December Gnus
Calendar Highlights

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Ho ho ho, it's that time of year again. The Winter Solstice will (almost) be the shortest day of the year.    This is the tenth month of the calendar of ancient Rome; in Latin 'decem' is ten. Nine states were admitted to the United States this month.   The sun will be farthest from the equator - over the Tropic of Capricorn - and its apparent motion along the horizon ends. From now till June 21ish the days will get longer .Professor Sy Yentz and Dr. Matt Matician and the Editorial Board of the Science Gnus wish everyone a happy, healthy, joyous Christmas.

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”….Dr. Seuss

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”

…………………….James M. Barrie

“A Merry Christmas this December - To a lot of folks I don't remember”


Science Gnus is an almanacish compendium of News of Science, History, Mathematics and Items of Interest as well as Professor Sy Yentz, Dr. Matt Matician, the Activity of the Month, Factorinos, Trivia Question, Bonus Trivia Question, Extinct, Trivia Answers, Jokes, Obscure Question, Scientist of the Month, and the Flower Rock and Word of the Month

          Calendar Highlights


1135  Sunday  Woe, destruction, ruin, and decay;
The worst is death, and death will have his day.
…..Richard II,  Act III, scene 2, ….. (we’ve also seen this as December 2)   King  Henry I of England went kaput at St Denis le Fermont, Normandy, aged 67 years, 2 months, and 29 days. Cause of death was from allegedly eating too many lampreys.  The crown was passed to his nephew Stephen of Blois. But wait!  There’s more.  Henry’s widow, Matilda was not thrilled with this turn of events believing that she should inherit the kingdom.  The barons were mostly opposed to a female ruler and 17 years of Civil War ensued.  Henry still affects you dear reader.  He  had decreed that the standard linear measure of one foot be a third the length of his arm which was 36 inches.

1420 –Friday He went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bothered him so
He was impressive, young and aggressive
Saving the world on his own
. ……Jimmy Buffett……After reserving a  room (ensuite) at a trendy pensione  in the 5th Arrondisement, Henry V of England entered Paris.  Under terms of the Treaty of Troyes in 1420 Henry became heir to the throne of France. The Dauphin was declared a bastard and a rebel and Henry was betrothed to the King Charles VI’s  daughter Catherine of Valois. Henry was named Regent of France while retaining all his lands in Normandy by right of conquest, plus all his ancestral territories in Aquitaine. Being a King and Regent of France meant Henry did not have to wait on line at the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower.

1743 –Sunday  (Pitchblende) consists of a peculiar, distinct, metallic substance. Therefore its former denominations, pitch-blende, pitch-iron-ore, &c. are no longer applicable, and must be supplied by another more appropriate name.—I have chosen that of uranite, (Uranium), as a kind of memorial, that the chemical discovery of this new metal happened in the period of the astronomical discovery of the new planet Uranus. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, German chemist, apothecary,  and academic born in Wernigerode, Brandenburg.  Klaproth, one of the most important scientists you’ve never heard of,  was was the first to discover uranium – while studying pitchblende-, zirconium (beloved as cubic zirconia on the Home Shopping Network, and rediscovered titanium. He described them as distinct elements.  Klaproth was one of the earliest non-French adherents of Antoine Lavoisier’s antiphlogistic (anti-inflammatory) doctrines. He also rediscovered titanium (1795) – it was under a cushion on the couch-  about four years after its initial discovery and named it.


    1761 –Tuesday My family and I were in Madame Tussauds when my youngest son sneaked under the barrier of one of the waxwork scenes to get a closer look. I saw a member of staff approaching with a bunch of tourists, so I told my son to stay completely still and pretend to be part of the exhibit. He was extremely convincing and fooled everyone! So much so, we thought we'd leave him there for a bit. When we went back to get him, he described it as, "The worst 2 weeks of his life"…….Unknown…..Joyeaux Anniversaire, Marie Tussaud, French sculptor, born Marie Gresholtz, in Strasbourg.  After the French revolution  she was imprisoned in LaForce prison – she was art tutor to King Louis XVI’s sister - with aristocrats and other people associated with the regime where she actually shared a  cell with the future Empress Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife – see 1804 above. A year after her release in 1794, Marie married Frances Tussaud. The husband left soon after but the name remained. Then in 1802, she took her collection of wax masks of guillotined aristocrats and relics of the French revolution on a 33 year tour of Britain before finally establishing a permanent home in Baker Street, London, where she worked until eight years before her death. In 1884 Madame Tussaud’s moved to the Marylebone Road, London.


