Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are you getting ready to move into your own private Hooverville?

Hey, New York State isn't just broke, it's really broke. Soon state workers will be collecting empty soda cans for the state.

Here's your Today in History:

July 31, 1945 -
Wearing a stolen army uniform, prisoner John Giles attempts to escape from Alcatraz island by boarding an outbound cargo boat. But instead of San Francisco, the vessel heads for Angel Island, where Giles is promptly captured. Always check your schedules before boarding your escape craft.

It was on this day in 1954 that human feet first stood upon the summit of Pakistan's K2 mountain, the second-tallest mountain in the world.

K2 was known to the Chinese as "Great Mountain" and to Indian and Pakistani locals as "That Big Thing Over There." It was not until 1856, when T.G. Montgomerie of Britain's Survey of India was logging the mountains of the Karakorum range, that it was dubbed K2. This helped distinguish it from K1, to its left, and K3, to its right.

(K1 was later named Mount Masherbrum. K3 moved to New Mexico, where it is believed to be running a New Age bookstore under an assumed name.)

It was an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio that first succeeded in ascending to the peak of K2. Team members Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni achieved that distinction on July 31, 1954.

The summit wasn't reached again until 1977, when a Japanese team with more than 1500 porters found their way to the top.

The first American expedition reached the top in 1978 without the aid of any stinking porters.

July 31, 1966 -
Beatles records are burned in Birmingham, Alabama -- only because John Lennon innocently declared that the band happens to be "more popular than Jesus." The record burning of course has the opposite effect, as sales of Beatles records dramatically increase (in part to burn them.)

July 31, 1971 -
One of the most expensive car rides occured on this date, when James B. Irwin and David R. Scott took the Lunar Roving Vehicle or "Moon Buggy" on it's premiere jaunt on the surface of the moon.

July 31, 1998 -
Diminutive actor Gary Coleman, former child star of the ABC television sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, is arrested in Hawthorne, California for allegedly battering an autograph seeker in a uniform shop. Coleman, then a security guard at Fox Hills Mall, was shopping for a bulletproof vest. Who knew they made bulletproof vest in children's sizes.

July 31, 1999 -
Police arrest James Donald Ray for 'violent intimate relations' with two sheep at El Capitan High School in Lakeside, California. A previous sexual attack against one of the sheep prompted the police stakeout, which nabs the 38-year-old in flagrante delicto cum ewe. What were the sheep doing at school - did Mary's little lambs matriculate?

And so it goes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Please get some help

A new AOL survey has shown that 53% of Americans are checking there e-mails while they are in the bathroom. Remind me never to borrow anyone's Blackberry again.

Here's your Today in History:

Prague has always been a tough town for elected officials. On July 30, 1419. Jan Želivský, a Hussite priest at the church of the Virgin Mary of the Snows, led his congregation on a procession through the streets of Prague to the Town Hall. The town council members had refused to exchange their Hussite prisoners, and an anti-Hussite threw a rock at one of the protesters. Enraged, the crowd stormed the town hall and threw seven of the council members from the windows onto the spears of the armed congregation below. Thus, the First Defenestration of Prague occurred.

Less you think that was the only defenestration in that tough old town, at Prague Castle on May 23, 1618, an assembly of Protestants tried two Imperial governors, Wilhelm Grav Slavata (1572–1652) and Jaroslav Borzita Graf Von Martinicz (1582–1649), for violating the Letter of Majesty (Right of Freedom of Religion), found them guilty, and threw them, together with their scribe Philip Fabricius, out of the high windows of the Bohemian Chancellery. They landed on a large pile of manure and all survived unharmed. Philip Fabricius was later ennobled by the emperor and granted the title "von Hohenfall" (lit. translating to "of Highfall"). Apparently, the streets of Prague were literally full of crap.

But what there were more, a defenestration (chronologically the second defenestration of Prague) happened on September 24, 1483, when a violent overthrow of the municipal governments of the Old and New Towns ended with throwing the Old-Town portreeve and the bodies of seven killed aldermen out of the windows of the respective townhalls.

Sometimes, the name the third defenestration of Prague is used, although it has no standard meaning. For example, it has been used to describe the death of Jan Masaryk, who was found under the bathroom window of the building of the Czechoslovakian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 10, 1948, allegedly murdered by Communists, though the official Communist line claimed this to be a suicide. It's tough to be an elected official in Prague. Again, it's a tough town for politicians but it's the gravy train for glazers.

It's Emily Brontë's birthday.

The Brontës were three hideous sisters who dwelt in a cave and had to share a single eyeball between them. They were eventually outwitted and slain by wily Odysseus. (Unless that was the Gorgons, in which case the Brontës were three Englishwomen who wrote poetry and novels in the middle nineteenth century.)

Women were not allowed to write books at the time because novels were still being written in the formal style, and it was feared that women would corrupt that classic form with their penchant for multiple climaxes. The Brontës therefore wrote under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Charlotte got to be Currer and this made the other girls jealous: Currer was the handsome and swarthy sailor, while Ellis was the stuttering librarian and Acton was the simpleminded shepherd.

As authors, the Brontës were heavily influenced by the Romantics ("That's What I Like About You"), but most scholars contend that Emily's Wuthering Heights owes more to the Meteorologists.

She is perhaps best known for her invention of Heathcliff, most recently popularized by American cartoonist George Gately.

Flowers and Trees is a 1932 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Burt Gillett, and released to theatres by United Artists on July 30, 1932. It was the first commercially released film to be produced in the full-color three-strip Technicolor process, after several years of two-color Technicolor films. The Flowers and Trees was a commercial and critical success, winning the first Academy Award for Best Short Subjects: Cartoons.

July 30, 1938 -
In his Dearborn, Michigan office Henry Ford proudly accepts a Nazi medal on his 75th birthday. The Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle is the highest award the Reich can bestow on foreigners. The medal arrives with a note of personal greetings from Adolf Hitler. A rabid anti-semite, Ford paid for copies of the racist hoax Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to be deposited in major U.S. libraries.

Hopefully, there isn't a Ford in your future.

