Wednesday, December 13, 2017

May I say it again - donuts

Pace yourself - tonight is only the second night of Hanukkah

When frying food, keep ALL children away from the hot oil. Safety First, especially during the holidays.

December 13, 303 -
It the feast of St. Lucy (Santa Lucia) today. (Early depictions show Lucy offering her eyes on a platter; she is now the patron saint of Sicily and of opticians.)

Because her extreme beauty attracted too many admirers, Lucy gouged her own eyes out (she had body issues). Miraculously they grew back. After refusing to marry, the Romans forced her to become a whore. She wasn't particularly thrilled with that choice, so she went for door number two and her Roman guards stabbed her to death but not before gouging out her eyes, again.

Oh those wacky early Christians.

December 13, 1975 -
Richard Pryor
hosted NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live on this date.  Fearing Pryor would say things that were too offensive for television at the time, the show was placed on seven-second delay for the very first time

As mentioned in the opening sketch, Pryor requested that Garrett Morris say "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" instead of Chevy Chase. Morris' was the only cast member besides Chase to say it during the entire first season.

December 13, 1985
The very silly comedy, base on the board game of the same name, Clue, starring Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, and Lesley Ann Warren premiered on this date.

Three endings were shot, and a different one shown at each theater. All three are included on video. The DVD, however, aside from all three endings, also offers the option to play the movie with one randomly selected ending. In some cities, the newspaper print ads indicated which version ("Ending A", "Ending B", or "Ending C") was being shown at each theater.

December 13, 1995 -
Ang Lee's superb adaptation of Jane Austen's 1811 novel, Sense and Sensibility, starring  Emma Thompson (who also wrote the screenplay,) Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, opened in Canada on this date.

Whilst working on the script, Emma Thompson's computer developed a problem and she was unable to locate the file. She took the computer to Stephen Fry who, after seven hours, finally managed to retrieve the script.

December 13, 1996 -
Cameron Crowe's
romantic comedy, Jerry Maguire, starring  Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bonnie Hunt, and Renée Zellweger premiered on this date.

Renée Zellweger admitted that the day she was cast in this film, it had been so long since she had worked that when she went to an ATM, she did not have enough of a balance to make a withdrawal.

December 13, 2013 -
David O. Russell's
comic take on the ABSCAM sting of the late 70's, American Hustle, starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence opened in limited release in the US on this date.

Christian Bale was cast in the lead role, but due to scheduling conflicts, he dropped out and was replaced by Bradley Cooper, with Jeremy Renner taking over Cooper's old role. After Bale's schedule cleared up, he rejoined the project in the same role, while Cooper reverted to playing the F.B.I. Agent, and David O. Russell wrote the character of Carmine Polito for Renner.

While it is a marshmallow world in the winter, it is very poor form to toast yours with the menorah candles.

Today in History:
December 13, 1577
Sir Francis Drake set out on a three year (and not three hour) long journey around the world, on this date. He had started his career as a sailor in the slave trading business, but after some run-ins with the Spanish, he decided to devote his life to taking vengeance on the Spanish by disrupting their trade routes.

He became a semi-official pirate for Queen Elizabeth I, plundering Spanish ships, gathering intelligence about their naval activities and creating delicious little dessert cakes.

December 13, 1809 -
The first successful abdominal surgery procedure was performed in the US on this date.  Dr. Ephraim McDowell removed a 22 pound (about 10 kg) tumor from the ovary of Jane Todd Crawford. Crawford had previously been misdiagnosed as being pregnant with twins. The surgery was performed without anesthetic or antiseptics, but Crawford made a complete and quick recovery.

(Now that you've gotten up off the floor, clutching you belly,) McDowell was called the "father of the ovariotomy," after that and went on to perform similar surgeries, including a hernia repair for President James Polk.

December 13, 1928 -
The Clip-on tie was invented on this date. Productivity soars as time lost in tying knots is made up and accidental strangulation rates drop as fewer workers ties are caught in the gears.

Legend has it that it was a mortician who had too hard of a time tying ties onto his corpses.

Little know fact - the term, Dork, was also coined on this date.

December 13, 1962 -
NASA launches Relay I, the first active repeater communications satellite, aboard a Thor-Delta rocket from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral.

It would transmit its first test patterns on January 3, 1963, once its solar cells are fully charged. Once in service, it would transmit facsimile, telephone, television, and teleprinter signals.

December 13, 1972 -
Astronaut Gene Cernan climbed into his Lunar Module Challenger on the Moon and prepared to lift off on this date. He currently is the last man to set foot on the moon. Besides his footprints, the astronaut left his daughter's initials scrawled in the lunar dust.

The last official words on the moon, as Cernan climbed the ladder, were "God willing, we shall return," he said. What Cernan to his crew, as they prepared to launch from the lunar surface: "All right, let's get this mother out of here and go home."

December 13, 1973 -
Claude Vorilhon
, former French race car driver, began the Rael movement in France on this date.

