Wednesday, September 20, 2017

All that glitters

In all of history, only 161,000 tons of gold have been mined, enough to fill two Olympic-size swimming pools.



Gold is virtually indestructible. Nearly 85% of all the gold ever mined is still in use.



September 20, 1946 -
The first Cannes film festival, the first great international cultural event of the post-war period, begins on this date. Among the selections that year were:

Epaves directed by Jacques-Yves Cousteau




Caesar and Cleopatra directed by Gabriel Pascal




La Bataille du Rail directed by René Clement




The Seventh Veil directed by Compton Bennet




La Belle et La Bête directed by Jean Cocteau




Wet Paint produced by the Walt Disney Studios




The festival was France's response to the world's first international film festival in Venice, Italy, in 1932. By 1938, the Venice festival had become a Nazi propaganda tool, and France decided to hold a rival event focused strictly on film. Its planned 1939 debut was delayed when World War II broke out.


September 20, 1955 -
The Phil Silvers Show (originally broadcast as You'll Never Be Rich) premiered on CBS-TV on this date



Paul Ford often forgot his exact lines which allowed Phil Silvers to improvise during many of the scenes between Bilko and Col. Hall. Both men always stayed in character however, it was usually the other actors in the scene who laughed ruining the scene.


September 20, 1975 -
David Bowie's Fame single hits #1 for two weeks on this date.



This was Bowie's first big hit in America, and also his first to do better in the US than the UK. He had a few UK hits before this, including Rebel Rebel, Life On Mars, and Diamond Dogs. In one of Bowie's first US TV appearances, he performed this on The Cher Show in 1975.


September 20, 1984 -
Despite his taste in loud, ugly sweaters, Bill Cosby's award winning show, The Cosby Show, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



Bill Cosby insisted that the show be filmed in New York due to his dislike of working in Hollywood.  (Still not clear what I'm supposed to do about Cosby?)


September 20, 1984 -
Tony Micelli first started taking care of Angela Bower's household when Who's the Boss premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



Although they both play family matriarchs, neither Judith Light nor Katherine Helmond have any children in real life. Furthermore, Judith Light is still married to the same man, not like her character who was a divorcée.


Books I didn't read but should have


Today in History :
September 20, 1881 -
Chester Alan Arthur was sworn in as the 21st President of the United States following the death of James Garfield the previous day.



This is the first time the oath of office has been taken in the Vice President's Room of the Capitol. Two ex-presidents (Grant and Hayes) are present at the ceremony. (Also a great bar bet winner - it's the second time there were three Presidents within the same year; Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield then Chester A. Arthur.  And even more amazing bar bet winner - Robert Todd Lincoln was at the bedside of three assassinated American Presidents; his father, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield and William McKinley.)


September 20, 1958 -
Rev. Martin Luther King was stabbed by Izola Curry, a deranged woman, during a book signing on 125th St. in Harlem on this date.



Dr. Aubre De Lambert Maynard successfully performed surgery on King who had a knife embedded in his sternum. Ms. Curry was found mentally incompetent to stand trial; ultimately, she was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic.


September 20, 1970 -
A jury in Miami, Florida found vocalist Jim Morrison guilty of profanity and indecent exposure for whipping out his mojo at a Doors concert in Coconut Grove the previous year.



Oh you naughty Mr. Mojo Rising ...


September 20, 1973 -
A Beechcraft D-18 charter plane crashes into a tree near Natchitoches, Louisiana, killing singer/songwriter Jim Croce, his lead guitarist, and the entire flight crew.



I guess if he could have put time in a bottle, the first real thing he would have done would be chartering a different plane.


September 20, 1973 -
On the same day, in their so-called 'Battle of the Sexes,' tennis star Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.



In recent years, a persistent urban legend has arisen (again,) that Bobby Riggs had thrown the tennis match against Billie Jean King, to pay off a purported $100,000 gambling debt he owed to the Mafia.