July 30, 1975 -
Where have you gone Jimmy Hoffa, the nature turns it jaundice eyes to you? Jimmy Hoffa is or isn't dead. Jimmy is or isn't buried somewhere in the Meadowlands or a horse farm or was made into ground meat and consumed at some very unfortunate barbecue.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ryan Seacrest bitten by shark

Ryan Seacrest apparently was bitten by a shark this weekend. While in some pain, Seacrest was alright. The Shark immediately went into convulsions and had to be euthanized. In lieu of chum, the family of the shark asks that donations be made to the World Oceanographic Society.

July 29, 1588 -

Phillip II of Spain sent his armadillo to invade England. This Spanish armadillo was defeated by the belly-buttons of Lord Howard and Sir Francis Drake in one of the greatest navel engagements of all time. The defeat altered the balance of power in Europe irreversibly and marked the last use of armadillos in navel warfare.

July 29 1921 -
The Council on Foreign Relations is incorporated in New York City by a group of bankers and other influentials, including John D Rockefeller. The CFR remains a vital component of the New World Order, and is surpassed in importance only by the Trilateral Commission. Now that you have this information, you know too much and you'll probably have to be killed.

July 29 1921 -
Adolf Hitler is selected as leader of the National Socialist Party. I'm guessing there have been some regrets concerning this election.

July 29 1941 -
The Grigglestone Colliery explodes, leaving 20 dead. I have no idea who or where or what this was -- but it did happen, and it bears repeating.

July 29 1968 -
Pope Paul VI issues encyclical Humanae Vitae, prohibiting all unnatural forms of birth control. He thereby answers the age-old question, "Does the Pope spurt in a condom?"

July 29 1974 -
Mama Cass Elliot, a very large part of The Mamas and the Papas, dies in London. Although initial reports ascribe the cause of death to choking on a ham sandwich, in actuality it was a heart attack.

And so it goes.

Monday, July 28, 2008

WW I made easy

For those of you still seeking your Masters in European History -

July 28 1914 -
It was a sweltering July in most of Europe and the world as most people knew it was about to end. That was the day on which, still reeling from the recent assassination of their Archduck Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

Because Russia was a Slavic nation, like Serbia, Czar Nicholas II sent a few troops toward Vienna the very next day, hoping either that Austria-Hungary would become nervous and back off or that the Russian troops would loot someone else for a change.

But it was hot, people were angry, and Austria wasn't in any mood to back off. If anything, they were feeling a little pissy: a day later, they sent some troops of their own toward Russia.

The Russian Czar was unaccustomed to this kind of confrontational behavior. His self-esteem in tatters, he mobilized the entire Imperial Army against Austria and began calling himself Tsar.

Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany observed the Russian mobilization with unease. The Slavs of Russia considered the Slavs of Serbia their blood cousins, but the Germans and Austrians were closer still. Like brothers. Like twin brothers. (Fraternal, not identical). The Emperor dashed off a note to his friend (and cousin) the Tsar (formerly the Czar), asking if maybe Russia wouldn't mind calling her troops back within, say, the next twenty-four hours or else. He sent another little note to France, asking if they wouldn't mind promising to keep their noses out of certain other peoples' business, if certain other people should happen to go to war within the next, say, eighteen hours.

Neither Russia nor France offered any reply to the Emperor's little notes (possibly because he wrote it in German. Now if he wrote it in French, that might have been different - they all spoke French at home), and his feelings were understandably hurt. He mobilized his own army, declared war against Russia on August 1, against France on August 3, and started calling himself Kaiser.

To reach France, the Germans had to cross through Belgium. Belgium expressed its sincere desire not to be crossed. This was unreasonable and forced the Germans to start killing Belgians on the night of August 3.

Britain, meanwhile, didn't care about Serbia. Britain didn't care about Russia. And Britain certainly didn't care who attacked France — it had been their own national sport for centuries. But they had foolishly pledged their support to unreasonable little Belgium, and had no choice but to declare war on Germany on August 4. This was extremely vexing to the British monarchy, as they themselves were mostly German and Kaiser Willie was King Georgie cousin.

On the same day, the United States declared its reluctance to become involved in the European conflict until it had a better idea who'd win.

Austria, meanwhile, had been touched by the fervor with which Germany had come to her defense—and by the rapidity with which Russian troops were advancing toward both of them. Emperor Franz Josef declared war against Russia on August 5.

Serbia, already being pounded by Austria, declared war against Germany on August 6. Montenegro considered this bold and dashing, and wanted a piece of the action: she declared war against Austria on August 7, and, ebullient at finding herself intact a whole five days later, went so far as to declare war against Germany on Aug 12.

Already at war with Germany, an irritated France declared war against Austria on August 10. Caught up in the excitement, Britain declared war against Austria on August 12. By now it seemed like everyone was getting involved. There was a mad rush to war. Japan declared war against Germany on August 23.

Japan's hostilities toward Germany offended Austria, who declared war against Japan on August 25. Fastidiously egalitarian in their foreign policy, they declared war against Belgium three days later. Things were now spinning wildly out of control. On August 29, France declared war against Mongolia, Ireland declared war against Lichtenstein, and dogs declared war against cats.

World War One was underway. In just four years, it would claim 8.5 million lives and leave 21.2 million wounded, and lay the groundwork for an eventual rematch. Sometimes family feuds just get out of hand.

July 28 1794 -
Maximilien "The Incorruptible" Robespierre was guillotined for having ravaged the French meteorological cycle with his nefarious Rain of Terror.

July 28 1841 -
James Boulard and Henry Mallin pull the decomposed body of a young woman from the Hudson River near Hoboken, New Jersey. Mary Cecilia Rogers, who worked at a popular cigar store, is initially thought to have been killed in the course of a brutal gang rape, but ultimately it seems more likely that she died from a botched abortion. Years later, novelist Edgar Allen Poe adapts the sensational news story about "The Beautiful Cigar Girl" into the short story "The Mystery of Marie Roget."

July 28 1870 -
Andrew Carr is hanged at Richmond Prison, Dublin. He is dropped from too high, causing his head to separate from the rest of his body -- the greater portion of which twitches for several minutes.