While commuting to his job as a sportswriter, he decided to drive past the office and stop at a nearby volcano in Auvergne. During his stop, Vorilhon saw the flashing red light of a space ship, which opened its hatch to reveal a green alien with longish dark hair. Once aboard the spaceship, he said he was entertained by voluptuous female robots and learned that the first human beings were created by aliens called Elohim, who cloned themselves.

Vorilhon said that he was instructed to take the name Rael and spread the news that humans were placed on Earth by extraterrestrials who had engineered our DNA. In 1997 Rael founded Clonaid, a company dedicated to cloning people. In 2013 the Raelian movement numbered about 90,000 members world-wide.

The French, they are a funny race.

December 13, 2003 -
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s nine-month long run from the US military finally came to an end when he was discovered hiding in a hole just nine miles away from his hometown of Tikri, five months after his sons Uday and Kusay were killed in a raid in Mosul.

Following his capture, Saddam was put in Iraqi custody and charged with the deaths of nine villagers, the razing of farmlands, the wrongful arrest of almost 400 Dujail residents and the torture of women and children. He was sentenced to death.

Christmas Trivia -$img_size_380x380$
It's all the damn man in the can's fault.

Christmas trees are known to have been popular in Germany as far back as the sixteenth century. In England, they became popular after Queen Victoria's husband Albert, who came from Germany, made a tree part of the celebrations at Windsor Castle.

In the United States, the earliest known mention of a Christmas tree is in the diary of a German who settled in Pennsylvania.

Don't even ask about the legacy of Prince Albert and tight trousers.

And so it goes.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It's the Jewish festival of rededication

Tonight is the start of Hanukkah.

Once again, my first Hanukkah gift to you is to remind you to add Pfizer stock to your portfolio (Pfizer is the maker of LIPITOR®.)

December 12, 1954 -
BBC Television
broadcasted the landmark adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighy-Four on this date. It is the most expensive drama produced to date.

When first screened by the BBC there were numerous public complaints and these led to questions being asked in the House of Commons. Although, following remarks by the Duke of Edinburgh that he and the Queen had "thoroughly enjoyed" the broadcast, the live repeat, four days later, attracted the largest television audience since the Coronation.

December 12, 1967 -
Stanley Kramer's
(for the time,) controversial film, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, starring Spencer Tracy (in his last role), Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Hepburn, was released on this date.

Like Katharine Hepburn, the film's producer and director Stanley Kramer also put his salary in escrow as backing in order to placate the studio who was nervous about having Spencer Tracy star due to his poor health.

December 12, 1972 -
Irwin Allen's
ocean disaster movie, The Poseidon Adventure, premiered in NYC on this date.

Shot in sequence, taking advantage of the fact that the principals became dirtier and more tattered and suffered injuries - some real and some artificial - as they progressed.

December 12, 1973 -
Columbia Picture
released the Hal Ashby film The Last Detail, starring Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Carol Kane and Michael Moriarty, on this date.

Nancy Allen was originally offered the part of the Young Whore. But she turned it down because she felt she would be too nervous to speak while being nude on-camera.

December 12, 1980 -
Well, whip it good!

Whip It earned Devo a gold record on this date. It is the first distinction of its kind for any song about masturbation to earn a gold record.

Even Sinatra's got to share a holiday, sometimes

Today in History:
December 12, 1531
It's the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an indigenous peasant, had visions of the Virgin Mary. Legend held that the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego outside Mexico City and left an imprint on his cactus-fiber poncho. The poncho became an icon for the Virgin of Guadalupe.

So now you know.

December 12, 1899 -
Dentist George Grant was granted a patent (U.S. patent No. 638,920) for the modern golf tee on this date. The design, basically, lifts a golf ball slightly off the ground.

This additional height gives the golfer better control in his hit. Before the invention of the golf tee, golfers would often make a small mound of dirt or sand to serve as a tee. Groundskeepers everywhere rejoice.

December 12, 1915 -
It's the birthday of Francis Albert Sinatra today. I have been advised by legal council to stop making jokes about Mr. Sinatra's alleged organized crime connection, especially if I would like to make it home tonight (Please note - I did not use the word, Mafia.)

And once again, We here at ACME would to remind the various gentlemen from South Philly, we did not resort to any cheap gimmicks to slander the Chairman of the Board, greatest singer of the 20th century. (Now will you please return our DVR device - the children have too many episodes of The Originals taped on it.)

December 12, 1917 -
With a rent payment of $90 borrowed from a friend, Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, NE in an old Victorian mansion on this date.

Flanagan's archbishop allowed Flanagan to focus on the boy's home and assigned nuns to help him.

December 12, 1937 -
Japanese aircraft shell and sink US gunboat Panay on the Yangtze River in China. Japan apologized, disciplining those involved and paying $2.2M reparations.

You think we might have seen something was brewing.

December 12, 1968 -
The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again I'd make all the same mistakes - only sooner.

