day a soft spoken man slipped into your home and made himself more comfortable. But don't let his demeanor fool you, he was the power behind the throne of a kingdom where most of the royalty were mere "puppets".



Mister Rogers' Neighborhood premiered on WQED on this date.


May 22, 1980 -
Namco released the phenomenally popular arcade game, Pac-man (known as Puck-man), in Japan on this day.



An instantaneous hit, Pac-man is still considered a landmark in video gaming history.


May 22, 1992 -
The man most of America went to bed with every night for 30 years, finally got tired of having to try to satisfy so many people.



Johnny Carson's final appearance on the Tonight Show was broadcast on this date.


May 22, 2001 -
NBC aired the final episode of Third Rock From The Sun, The Thing That Would Not Die on this date.



Both this series and the Star Trek series Deep Space Nine ended with the song Fly Me to the Moon as the characters said goodbye.


Today's moment of zen


Today in History:
May 22, 337
-
Emperor Constantine died on this date. Although quite dead, his embalmed corpse continues to act as head of state, receiving state dignitaries and daily reports from ministers as if nothing had changed. Constantine's macabre leadership continues through winter.



Sometimes, it good to be the King, even after you're dead.


May 22, 1813 -
One of the most controversial personalities of the nineteenth century, Richard Wagner was born on this date. Wagner wrote some of its most controversial music. Hitler is said for most of his life to have kept only three books on his nightstand: Wagner's autobiography, Machiavelli's The Prince, and Young Aryan Youth, lederhosen around their ankles, sitting in a tub of Chocolate Pudding. (How Hitler ended up with Wagner's nightstand is a question best left alone.)



Wagner considered it his life's mission to create a new and purely German music, in German, about Germany, for Germans, and is therefore best known for having scored the helicopter scene in Apocalypse Now.


May 22, 987 -    
Louis V le Faineant, known as the Lazy, king of France (all of 20 years old,) was allegedly poisoned by his mother, on this date. It was reported that he fell off his horse during a hunting accident the day before.

Kids, when your mother tells you to clean up your room - do it!


May 22, 1856 -
Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner was beaten unconscious with a cane on the Senate floor by South Carolina’s Preston Brooks on this date.



Brooks, a pro-slavery Democrat, attacked Senator Sumner, a Republican abolitionist from Massachusetts, so badly that he was unable to resume his duties for three years. Brooks resigned from his seat but was re-elected.

And you thought, things were contentious in the Senate now-a-days.


May 22, 1906 -
The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were granted a U.S. patent for their “new and useful improvements in Flying Machines.” (US No. 821,393)

It is the first airplane patent in the U.S.


May 22, 1907 -
Laurence Kerr Olivier
, director, producer and one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th Century, was born on this date.



Interestingly, Olivier is buried alongside some of the people he has portrayed in theatre and film, for example King Henry V, General John Burgoyne and Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding.


May 22, 1939 -
Italy
and Germany allied themselves with the Pact of Steel on this day, forming the basis for the Axis powers, which would later include Japan.



Despite the fact that the two became allies, Hitler and Mussolini still did not trust each other, so the pact was a very uneasy alliance even after the Tripartite Agreement Pact in 1940, when Japan joined.


May 22, 1962
-
A bomb, placed by Thomas G. Doty in the lavatory of Continential Airlines Flight 11 (a Boeing 707-124 ), carrying 45 passengers and crew, exploded, tearing the airliner apart. This had the unfortunate distinction of being the very first sabotage of a commercial jet airliner in the world.



Wreckage rained down from south of Cincinnati to Unionville, Missouri where the major sections of the aircraft crashed. One passenger managed to survive that terrible night but died early the next morning from his injuries. He was 27 year old Takehiko Nakano, an engineer from Illinois.


May 22, 1964 -
Lyndon B. Johnson
formally outlined his goal to create a "Great Society" through social reform during commencement exercises at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, on this day.



Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and of racial injustice. The most long-lasting programs of the Great Society include Medicaid and Medicare.


May 22, 1969 -
The lunar module of Apollo 10 (named Snoopy, with Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene A. Cernan aboard) separated from the command module, on this date, (named Charlie Brown piloted by John W. Young) and flew to within nine miles of the moon's surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.



Later that day, a disaster was averted after the Lunar Module separated from the descent stage began to roll violently due to the crew accidentally duplicating commands into the flight computer. Quick action by the crew saved them from crashing into the moon (on live TV, no less.)