July 28 1945 -
A US Army B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building between the 78th and 79th floors. An engine plunges down an elevator shaft, sparking a fire in the basement. Eleven people in the building are killed, in addition to the three man bomber crew. Elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver survived a plunge of 75 stories inside an elevator, which still stands as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall recorded.

And if I step outside my apartment and look up Fifth Avenue, it's still standing.

July 28 1957 -
A C-124 transport plane carrying three nuclear weapons jettisons its precious cargo into the Atlantic, somewhere east of Delaware and New Jersey. The bombs are never recovered.

Remember every time you go to a beach off the Jersey Shore, a 200 foot radioactive mutant Blue Crab is lurking.

And so it goes.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Papers

I saw these frames from an old Batman comics and had to post them for you.

Here's your Today in History:

July 27 1890 -
At the Chateau d'Auvers, Vincent van Gogh presses a revolver to his chest and pulls the trigger. Somehow the bullet misses the vital organs, and the painter manages to stumble over to a friend's house. The following night, Van Gogh dies of an infection in the arms of his brother Theo.

July 27 1940 -
Bugs Bunny made his debut in a cartoon called "A Wild Hare", on this day. Warner Brothers' writers and animators set out to make a rabbit who would be the epitome of cool. They modeled bugs on Groucho Marx with a carrot instead of a cigar. Mel Blanc gave him a Brooklyn accent. He was a nonchalant rabbit who chewed on his carrot in the face of all of his enemies and he was famous for the line, "What's up, doc?" which he used in that first cartoon when he met Elmer Fudd who was hunting rabbits. I'd like to send out a great big birthday kiss to that wascally wabbit. Happy 68th Bugs.

July 27, 1953 -
The armistice that ended the Korean War was signed today. It was a war that began in June 1950 when North Korea invaded the south. Almost 35,000 Americans were killed in the conflict, more than 5,000 captured or went missing. A corporal in the 1st Marine Division named Anthony Ebron said, "Those last few days were pretty bloody. Each time we thought the war was over we'd go out and fight again. The day it ended we shot off so much artillery that the ground shook. Then, that night, the noise just stopped. We knew it was over."

Harry Truman said that if he had signed the same armistice, the Republicans would have drawn and quartered him, but Dwight D. Eisenhower had run for president on the platform that he would end the war, and when he was elected, that's what he did.

Unfortunately, someone forgot to inform the North Koreans that they, in fact, signed the armistice and are still technically at war with someone.

July 27 1980 -
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the exiled Shah of Iran, dies of lymphatic cancer in Cairo.

July 27 1996 -
During a celebration for the Atlanta Olympics, security guard Richard Jewell notices a suspicious green knapsack in Centennial Park. He immediately alerts police and helps to clear people from the area shortly before the pipe bomb explodes. For his trouble, Jewell becomes the FBI's preliminary suspect and news organizations run wild with the story. Because he didn't do it, numerous media outlets end up paying him large undisclosed settlements. Also, the FBI uses the event as an excuse to lobby for further clampdowns on civil liberties.

Principles of Life

1. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

2. If you wake up breathing, congratulations! You get another chance.

3. Be really nice to your family and friends; you never know when you
might need them to empty your bedpan.

And so it goes.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

An Artist you should know.

Winsor McCay, an American cartoonist and animator, died on this date in 1934. A prolific artist, McCay's pioneering early animated films far outshone the work of his contemporaries, and set a standard followed by Walt Disney and others in later decades. His two best-known creations are the newspaper comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, which ran from 1905 to 1914, and the animated cartoon Gertie the Dinosaur, which he created in 1914.

Here's your Today in History:

July 26 1826 -
Schoolmaster Cayetano Ripoll is hanged in Valencia, after uttering his last words: "I die reconciled to God and to man." He is the last person executed by the Spanish Inquisition. Gee, I guess at that point everybody should have expected the Spanish Inquisition.

July 26 1947 -
The National Security Council is created. And no, Donald Rumsfeld was not there.

July 26 1984 -
Serial killer, cannibal and flesh suit wearer Ed Gein dies at the Mendota Mental Health Institute, a home for the criminally insane. Gein inspired the films Psycho and Silence of the Lambs. I wonder if he got any of the royalties.

July 26 1991 -
Actor Paul Reubens (aka "Pee-wee Herman") is arrested in Sarasota, Florida for jacking off twice with his left hand inside the South Trail XXX Cinema. It was screening the triple feature Catalina Five-O: Tiger Shark, Nancy Nurse, and Turn Up The Heat. Following his masturbatorial debut, Reubens loses his children's television show and product endorsements.

And so it goes.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's St. Christopher's Day

Unless, of course you believe he was demoted by the Catholic Church.

Here's your Today in History:

July 25 1485 -
In Toledo, Spain, over 400 dead bodies are charged with heresy and burned in effigy, in a great public spectacle. What a wonderful thing, this Spanish Inquisition.

July 25, 1689 -
King Louis XIV of France declared war on Britain for having joined the League of Augsburg and the Netherlands in order to oppose the French invasion of the Rhenish Palatinate. This caused the Battle of Schenectady in New York. (Really.)

July 25 1848 -
British statesman Arthur James Lord Balfour was born on this date. In 1917, as Foreign Secretary of the British Government, Lord Ballour declared that "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." This came to be known as the Balfour Declaration, acknowledged by scholars throughout the world as the beginning of the Middle East Peace Process.

July 25 1917 -
Margaret Zelle, also known as Mata Hari, is found guilty of spying and is sentenced to death. There is no actual evidence that she is a spy, although she may have slept with half of the German army.

July 25, 1943 -
Benito Mussolini resigned as Head Evil Bastard of Italy. He did not receive a gold watch. His 401(K) was in tatters. He was therefore machine-gunned to death, suspended upside down, and urinated on by the people of Italy as a civic reminder of the importance of retirement planning.

Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century is a Merrie Melodies cartoon created in 1952 and released on July 25, 1953, starring Daffy Duck as space hero Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as his assistant, and Marvin the Martian as his opponent. Marvin the Martian had been introduced as a villain then named Commander X2 in Haredevil Hare (1948) playing opposite Bugs Bunny, but this cartoon was the first of many appearances of Duck Dodgers.

The plot of the cartoon involves Duck Dodgers' search for the rare element Illudium Phosdex, "the shaving cream atom." In the future, the only remaining supply of the element is on the mysterious "Planet X," which fortunately is found when Dodgers follows a path leading from Planet A to Planets B, C, D, and so on. Assisting him in his space explorations is Porky Pig , playing the role of the "Eager Young Space Cadet." Dodgers is about to claim Planet X in the name of the Earth when Marvin the Martian lands on the same planet (in a ship called the "Martian Maggot") and claims it in the name of Mars. The stage is set for a battle of wits (or lack thereof) between the two cartoon stars.

July 25 1990 -
At a baseball game, actress Rosanne Arnold warbles the Star Spangled Banner, grabs her crotch, and endears herself to an entire nation. Ah, America, land of opportunity.

July 25 1999 -
Woodstock '99 festival ends in looting and rioting, leaving 12 trailers burned, towers toppled, and several women attacked during the course of the show. About 500 state troopers were needed to quell the mass uprising of peace and love, apparently triggered by overpriced vendors and commercialization.

July 25 2000 -
A right tire explosion on the Concorde causes the plane to crash after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, leaving 113 dead. It is the first crash in Concorde's history, and the only supersonic commercial flight to ever crash.

And so it goes.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

And he makes the sun rise, too !!!

John McCain thanks the President for helping the price of crude oil decrease by $10 a barrel.

Next, McCain plans on congratulating the President for his continued support of gravity.

Here's your Today in History:

Jul. 24 - Mary of Guise, the French wife of Scotland's King James V, gave birth to a daughter named Mary in 1542. A week later King James died and the very young Mary became the Queen of Scotland.

Prince Edward of England proposed marriage to the Queen immediately and his proposal is therefore known as "the Rough Wooing." While the pedophile Prince waited for the Queen to acquire enough verbal skills to reply, the Scottish parliament annulled the engagement.

Edward's father, the English King Henry VIII, considered this an insult and declared war. Following an especially nasty Scottish defeat in 1547, Mary was sent to France. It was hoped she would learn to read and write there, and perhaps reach puberty.

She was raised in the court of Henry II, which ought to have taught her some manners, but instead inspired her to marry a dolphin. Eventually the dolphin became king and died, leaving Mary the dowager queen of France. She was 18.

Her mother had meanwhile died in Scotland, which caused the Protestants to rebel. They imported the Reformation and banned the Pope. Mary, being Catholic, returned to Scotland to work out a compromise: the country could be Protestant as long as she was allowed to be Catholic.

Four years later she married her cousin, Lord Darnley, a Two-Door Steward. Unfortunately he turned out to be disgusting, and even the birth of a son could not induce Lord Darnley to behave. He was therefore struck by an explosion the following year and subsequently died of strangulation.

She was then kidnapped by one of the men suspected of strangling Lord Darnley, a certain Earl of Bothwell, whom she therefore made a Duke and married.

This angered the Protestants, who rose up against her and, on this very day in 1567, made her abdicate in favor of her son, who was immediately crowned as James VI.

She then escaped, raised an army, and was promptly defeated. She became a guest (or, in English, "prisoner") of Queen Elizabeth, until she was caught writing letters asking friends to support (or, in Scottish, "kill") the English Queen.

She was therefore beheaded, and remains dead to this day.

307 years ago today, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded a trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which eventually became Detroit. Mr Cadillac himself thereby came to be known as "the Rolls Royce of settlers."

July 24, 1915 -
Almost 850 Western Electric employees and their family members perish when the chartered steamer Eastland rolls over in Chicago harbor. History blames the top-heaviness of the ship, exacerbated (ironically) by the recent addition of lifeboats. So much for company picnics.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Who knew !?!

John McCain, Voguer

July 23, 1885 -
One of the most famous residents of West 122th Street and Riverside Drive made a most fateful decision on this date. He died.

In 1881, Ulysses S.Grant, American general, the eighteenth President of the United States and famous horseback riding drunk, purchased a house in New York City and placed almost all of his financial assets into an investment banking partnership with Ferdinand Ward, as suggested by Grant's son Buck (Ulysses, Jr.), who was having success on Wall Street. Very wrong move. Ward swindled Grant (and other investors who had been encouraged by Grant) in 1884, bankrupted the company, Grant & Ward, and fled.

Grant learned at the same time that he was suffering from throat cancer. Grant and his family were left destitute; at the time retired U.S. Presidents were not given pensions, and Grant had forfeited his military pension when he assumed the office of President. Grant first wrote several articles on his Civil War campaigns for The Century Magazine, which were warmly received. Mark Twain offered Grant a generous contract for the publication of his memoirs, including 75% of the book's sales as royalties.

Terminally ill, Grant finished the book just a few days before his death. The memoirs sold over 300,000 copies, earning the Grant family over $450,000. Twain promoted the book as "the most remarkable work of its kind since the Commentaries of Julius Caesar," and Grant's memoirs are also regarded by such writers as Matthew Arnold and Gertrude Stein as among the finest ever written .

Ulysses S. Grant died at 8:06 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, 1885,at the age of 63 in Mount McGregor, Saratoga County, New York. His last word was a request, "Water" (I'd like to believe it was actually, "Sir, cut my bourbon with water."

Grant's funeral was one of the greatest outpourings of public grief in history. A large funeral parade marched through New York City from City Hall to Riverside Park. It had 60,000 marchers, stretched seven miles, and took up to five hours to pass. Well over one million spectators witnessed the parade.

The funeral was attended by numerous dignitaries, including President Grover Cleveland, his cabinet, the justices of the Supreme Court, the two living ex-presidents (Hayes and Arthur), virtually the entire Congress, and almost every living figure who had played a prominent role during the Civil War.