1783-Monday  The best way of travel, however, if you aren't in any hurry at all, if you don't care where you are going, if you don't like to use your legs, if you don't want to be annoyed at all by any choice of directions, is in a balloon. In a balloon, you can decide only when to start, and usually when to stop. The rest is left entirely to nature…….William Pene du Bois, The Twenty-one Balloons……..The first manned voyage of a hydrogen balloon flew from  Paris. The Montgolfier brothers had flown their hot air balloon earlier in the year.  On board were Professor Jacques Alexander Cesar Charles and Marie-Noel Robert who flew up to about 600 m and landed 43 km away after two hours in the air. Robert then left the balloon…. kicking and screaming and trying to fly…….and Charles continued the flight briefly to 2700 m altitude, measured by a barometer. Difference between hot and hydrogen?  A gas balloon is completely enclosed and is filled with helium or hydrogen. A hot air balloon gets its lift from heating the air within. Hot air balloon flights usually last about an hour or so while gas balloon flights can last for days.


1792-Saturday- There is no branch of mathematics, however abstract, which may not some day be applied to phenomena of the real world. ……S dniom razhdjenia!/Happy Birthday, Nikolay, I. Lobachevsky, Russian mathematician born in Nizhny Novgorod . Lobachevsky, along with János Bolyai of Hungary, is considered the founder of non-Euclidean geometry – as opposed to Euclid who was the founder of Euclidian geometry -geometry based upon one or more postulates that differ from those of Euclid, especially from the postulate that only one line may be drawn through a given point parallel to a given line. This was not well received at first – people hurled isosceles triangles and parallelograms at him…Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)  thought he had fallen down a mathematical rabbit hole.   But wait!  There’s more!  Einstein's theory of relativity demonstrated experimentally that the geometry of space is not described by Euclid's geometry. Aha! So stick that in your dodecahedron.


1804 Saturday  Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays……Henny Youngman…..On a social note, the Emperor Napoleon married Josephine de Beauharnais, of Martinique.  Of course they had already been married in 1796 in a civil ceremony, but this one -10 Frimaire, an XIII in Revolutionary Calendar babble, occurred because before he would 'anoint' Napoleon emperor, Pius VII demanded that Napoleon and Josephine be married before God. Cardinal Fesch performed the ceremony.  The groom was nattily attired in a wreath, a Tommy Hilfiger tuxedo, and l’eau de Guillotine cologne.  The bride was resplendent in a gown by Vera Wang with trendy Christian Louboutin shoes.  The reception, with music by the Battle of Trafalgar Orchestra was held at Pierre’s Austerlitz Catering of the 5th Arrondissement.


 1824-Wednesday-  … elevation at the age of fifty-eight to the Chief Magistracy of my country; to the summit of laudable, or at least blameless, worldly ambition; not, however, in a manner satisfactory to pride or to just desire; not by the unequivocal suffrages of a majority of the people; with perhaps two-thirds of the whole people adverse to the actual result……..John Quincy Adams…… Since none of the presidential candidates, Andrew Jackson of Tennessee with 99 electoral votes; John Quincy Adams--the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States--with 84 electoral votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, who had suffered a stroke before the election, with 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia with 37 electoral votes had received a majority of the total electoral votes in the election of 1824, Congress decided to turn over the presidential election to the House of Representatives, as dictated by the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Bitter feelings ensued and  just think, no stupid politician TV commercials in those days! 131 electoral votes, just over half of the 261 total, were necessary to elect a candidate president. Representative Henry Clay, agreed to use his influence to have Quincy Adams elected. Clay and Adams were both members of a coalition in Congress that by 1828 became known as the National Republicans, while Jackson's supporters were later organized into the Democratic Party. Thanks to Clay's backing, on February 9, 1825, the House elected Adams as president of the United States. Adams then appointed Clay to the top cabinet post of secretary of state.  Ah, the beauty of politics.

1835 –Tuesday First, you undergo such a terrible amount of suffering, and then you become famous……. 1855, The Fairy Tale of My Life …..Hans Christian Andersen published his the first volume of his Fairy Tales (Danish: '´Eventyr). The initial reception across Europe was less than enthusiastic, (“happy ending schmappy ending”  said the Copenhagen Morning Tribune)  but Andersen’s popularity gained momentum such that fairy tales as The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, and The Ugly Duckling became canonized by the end of Andersen’s lifetime.

            1878-Sunday- Oh oh Telephone Line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight
Oh oh Telephone Line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight
….Electric Light Orchestra….. The White House had its first telephone installed by none other than Alexander Graham Bell himself, during the President Rutherford B. Hayes (brother of Purple Hayes) administration. It is said that the first outgoing call went to Bell, thirteen miles away. Hayes first words instructed Bell to speak more slowly since Bell was a Scotsman with a heavy brogue. He then ordered a large pizza with anchovies.  Hayes did not use the phone very often, however, because there were not many other telephones in Washington. He did however, like the 900 numbers and enjoyed speaking with "Babette and her Zen Babes" in particular. k.