This is false: this scurrilous rumor should have been put to bed a number of times, not the least of which, when Mr Riggs passed a lie detector test denying that he threw the Battle of the Sexes.


September 20, 1988 -
Greg Louganis won the gold medal in springboard diving at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, one day after he struck and injured his head on the board in the preliminary round.



His comeback earned him the title of ABC's Wide World of Sports "Athlete of the Year" for 1988.


And on a personal note:

Happy Birthday Angela and

Happy Anniversary John and Maria.



And so it goes



Before you go - Happy 5778



Rosh Hashanah
begins this evening, so we here at ACME are wishing our friends L’shanah Tovah.


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Keep Calm and Say Arrrr

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The holiday is a parody holiday invented in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Corvallis, Oregon, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.







Nothing says Piracy (or the British Navy) more than Rum, The Lash and Sodomy.  So remember: keep plenty of rum, leather belts and ACME's Bung Balm handy today.


September 19, 1931 -
Paramount released the Marx Brother's third film, Monkey Business on this date.



The film was the first Marx Brothers movie to be produced in Hollywood.  It was also the first Marx Brothers film especially written for the screen rather than the stage.


September 19, 1952 (there is some controversy surrounding this date) –
Emperor Hirohito's favorite television program, The Adventures of Superman, premiered, in syndication, on this date.



In the early seasons, wire work was used to create some of the flying scenes. During the course of this work there had been some minor mishaps, but on one occasion the support wires snapped, causing George Reeves to be dropped to the floor. Reeves refused to do anymore wire work. This is why episodes in the early seasons would show Superman taking off in flight within the frame. But, in later seasons, he would run toward the camera, hit a springboard hidden below frame and leap out of frame.


September 19, 1970
-
The greatest sitcom every produced, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, premiered on CBS TV on this date.



Producers almost didn't hire Valerie Harper because while her performance was spot on, they felt she was too pretty to play Mary's frumpy best friend. They later decided to cast her anyway but would dress her in ungainly and frumpy clothing.


September 19, 1975 -
The British sitcom Fawlty Towers, created by John Cleese, premiered on BBC2 on this date.



Basil and Sybil Fawlty were based on Donald and Beatrice Sinclair, genuine hoteliers who ran the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay where John Cleese stayed whilst filming on location in early May 1970 with the Monty Python team.


September 19, 1981 -
Despite the fact that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel had barely spoken to each other in ten year, they reunited on this date to raise funds to renovate Central Park and performed in front of 500,000 people in New York City.



The concert was so successful, the duo decided to embark on a year-long world tour. During the tour, tensions mounted between the pair and they split again after it was completed.


September 19, 1986 -
David Lynch's
profoundly unsettling film, Blue Velvet, premiered on this date, (after I saw the movie, I had to go out and have a drink.)



The character of Frank was to breathe helium at various intervals in David Lynch's original script, but Dennis Hopper suggested this be changed to amyl nitrite which he knew was used to enhance sexual experiences. Hopper only realized years later how bizarre the concept of a helium-breathing maniac talking with a high voice was. Lynch, however, felt that using helium might elicit laughter in the audience which would have been undesirable.


Literary quote of the day


Today in History:
September 19, 1692
-
Giles Corey was accused of witchcraft in 1692. This put him in a difficult spot. If he pleaded guilty, he'd be burned alive at the stake. If he pleaded not guilty, he'd have to take a lie-detector test.

The state-of-the-art lie detector of 1692 wasn't any less accurate than today's models, but it was significantly rougher on its subjects. It was called "dunking." The tightly bound subject would be dunked repeatedly into a pond or lake until the truth emerged.



One of the primary symptoms of demonic possession was immunity to water, so those who survived the process were rewarded with a warm, dry burning at the stake. Those who drowned, on the other hand, were clearly innocent and received a favorable ruling.