Civil War veterans from both North and South took part, reflecting the high esteem in which he was held throughout a reunified country. General Winfield S. Hancock led the procession, and Grant's pallbearers included former comrades -- General William T. Sherman, General Philip H. Sheridan, and Admiral David D. Porter - as well as former Confederates - Generals Joseph E. Johnston and Simon B. Buckner.

Completed in 1897, Grant's Tomb is the second largest mausoleum in North America (the Garfield Memorial is the first).

July 23, 1904 -
At the turn of the last century, ice-cream men were a breed apart. It was hard work making ice-cream and the rewards were few. "You don't choose ice cream," they said, "ice cream chooses you."

Well, Charles E. Menches was an ice-cream man. They say it ran in his veins. (They say forget the autopsy: they say you don't need actual ice-cream in your blood to have it in your veins.)

Charles E. Menches had always known he'd be an ice-cream man. Everyone had known. While other boys in St. Louis played stickball or jacks, little Chuckie experimented with different creams and salts. While other boys dreamed of being doctors or lawyers, little Chuckie dreamed of exotic flavor combinations like cinnamon-onion swirl and artichoke-pistachio.

Charles E. Menches's passion for ice cream was infectious. He made his brother Frank an ice-cream man. They began traveling to fairs and special events across the Midwest to sell ice cream from a tent.

They did what all ice-cream men did: they scooped their ice cream into bowls and sold it to their customers. People loved ice cream back then, just as they love it today. And why not? It was ice cream.

One sweltering day at the St. Louis World's Fair--July 23, 1904, to be precise--Charles E. Menches and his brother Frank sold so much ice cream that they ran out of dishes.

An ordinary ice-cream man might have folded up his tent and taken the rest of the day off. But not Charles E. Menches. Charles E. Menches knew the code of the ice-cream man. More than that, he lived it.

The people of St. Louis would not be denied their ice cream. Not if Charles E. Menches had anything to say about it.

The tent beside Charles and Frank's ice cream tent belonged to Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian pastry-maker who sold sweet wafer pastries called Zalabia. (Ernest A. Hamwi was what Syrians would call a Zalabia man, but they wouldn't say he had Zalabia in his veins. Syrians would never talk such tripe.)

In a moment of brilliant epiphany, Charles E. Menches bought all of Ernest A. Hamwi's Zalabia and rolled them into cones. He then began selling his ice cream in sweet wafer cones instead of dishes.

The ice cream cone was born.

(Sure, Italo Marchiony had received U.S. patent #746971 for the ice-cream cone seven months earlier in New York., but Italo Marchiony had never been an ice-cream man.)

July 23 1923 -

While driving his 1919 Dodge, retired revolutionary Pancho Villa is ambushed and assassinated. But even with 16 gunshot wounds he still manages to kill one of his attackers. Curiously, Villa's head is stolen from his grave three years later and never recovered. Despite persistent rumors, Yale's secret society Skull and Bones denies they possess the artifact. But we know better.

July 23, 1966 -

The "longest suicide in Hollywood" finally ended on this date, with the death of Montgomery Cliff of a heart attack brought on by his severe drug and alcohol addictions. In 1956, while filming Raintree County , he smashed his car into a tree after leaving a party. Elizabeth Taylor
kept him from choking to death by removing two teeth lodged in his throat. She had been co-starring in the movie and happened to be at the party. Besides the two missing teeth, the accident left Monty with a broken jaw and nose, crushed sinus cavity, and severe facial lacerations which required plastic surgery. He needed reconstructive surgery on his face and returned after several weeks to finish the film.

He is now the most famous 'resident' of Quaker Cemetery in Prospect Park Brooklyn.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Today is Swaziland's King Sobhuza II's Birthday

At the time of his death in 1982, King Sobhuza II was the longest-reigning monarch in the world. His death established him as the most recently-deceased monarch in the world. Today he is simply dead.

Sobhuza began his career as Paramount Chief of the Swazi in 1921, but was not recognized as king by Great Britain, which ran the nation as a protectorate, until 1967. (The forgetful Brits have a long history of failing to recognize kings, perhaps owing to the difficulty of seeing clearly in the London fog.)

The Brits wrote a Constitution before they left, but Sobhuza did not discover it until 1973, at which point he discarded it on the grounds of its being British. Five years later he implemented a better Constitution that, surprisingly enough, left all political power in his own hands.

He died in 1982. The Constitution declared that he should be succeeded by one of his children, which seemed simple at first but was complicated by the revelation of his having had over 600 children. (Apparently there had been room in his hands for more than political power.) It took four years to find the right son, and King Mswati III has reigned ever since.

July 22 1376
The Pied Piper of Hamelin makes off with the town's rats and children.

July 22 1587
Roanoke, the colony founded by Sir Walter Raleigh, is found to be missing. If found, please contain Queen Elizabeth II.

July 22 1934
John Dillinger is shot dead outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre,on this date in history. And one of the most bizarre urban legends is born. According to the rumor, J Egdar Hoover, Pug ugly head of the FBI and notorious transvestite, rushes to Chicago to see the corpse himself. Dillinger, Public Enemy No. 1, was a ladies man and was reported to be very specially endowed.

Hoover, after viewing the nude lifeless body of Dillinger in the morgue, orders Dillinger's member to be removed and preserved as a 'specimen' for his private files.

Rumors of Hoover's trophy dogged him for the rest of his life. He even went to the extraordinary step of stating sometime in the late '60's that he "did not now nor even have Dillinger's privates in a jar". His comments were not taken seriously as he was wearing a size 28 Dior outfit with matching handbag at the time.

The Smithsonian museum is still flooded with requests annually toview this 'special exhibition'.

July 22 1994
In court, O.J. pleads "absolutely, 100% not guilty" of savagely killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

And so it goes.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's still hot out there

the heat wave is still going strong - keep hydrated.

Today in History -

July 21 365 -
Earthquake destroys the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria, causing the sea to recede and then re-enter the city with tremendous force. Many of those not killed by collapsing buildings were drowned. Fifty thousand die. It was not a good day in Ole Alexandria

July 21 1899
Ernest Hemingway was born on this date. He was young at the time of his birth. It was fine to be young.