After a long and well enjoyed life, Tallulah Bankhead died in
St. Luke's Hospital in New York City of double pneumonia, complicated by emphysema and malnutrition, on this date.

Her last coherent words reportedly were "Codeine... bourbon." (I must remember that, except substitute gin for bourbon at the end.)

And so it goes.

Christmas is in 13 days


Monday, December 11, 2017

I've never heard of this

Today is apparently Green Monday - a totally fabricated holiday retailers denote as '... the last Monday with at least 10 days prior to Christmas.' It is similar in nature to Cyber Monday but with more desperation as on-line stores try to lure in into spending more cash.

But as more retailers embrace fast, free shipping, it's unclear how much longer people will think that they still need a lead time of at least 10 days to order presents for Christmas.

December 11, 1957 -
The movie Peyton Place, based on the novel by Grace Metalious, had its world premiere in Camden, Maine, on this date, where most of it had been filmed.

Some of the shots of the New England fall were actually shot for The Trouble with Harry.

December 11, 1961 -
Please, Mr. Postman
by the Marvelettes was released on this date

Part of this song was written by a postman who helped Georgia Dobbins (one of the Marvelettes) complete the lyrics. His name was Freddie Gorman and his mail route included Brewster public housing where members of The Supremes lived. Gorman also sang with Motown group The Originals.

December 11, 1980 -
Hawaiian shirts and outrageous mustaches came back in style when Magnum PI, starring Tom Selleck, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

Magnum was a Vietnam War Veteran. At the time, Vietnam and its aftermath were still controversial. Magnum, T.C., and Rick have been cited as some of the first positive portrayals of Vietnam Veterans on a network TV series.

December 11, 1982 –
Toni Basil's
surprise hit Mickey reached No. 1 of the Billboard charts on this date.

This was originally recorded as "Kitty" by a group called Racey. In the original lyrics, Kitty was a girl. Toni Basil changed the lyrics from "Kitty" to "Mickey" and the gender from female to male. She decided on "Mickey" as she was fond of former Monkee Micky Dolenz, who she choreographed in the 1968 Monkees movie Head.

December 11, 1987 -
Greed is Good
20th Century Fox released Oliver Stone's drama, Wall Street, starring  Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, and Daryl Hannah on this date.

Oliver Stone
gave Charlie Sheen the choice of having either Jack Lemmon or Martin Sheen play his father. Charlie chose his dad.

Christmas Trivia

The Word of the Day

Today in History:
December 11, 1688
King James II attempting to flee London as the "Glorious Revolution" replaced him with King William (of Orange) and Queen Mary, threw the Great Seal of the Realm into the River Thames.

He was, however, caught in Kent. Having no desire to make James a martyr, the Prince of Orange let him escape on December 23, 1688. James was received by Louis XIV, who offered him a palace and a generous pension.

December 11, 1882 -
Fiorello Enrico La Guardia
, Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945, was born on this date.

With a boundless enthusiasm and energy to match that of Teddy Roosevelt, La Guardia could be the last Mayor of NYC who really loved his job.

December 11, 1919 -
The citizens of Enterprise, Alabama, erected a monument to the boll weevil. The only monument dedicated to an agricultural pest!!

The invasive insect devastated their fields but forced residents to end their dependence on cotton and to pursue mixed farming and manufacturing.

December 11, 1931 -
Rita Moreno
(Rosa Dolores Alverio,) winner of an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony, was born on this date.

She is currently the only Puerto Rican EGOT winner.

December 11, 1936  -    
Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson. Edward VIII had been king of Great Britain and Ireland for less than a year when he abdicated the throne to marry "the woman I love."

After his abdication, Edward was awarded the title Duke of Windsor by his brother, King George VI. Edward and Mrs. Simpson married on June 3, 1937.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II.

UNICEF provides many types of assistance and help to children and mothers. It receives money from different governments and private persons. It works in almost all countries of the world.

December 11, 1964 -
Sam Cooke
, popular singer, was shot to death by Bertha Franklin, manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. Franklin claimed that he had threatened her, and that she killed him in self-defense.

The shooting was ultimately ruled to be a justifiable homicide, though there have been arguments that crucial details did not come out in court, or were buried afterward.

December 11, 1967 -
The Beatles' Apple Music
signs its first group - Grapefruit, on this date.

With unwise business decisions like this, I'm sure the Beatles must have gone broke very shortly after this.

More Christmas Trivia

America’s official national Christmas tree (so designated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1926) is located in King’s Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia called the General Grant Tree, is almost 90 meters (300 feet) high is the second largest tree in the world (by volume, the first is General Sherman, his neighbor in Sequoia National Park.)  The idea was inspired by a little girl who had imagined the giant as a Christmas tree and shared the thought with Sanger, California resident, Charles E. Lee. From then on, Lee began organizing yearly Christmas programs around the tree, in the enchanted grove of sequoias, until the event became an annual ceremony.

And on a personal note:
Happy Birthday Julie

(hope you had a good birthday weekend)

And so it goes.