Giles Corey wasn't eager to be burned at the stake, but he wasn't keen on posthumous vindication, either. A plea of guilty meant the stake; a plea of not-guilty meant drowning (or the stake, depending on the results of the lie-detector test). Mr. Corey therefore did what any reasonable person might have done: he claimed his Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution and said nothing.

This was a foolish and costly blunder, as the Constitution had not yet been written.



Baffled by the accused refusal to enter a plea, the court pressed him for an answer. Literally. Giles Corey became the first, last, and only American ever to have been pressed to death by his own government, on this date in history.


September 19, 1876 -
Melville Bissell
received the patent (No. 182,346) for his invention, a carpet sweeper with revolving brushes which picked up the dust and dirt and deposited it inside the sweeper housing.

It depended on the rotation of the wheels to drive the sweeping mechanism and only removed debris from the uppermost regions of the carpet nap


September 19, 1881 -
The 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, (shot by assassin Charles J. Guiteau,) died from his wounds on this date.



Psst - Guiteau didn't kill the President, his doctors did. Several inserted their unsterilized fingers into the wound to probe for the bullet, and one doctor punctured Garfield's liver in doing so. Garfield's doctors had turned a three-inch-deep, harmless wound into a twenty-inch-long contaminated gash stretching from his ribs to his groin and oozing more pus each day. He lingered for eighty days, wasting away from his robust 210 pounds to a mere 130 pounds.



Alexander Graham Bell had made several unsuccessful attempts to remove the assassin’s bullet with a new metal detection device.


September 19, 1931 -
Adolf Hitler's 23-year-old half niece, Geli Raubal, was found dead in her uncle's Munich apartment from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest on this date.

Some allege that she and Adolf had a sexual relationship, which involved Geli urinating on him. Hitler conveniently happens to be out of town at the time of the shooting.

Oh that Hitler, what a wacky Fuhrer.


September 19, 1934 -
Bruno Hauptmann
was arrested for the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh baby on this date.

We aren't sure if he did it, but he did have $11,000 of the ransom money.

So they fried him two years later.


September 19, 1957 -
The U.S. conducted its first underground nuclear test, code-named Rainier, in the Nevada desert on this date. This caused a major disturbance in the natural order of the fragile desert eco-system,



ultimately resulting in Las Vegas,



and enormous spiders



and oversized seafood.


September 19, 1959 -
In a Cold War setback, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was annoyed to learn that he would not be permitted to visit Disneyland, due to concerns for his personal safety.



This mean, most of the cold war could have been prevented, if we let that fat bald premier ride Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.


September 19, 1961 -
Betty (Estelle Parsons) and Barney (James Earl Jones) Hill were picked up near Indian Head, New Hampshire and anally probed by five beings in a flying saucer. The couple later describes the craft as being "banana-like, with pointed tips and windows."



Anyway, that's what Barney told Betty what happened.


September 19, 1991 -
A body was found frozen in a glacier in the Alps between Austria and Italy. A German tourist found the body and called the Austrian police. They tried to free the body from the ice with a jackhammer. It was only when an anthropologist showed up to examine the body that they realized it was a very, very old corpse - 5,300 years old, in fact - of a man between 25 and 35 years old. He was five feet, two inches tall, with hair about three inches long. He had tattoos. He wore an unlined fur robe, a woven grass cape, and size six shoes stuffed with grass for warmth.



He came to be called Ötzi the Iceman, and what made him such a remarkable discovery for anthropologists was the fact that he died while he was out walking on an ordinary day wearing ordinary clothing. He carried a copper axe and a fur quiver for his arrows, the only quiver from the Neolithic period that has ever been found. His arrows had sharp flint points and feathers that were affixed at an angle that would cause the arrows to spin. And he carried mushrooms in his bag that scientists speculate were used for medicine.

It was not until ten years later that a forensics expert noticed in an x-ray that the Iceman had an arrowhead lodged in his back. He had been murdered.



Who murdered the Iceman? Stay tuned to CSI Austria on your local CBS networks.