He drove an ambulance in the first world war. It wasn't called the first world war then. It was called the war. It was one of those times when people shot at each other. When people were shooting at each other they didn't have time to worry about what to call it. It was only afterwards that they needed to call it something. "What should we call that time when we were shooting at each other?" "Let's call it the Great War." "Good."

It was a good ambulance. It was long and white. It had flashing lights and a siren that went "wee-ooo, wee-ooo." He liked that.

After the war he lived in Paris. A lot of Americans lived in Paris after the war, but only a few of them had ever driven an ambulance. In the 30s he went to Spain. He was a journalist. They were having a war.

They called it the Spanish Civil War. It was started by an Evil Bastard named General Franco on July 18, 1936. It was a test to see whether or not they should have World War II. They had fascists and socialists and anarchists. They even had clowns. People shot at each

(General Franco finally gave up power on July 19, 1974, because he was sick. Maybe he had always been sick. It is sometimes hard to understand sickness. Maybe we are not meant to understand it.)

Later Hemingway lived in Cuba. He liked to fish. He thought all men should fish. He wrote stories about fishing. Finally he blew his brains out at his home in Idaho. It was July 2, 1961.

He had written a lot of books but now he was dead.

July 21 1919 -
Two passengers, a mechanic and 10 bank employees are killed in Chicago when a Goodyear blimp, the Winged Foot Express, catches fire and crashes through the roof of the Illinois Trust and Savings Bank. This was the first and worst accident (prior to the Hindenburg crash) involving a dirigible.

July 21 1925 -
John Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution in a Tennessee public school. The jury fines him $100.

July 21 1972 -
In Milwaukee, George Carlin is arrested for obscenity and disorderly conduct for performing his "Seven Dirty Words" routine in front of a group of wheelchair-bound children. He is released after posting $150 bail.

July 21 1981 -
Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years in prison for the shooting of John Lennon. His only response is to read a passage from "Catcher in the Rye". Chapman currently works as a janitor in Attica State Prison.

And so it goes.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's National Lollipop Day

I couldn’t find out who started the holiday or when, or why, but there are many mentions of it online so I guess it’s true. Yeah, that's how the great lie works.

July 20 1402 -
At the battle of Angora, Tamerlane led his huge army of Taters against the Ottomans (or Ottomen). Tamerlane captured the Sultan (Head Ottoman), and this is why we call some sweaters Angoras to this day. (Angora, however, is now called Ankara.)

July 20 1944 -
In an attempt on Hitler's life, a timebomb explodes in the situation room of the Wolf's Lair, killing four Nazi officers but only wounding the Fuhrer. After his close call, Hitler becomes even more paranoid. A massive purge is to follow, resulting in the execution of thousands of officers.

Tom Cruise is still trying to get this film released the incident over the massive objections of the Germany government (the release has now been pushed by til February 2009.)

July 20 1951 -
In Jerusalem at the al-Aqsa Mosque, King Abdullah of Jordan is shot three times in the head and chest by Mustapha Shukri Usho, a Palestinian opposed to peace with Israel. Abdullah dies on the spot.

July 20 1969 -
On live television, the world watches as Neil Armstrong steps foot on the Moon. It was a brave thing to do.

That is, unless it was faked.

July 20 1973 -
In Hong Kong, martial artist Bruce Lee drops into a coma and dies of cerebral edema. He had been experiencing brain problems beginning in May, which included sporadic loss of consciousness. Lee's death transpires shortly before the release of Enter the Dragon, his most successful film.

July 20 1994 -
O.J. Simpson offers a $500,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the Real Killers. To this day progress remains elusive, although Simpson's golf score has improved somewhat.

And so it goes.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Flitch Day

Every year on this day, since about 1104, any married couple who could prove they had been faithful and loving to one another for one year was awarded half a pig, known as a flitch of bacon. However, very few couples would actually "bring home the bacon!"

July 19 1692 -

Five Salem witches are hanged for the crime of witchcraft, based primarily on the accusations of little girls who were bewitched. Eventually, the village executes a total of 20 witches.

July 19, 1870 -
France attempted to declare war on Russia. Due to a typographical error, however, she inadvertently declared war on Prussia and caused the Franco-Prussian war. This eventually led to the creation of Germany, which led to World War I, World War II, and the volkswagen.

Moral: always proofread.

July 19 1937 -

The Nazis open "Entartete Kunst," the Degenerate Art show, in Munich. The traveling exhibition offers up Expressionism for ridicule, carefully arranged by (offensive) subject. The German youth are not admitted, lest they become tainted.

July 19 1952 -
During a series of UFO sightings in Washington, D.C. occurring over July 13-29, unidentified objects are picked up on D.C.'s National Airport radar system. Sightings in the region are so extensive the Air Force is prompted to hold a press conference. Conveniently, these are all "radar mirages" resulting from "temperature inversions."

Keep watching the skies.

July 19 1957 -
Michael Landon stars in his first film, I Was a Teenage Werewolf. He must have been so proud.

July 19 1966 -
Frank Sinatra marries Mia Farrow in Las Vegas. Ava Gardner's famous comment on the union: "Hah! I always knew Frank would end up in bed with a little boy!"

And so it goes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I Put a Spell on You

It's Screamin' Jay Hawkins Birthday. Turn this on up really loud and dance around the room in your underwear (don't ask, just do it.)

July 18, 64 -
Most of imperial Rome was burned to the ground because Emperor Nero had been playing the fiddle. This resulted in the persecution of Christians, many of whom were believed to have encouraged him. You know how those early Christians love their city burning, fiddle playing, crazed Emperors.

July 18 1870 -
At the end of Vatican I, Catholic popes are proclaimed infallible by chapter four of the papal bull Pastor Aeternus. His declarations on matters of faith are protected from error by the Holy Spirit. In a nutshell: whatever he says, goes. This is an interesting doctrine, considering how often St. Peter is himself contradicted by the Gospels.