And so it goes. 


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Monday, May 21, 2018

Put on your red shoes

May 21, 1969 -
MGM released the science fiction B-movie The Green Slime to U.S. theaters on this date.



This was the first film ever to be featured on the TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000. An edited version of the film appeared on the show's never-aired pilot episode.


May 21, 1980 -
George Lucas didn't have enough money (the first time). He produces a sequel to his highly successful Star Wars, which somehow is Part V (don't ask or someone will go to great lengths to explain it all to you.)



The Empire Strikes Back premiered on this date.



The film contains, arguably the most shocking revelation - right next to what Rosebud was or Who actually is Keyser Söze?


May 21, 1983 -
David Bowie
, with guitar work courtesy of Stevie Ray Vaughan reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with Let’s Dance, which stayed on top for one week.



David Bowie was impressed when he saw Stevie Ray Vaughan perform at the Montreaux Jazz festival a year earlier. When Vaughan received the call from Bowie to play on the record, he was (although not literally) in the middle of recording his own album, Texas Flood.


May 21, 1987  -
The series, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, starred Blair Brown premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



This is the first sitcom that from its original conception did not have an studio audience and did not have a laugh track. This was very precedent setting and would set the stage for shows like Arrested Development, Malcom in the Middle, The Simpsons, South Park and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.


May 21, 1990 -
The last episode of Newhart aired on CBS-TV on this date.



After the 7th season, Bob Newhart decided the 8th season would be the final season for the show. When he told his wife Ginny Newhart of his decision, she suggested that for the final episode, his character should wake up in bed next to Suzanne Pleshette, and that the series should be a dream.


May 21, 1992 -
Bette Midler
, the last scheduled guest, sang a touching impromptu duet with Johnny Carson, on the Tonight Show, on this date. (This was the apex of TV. It hasn't gotten any better than this.)



This penultimate show was immediately recognized as a television classic, and Midler would win an Emmy Award for her role in it.


Word of the day


Today in History:
May 21, 427BC 
(Obviously is date is merely a best guess; the classical Greeks, at the time, were too busy improving the art of sodomy to bother with perfecting the calendar.)



The Greek philosopher Plato was born on this date.


It was on this date in 1471 that King Henry VI of England was murdered in the Tower of London, concluding Part III of his reign.



Edward IV assumed the throne as the world eagerly awaited Richard III and the dramatic conclusion of the War of the Roses.


May 21, 1904 -
... This is so nice, it must be illegal.







Thomas Wright (Fats) Waller, jazz pianist, organist, composer and entertainer, was born on this date.


May 21, 1917 -
One of the World's Greatest Actors, Raymond Burr was born on this date.



In celebration, may I suggest purchasing a small container of the fabulous nipple rouge bearing this man's name. This year, 'Blushing Bride".


May 21, 1924
-
Two Chicago teenagers interrupted their daily sodomy practice and attempted to commit the perfect crime just for the thrill of it.



Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped 14-year-old Bobby Franks, bludgeoned him to death in a rented car, and then dumped Franks' body in a distant drainage ditch.

They didn't get away with it.


May 21,1927 -
Charles Lindbergh, American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, racist, Neo-Nazi, Isolationist and serial philanderer became the first man to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean, on this date.



Exactly five years later Amelia Earhart became the first woman to do it, on this day as well.



This was an impressive step for feminism, and she did it without a bathroom break.


May 21, 1952 -
Mr. T was born in the ghetto, on this date.



And his mama cried.


May 21, 1972 -
A deranged Australian geologist took a hammer on this date, to Michelangelo's Pieta, shouting "I am Jesus Christ -- risen from the dead!"



Laszlo Toth was never charged with any crime, instead receiving a free trip to an Italian insane asylum. Toth's name is later adopted by comedian and former SNL regular Don Novello (Father Guido Sarducci) for a long series of pranks by mail.

Everybody's a critic.


May 21, 2011

Radio broadcaster/preacher Harold Camping predicted that the world would end on this day. As far as we can tell, it didn’t.



Ever since then, today has been known as Rapture Day, (so you may want to party like it's 1999.)



And so it goes

Before you go - I haven't posted anything from Henri Le Chat Noir in a while and when I go to look for a new video, I find that he is retiring.



Au revoir mes ami


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