September 19, 1995 -
The New York Times and the Washington Post published the Unabomber's rambling, 35,000-word anti-technology screed, Industrial Society And Its Future, on this date.

In exchange, he promises to halt his bombing campaign.



And so it goes



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Monday, September 18, 2017

Use this info as needed

It is illegal to eat oranges while bathing in California.



Baring your breast to Burt Lancaster and rubbing yourself with lemons is perfectly legal in New Jersey.


September 18, 1951 -
Tennessee Williams'
Pulitzer Prize winning play, A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marion Brando, Vivien Leigh, and Kim Hunter, premiered in Los Angeles on this date.



Vivien Leigh, who suffered from bipolar disorder in real life, later had difficulties in distinguishing her real life from that of Blanche DuBois.


September 18, 1951 -
20th Century Fox
premiered the science fiction classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Robert Wise and starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal, in New York, on this date.



Patricia Neal has admitted in interviews that she was completely unaware during the filming that the film would turn out so well, and become one of the great science-fiction classics of all time. She assumed it would be just another one of the then-current and rather trashy flying saucer films, and she found it difficult to keep a straight face while saying her lines.


September 18, 1963 -
The show that taught elderly men, twin cousins might be lured into immoral acts with the purchase of grilled sausages - The Patty Duke Show, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



Patty Duke (Patty Lane / Cathy Lane), William Schallert (Martin Lane) and Jean Byron (Natalie Lane) are the only actors to appear in all 104 episodes of the series.


September 18, 1964
-
The most normal family's ever presented on US television, The Addams Family premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



The interior of the Addams house was inspired by the real-life Manhattan apartment of Charles Addams, which contained suits of armor, an antique crossbow collection, and other oddities.


September 18, 1965 -
Kleenex stock rose precipitously as I Dream of Jeannie premiered on this date.



NBC wanted to film the first season in black and white because they didn't believe the show would last more than one season. He offered to pay the extra $400 per episode needed for color filming. Screen Gems executive Jerry Hyams advised him, "Sidney, don't throw your money away." The first season was filmed in black and white, then colorized much later.


September 18, 1965 -
Mel Brooks
and Buck Henry started their fight to keep the world safe from KAOS when Get Smart premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



When asked how he developed his trademark voice for Agent 86, Don Adams said that it came from watching The Thin Man movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. After hearing Powell repeatedly say, "Asta! Asta!" he decided to imitate his voice for the character of Maxwell Smart.


September 18, 1968
-
The film musical Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand premiered in NYC.



Columbia wanted to cast Shirley MacLaine as Fanny Brice. However, producer Ray Stark, who also produced the Broadway show and was Brice's son-in-law, insisted on Barbra Streisand repeating her Broadway role.


September 18, 1978 -
We first started living on the air in Cincinnati when WKRP in Cincinnati, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.



The show was videotaped instead of filmed because the rights to rock songs were cheaper for a taped show than for a filmed show.


September 18, 1987
-
Pet bunnies felt a cold breeze on their neck when Fatal Attraction, starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, opened on this date.



During the re-shoot of the ending, Glenn Close suffered a concussion from one of the takes when her head smashed against a mirror. After being rushed to the hospital, she discovered, much to her horror, that she was actually a few weeks pregnant with her daughter; actress Annie Starke. To this day, Close said watching the ending makes her uncomfortable because of how much she unknowingly put her unborn daughter at risk from the physically demanding shoot.


September 18, 1994 -
Ken Burn's
series about America's favorite past time Baseball, premiered on PBS on this date.



Ironically, first aired in the fall of 1994 when much of the season and the World Series were cancelled due to a strike. This made it the only "baseball" available to millions of unhappy fans at what should have been the most exciting time of the season.


Word of the day



Today in History:
Once again, I must ask all children and those with delicate natures to turn away from their computer screens as we discuss the bizarre deviant sexual behavior on the part of our founding fathers:

On September 18, 1793, President George Washington laid the foundation stone for the U.S. Capitol. According to numerous sources, President Washington "laid the stone in a Masonic ceremony... preceded by a parade and followed by celebration and feasting."