Jul 18 1925 -
July 18 marks the 83nd anniversary of the 1925 publication of Adolf Hitler's best-selling political memoir, Mein Kampf (or, in English, "I'm Crazy and I'm Gonna Kill You"). The book remains extremely popular with genocidal sociopaths and is therefore experiencing a renaissance of sales.

The book's original title was Four-and-a-Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice.

Taking him at his word and assuming the little lance-corporal really had struggled against lies, stupidity, and cowardice for 54 months, one has to ask, in light of his later activities, if maybe lies, stupidity, and cowardice aren't so bad.

July 18 1939 -
Hunter S. Thompson's birthday is today. He was once considered, armed, and dangerous. Now he is no more than soot on the window sills of his and his neighbors homes. Dr. Thompson founded the Gonzo school of journalism in the 1970s; graduates from that school can today be seen every night on cable news.

Dr. Thompson inspired the character "Uncle Duke" in the comic strip Doonesbury, by former Canadian Prime Minister Gary Trudeau. ("Uncle Duke" first appeared in Doonesbury on July 8, 1974.) Several movies have been made about Dr. Thompson's life and work and psychotic episodes. He is perhaps the only American journalist to have been played on-screen by both Bill Murray and Johnny Depp.

July 18 1966 -
In Los Angeles, the beaten corpse of Bobby Fuller is found sprawled across the front seat of his mother's Oldsmobile. Fuller, whose band The Bobby Fuller Four released the hit "I Fought The Law," is found to have died from "forced inhalation of gasoline." Technically, Fuller died from huffing... although circumstances point to murder.

July 18 1969 -
Driving home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Ted Kennedy's car goes over the side of Dike Bridge and flips over into a pond. Kennedy manages to free himself from the automobile, but his passenger, one Mary Jo Kopechne, drowns. For some reason, Kennedy tells no one about the accident for at least an hour, and waits until the following morning to notify local police.

July 18 1984 -
Movie actor and wannabe boxer Mickey Rourke is arrested for beating his wife. The charges are later dismissed.

July 18 1988 -
Rock and Roll performer / heroin addict Nico wipes out on her bicycle on Ibiza and dies from a brain hemorrage combined with a lack of medical treatment.

And so it goes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I guess you eat this brownie badge

Marijuana Farm Busted on Scout Camp

WARSAW, Ind. (July 16) - Police found thousands of marijuana plants being grown in a emote part of a Girl Scout camp, according to court documents and a scout official.
Officials at Camp Ella J. Logan were dismayed when they found out what had happened, said Sherri Weidman, chief executive of the Limberlost Girl Scout Council.
Police found the hidden marijuana farm with plants in various stages of cultivation in a wooded swampy area of Kosciusko County, according to documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in South Bend. Some of the plants were growing on land belonging to a local resident, while the bulk - about 5,000 plants - were growing on camp land. State troopers in an airplane spotted the plots.

Here's your Today in History:

July 17 1913 -
On this date, audiences attending the silent film A Noise from the Deep observed Mabel Normand striking Fatty Arbuckle in the face with a pie. It was the first use of the pie-in-the-face routine in film history.

It may not seem that remarkable when you consider how much history there'd been in film prior to 1913, but it was an important milestone nonetheless.

The act of hitting someone in the face with a pie was itself nothing new. Hieroglyphics engraved on the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian King Tuthenhorn, for example, depict that merry lord hurling pies of polished stone at his subjects with such force that they were frequently decapitated.

Thucydides and Herodotus both make mention of a great pie battle at Salamis, with the latter observing that "it was a moment of much hilarity until someone hit Xerxes."

Plutarch describes the wanton Messalina "grinding her pie in the face of a slave."

The merriment of the ancient world gradually succumbed to the joyless monotonoy of the middle-ages, however and pie facials were neglected for centuries. The mirth did not resume until 1518, when Martin Luther nailed Pope Leo X with a cream-covered blueberry pie—the first documented case of torte reform.

Roughly a century later, Shakespeare introduced the routine to Elizabethan audiences with memorable pie-in-the-face scenes in King Lear, Hamlet, and Othello. Scholars have recently unearthed a draft of what Shakespeare clearly intended to be his comedic masterwork, "Two Bakers of Venice."

After Shakespeare's pioneering work in the field, the pie-in-the-face became a staple of popular entertainment. Seen in this context, the celebrated Arbuckle pie facial was just one more step on a very long journey. Indeed, being struck in the face by baked goods is likely to remain the most hilarious thing in the world for centuries to come.

July 17, 1917 -
Britain's King George V issues a royal proclamation changing his family's surname from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor. Thus, everyone is fooled into believing that a bunch of inbred Germans are really English. Which is convenient, because England just so happens to be at war with the other side of the family, Germany.

(Yes that's King George V and Tsar, Czar, Csar Nicholas II)

Russian Czar Nicholas II was murdered with his family and servants by the Bolsheviks at Yekaterinburg on this date in 1918. (It's too bad his cousin, George V was more concerned with changing his Germanic surname then saving his cousin.) This included his daughter Anastasia, who may not actually have been killed with the rest of them but was almost certainly killed along with the rest of them despite persistent rumors to the contrary--even in the face of almost insurmountable evidence suggesting otherwise (except when interpreted differently). Even if she wasn't dead then, she's certainly dead now. This has been scientifically proven by scientists who ought to know.

July 17, 1936 -
General Francisco Franco, low level Spanish Evil Bastard, seizes control of the Canary Islands (in the misguided belief that Spain could become a world power by controlling the supply of small yellow birdies), signaling the start of the three-year Spanish Civil War.

And he's still dead.

July 17, 1938 -
On this date, Douglas Corrigan took off from Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field for a cross-country flight to the west coast in his nine-year-old, single-engine Curtiss Robin airplane. Twenty-eight hours later he landed in Dublin, Ireland, thus earning himself the nickname "Wrong Way Corrigan" and becoming the patron saint of baggage handlers.

July 17, 1947 -
Jackie Robinson was playing his historic first season with the Dodgers, the Yankees finally lost after 19 straight victories and Perry Como topped the Billboard charts with “Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go to Sleep)” and Jack Kerouac began his “On the Road” trip, on this date. He left his mother’s apartment in Ozone Park and wound up on the West Side IRT local, passing Columbia, where he had dropped out, and got off the train at the 242 Street terminal. At 242 Street, (near Van Cortlandt Park) he boarded a trolley for Yonkers, transferred to another for as far as it would go, then hitchhiked farther up the Hudson. He wanted to take the “long red line called Route 6” that he had seen on a map, and the nearest place for him to join it was the Bear Mtn Bridge.

When he got there, he discovered that little traffic passed through that semi-wilderness, and while waiting futilely for a ride, he got drenched in a thunderstorm. Humiliated by his “stupid hearthside idea that it would be wonderful to follow one great red line across America,” he ended up taking a bus back to NYC and another all the way to Chicago. He took a third bus to the Chicago suburbs and began hitchhiking to Denver, to see friends he had made in NYC, including Neal Cassady. Such is the stuff of great literature - a subway ride that many of you loyal readers have made countless times, is transformed into the the opening trip of the classic novel of the Beat Generation, “On the Road.” (Thank you Andy McGowan for this tidbit.)

July 17, 1952 -
It's David Hasselhoff's (noted 'actor', 'singer', talent judge, hamburger connoisseur and drunk) birthday! Yay for David! Yay for Germany!

July 17, 1955 -
Disneyland, the happiest place in the world, opens in Anaheim, California. In the words of Walt Disney, "That place is my baby, and I would prostitute myself for it." I don't know about you but I shudder at the thought of Ole Walt, walking the street in stiletto, offering to 'go around the world' for 20 bucks.

July 17, 1968 -
Premiere of the drug-induced, Big Blue Meanie-infested cartoon Beatle film Yellow Submarine, at the London Pavilion.

And remember Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is not a song about drugs, dammit.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Is it over yet?

The All-Star game went on so long that so people were able to watch their children go from pre-K through college before it was all over.

Today in History -

July 16, 1054 -
The 'Great Schism' between the Western and Eastern churches began over rival claims of universal pre-eminence. (In 1965, 911 years later, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I met to declare an end to the schism.)

Remember kids, there's no schism like a great schism.

Mary Baker Eddy was born on this date in 1821. Ms. Eddy invented Christian Science, and was elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1995 for having been the only American woman to found a worldwide religion without exposing her breasts.

July 16, 1860 -

A decree from Emperor Norton I of San Francisco, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, dissolves the United States of America. (More on the Emperor next month.)

July 16, 1945 -
"...If the radiance of a thousand suns
were to burst into the sky,
that would be like
the splendor of the Mighty One—
I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds...."

First Atomic Bomb is exploded at Trinity, Alamagordo New Mexico. The explosion yields the equivalent 18,000 tons of TNT.

July 16, 1951 -
57 years ago today, The Catcher in the Rye was published. The book contained secret code words by means of which its author, J.D. Salinger, was able to communicate diabolical commands to his evil minions. (Exactly fourteen years later, the tunnel connecting France and Italy through Mont Blanc was opened to the public. Draw your own conclusions.)

Salinger was a one-hit wonder. (He did write several other books, but these are of interest only to insomniacs and those with wobbly furniture.) The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, and Salinger subsequently hid himself away in the hills of Vermont, emerging from this self-imposed cloister only once, briefly, to serve as Prime Minister of Canada. For nearly half a century, The Catcher in the Rye has captured the imagination of the American teenager like no other book without pictures. Holden Caulfield, the hero and narrator of Salinger's slim classic, may be the finest portrait of twentieth-century American teenage angst bequeathed to posterity. Either him or Archie, it's hard to say.

July 16, 1964 -
In 1964, in accepting the Republican presidential nomination in San Francisco, Sen. Barry M. Goldwater said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" and that "moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." So this quote Dubya remembers.

July 16, 1973 -
During the Senate's Watergate hearings, former White House aide Alexander Butterfield reveals that President Nixon has a secret tape recording system with lavaliere microphones hidden throughout the Oval Office.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's Linda Ronstadt's Birthday

Happy Birthday Linda -

July 15, 1606 -

Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden, Holland, on this date. His father was a miller and his mother was a stay-at-home mom. He is best known for his mastery of chiaroscuro and impasto, but his calamari was nothing to sneeze at.

Here's your Today in History:

July 15, 1799 -
The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian artifact which was instrumental in advancing modern understanding of hieroglyphic writing. The stone is a Ptolemaic era stele with carved text. The text is made up of three translations of a single passage, written in two Egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphic and Demotic), and in classical Greek. It was created in 196 BC, discovered by the Napoleonic expeditionary forces in 1799 at Rashid (a harbour on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt which the French referred to Rosetta) and contributed greatly to the decipherment of the principles of hieroglyphic writing in 1822 by the British polymath Thomas Young and the French scholar Jean-François Champollion.

July 15, 1857 -
During an uprising, the group of British women and children being held by rebels in Chawnpore, India are cut to pieces with knives and hatchets. Then their remains are tossed into a well. When British forces finally retake Chawnpore, the captured rebels are taken back to the house where the slaughter took place. Then they are forced to lick the floors clean, after which they are hanged. I hate to think what the penalty was for removing principle from a mutual fund before retirement age.

July 15 1864 -
A train containing hundreds of Confederate prisoners through Shohola, PA crashes head on with a coal train. The trains were off schedule because of an escape attempt. 74 people, mostly prisoners, died.

July 15 1869 -

During war with Prussia, French ruler Napoleon III commissions Hippolye Mege Mouries to find a butter substitute. A patent for margarine is issued, it being based on beef fat instead of milk fat. He called it margarine because the French word for pearl was margarite and he apparently had difficulty distinguishing butter from pearls—a handicap that goes a long way toward explaining his many divorces. But even with the tactically superior spread, the war is still lost.

July 15 1974 -
During a live broadcast of the Sarasota, Florida morning news program Suncoast Digest, newscaster Chris Chubbuck tells the audience: "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first: an attempted suicide." Then she blows her brains out with a .38 revolver. Now that is bringing you news as it happens.

The video's out there, I'm just not posting it.

And so it goes.