The 1792 competition for the design of the Capitol had been won by an amateur architect, and the building was therefore burned by the British before it could be completed. Congress had moved into the building on November 22, 1800, but managed to escape the fire.


September 18, 1851 -

The New York Times published its first edition on this date. The newspaper, initially called the New-York Daily Times, was founded by Henry Jarvis Raymond, a politician and journalist.

It cost one penny per copy and was published six days per week, changing to seven days in 1861. Its name was changed to the New York Times in 1857.


September 18, 1932 -
24-year-old starlet Peg Entwistle dived head first from the letter "H" of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign in Los Angeles. She is the first person to commit suicide at the landmark.



Her body was discovered in the brush at the base of the hill two days later, and pronounced dead. When police examined her belongings, in her purse they found a note that read:

"I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E."



Two days later, in an ironic twist, Entwistle's uncle opened a letter addressed to her from the Beverly Hills Playhouse; it was mailed the day before she jumped. In it was an offer for her to play the lead role in a stage production—in which her character would commit suicide in the final act.


September 18, 1961 -
Dag Hammarskjold
, Secretary-General of the UN, was killed in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) on this date. He was flying to negotiate a cease-fire in the Congo.



Hammarskjold was the son of a former Swedish prime minister. In 1953, he was elected to the top UN post and in 1957 was reelected. During his second term, he initiated and directed the United Nation's vigorous role in the Belgian Congo.

Strangely enough, for many years, I worked in an office building that bears his name.


September 18, 1970 -
Jimi Hendrix died in his sleep, in London, from of a barbiturate overdose when chunks of his vomited tuna sandwich wound up in his lungs, causing him to choke, on this date. He was 27 years old.



At least his family could take comfort that he did not choke on someone else's vomit.

Once again I  must remind you that Cass Elliot did not choke to death on a ham sandwich. It is an urban myth born out of a quickly discarded speculation by the coroner, who noted a part eaten ham sandwich and figured she may have choked to death. In fact, she died of heart failure.

So cut it out.


September 18, 1977 -
NASA's unmanned space probe Voyager 1 snapped the first photograph of the Moon and the Earth in the same frame while on its mission to study the Solar System and its boundaries. At the time, Voyager 1 was 7.25 million miles (11.66 million kilometers) from Earth.

Voyager 1 continues its mission today and still is in communication with NASA scientists.


September 18, 1981 -
The Guinness Book of World Records verified on this date, that the West Edmonton Mall parking lot, which can hold 20,000 cars, is the largest parking lot in the world.

Interestingly enough, the shopping center around which it was built is not the largest in the world. While it is the largest shopping mall in North America,  the New Century Global Center in Chengdu, China ( with 7.1 million sq ft of leasable space) is the world's largest shopping mall and sits mostly empty due to economic downturns in the area.


September 18, 1992 -
Two weeks after being outed in the New York weekly QW, attorney John Schlafly admits in an interview with the San Francisco Examiner that he enjoys the love that dare not speak it's name. This causes a certain amount of consternation for his mother, archconservative gay rights opponent Phyllis Schlafly.

The Schlafly family have still not fulfilled their obligation as good Christians to present their rebellious son to the town elders and have him stoned to death as instructed in Deut. 21:18. Now that Schlafly has met her maker, she'll find out what's in store for her.


September 18, 1994 -
Vitas Gerulaitis was killed in his sleep the previous night in the guest cottage of a friend's Long Island estate. His body was discovered on this date. The professional tennis player died from carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by a faulty propane swimming-pool heater.

How many more people must die from killer swimming pools?



And so it goes


Before you go - Puddles latest video is a cover of NIN's Hurt -



First a cover by David Bowie, then Johnny Cash, and now Puddles - Trent must be kvelling.



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