1881   Thursday

To All Whom It May Concern, Greetings:

We, the undersigned citizens of Dodge City, Ford County, Kansas, and vicinity do by these present certify that we are personally acquainted with Wyatt Earp, late of this city; that he came here in the year 1876; that during the years of 1877, 1878, and 1879 he was Marshal of our city; that he left our place in the fall of 1879; that during his whole stay here he occupied a place of high social position and was regarded and looked upon as a high-minded, honorable citizen; that as Marshal of our city he was ever vigilant in the discharge of his duties, and whild kind and courteous to all, he was brave, unflinching, and on all occasions proved himself the right man in the right place.
Hearing that he is now under arrest, charged with complicity in the killing of those men termed "Cow Boys." From our knowledge of him we do not believe that he would wantonly take the life of his fellow man, and that if he was implicated, he only took life in the discharge of his sacred trust to the people; and earnestly appeal to the citizens of Tombstone, Arizona, to use all means to secure him a fair and impartial trial, fully confident that when tried he will be fully vindicated and exonerated of any crime. …. Defense Exhlbit "A"
….Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan Earp were exonerated in court for their action in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.  The Old West's most famous gun battle lasted all of about thirty seconds, but it left three men kaput and three other men shot.  The gunfight also led to criminal charges being filed against the three Earp brothers (Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan) and Doc Holliday who, near the O. K. Corral on October 26, 1881, decided to enforce the law against four notorious "cowboys."  The hearing that followed the shoot-out considered the question of whether the Earps and Holliday killed out of a justifiable fear for their own lives or simply to rid themselves of troublemakers and personal enemies.

1885 –Tuesday I drink Dr. Pepper and I'm proud
I used to be alone in a crowd
but now you look around these days
there seems to de a Dr. Pepper Craze!
I'm a pepper, he's a pepper, she's a pepper
we're a pepper, wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?
I'am a pepper, he's a pepper, she's a pepper,
if you drink Dr. Pepper you're a pepper too!
……The first serving of the soft drink Dr Pepper at a drug store in Waco, Texas.  The Editorial Board of the Gnus, which doesn’t like Dr. Pepper at all,  visited the website of the Dr. Pepper Museum to learn that . It is the oldest of the major brand soft drinks in America. Like its flavor, the origin of Dr Pepper is out-of-the-ordinary. Charles Alderton, a young pharmacist working at Morrison's Old Corner Drugstore, is believed to be the inventor of the now famous drink.

1886 -  Wednesday  Science in detection can be distinguished, even brilliant, but it can never replace either the inexorable march of a fine intellect through a jungle of lies and fears to the clearing of truth, or the flash of perception along a sensitive nerve touched off by a tone of a voice or a flicker of an eye……From, The Golden Spiders…..Happy Birthday,  Rex Stout, American author born in Noblesville, Indiana. He is most famous for his  detective character Nero Wolfe who appeared in 46 of  his books.  Wolfe was an eccentric, chubby, orchid loving, beer drinking gourmet sleuth assisted by his wisecracking aide, Archie Goodwin.

1887  - Thursday   I ought to know by this time that when a fact appears to be opposed to a long train of deductions it invariably proves to be capable of bearing some other interpretation……..Sherlock Holmes, Study in Scarlet…..And speaking of fictional detectives, see 1986 above, Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print Study in Scarlet. This was 28 year old Arthur Conan Doyle’s first story about the detective he named Sherlock Holmes  and was published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual. In November 1886 Conan Doyle signed away all his rights for a measly Ł25.  His next story was The Sign of Four. However it  wasn’t until a London magazine called the Strand  began publishing Doyle’s Holmes adventures in 1891 that the detective became a phenomenon. Today hundreds of books, articles and movies have been devoted to the great detective and his biographer, Dr. John Watson, at 221b Baker Street, London.

            1890-Monday- Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.  ……Terri Guillemets.  Kipp, in the northeast part of  Montana had an amazing 34 degree (F) temperature rise in only 7 minutes.  A total rise of 80 degrees occurred in a few hours as 30" of snow was melted in a half day. This put a quite a damper on the Kipp Chamber of Commerce “Fun in the Snow “ celebration

1891  -  Tuesday  What is so fascinating about sitting around watching a bunch of pituitary cases stuff a ball through a hoop?.....Woody Allen……This date bounces around. Canadian, Dr. James B. Naismith, sports figure, inventor, teacher, invented the game of basketball at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. A janitor provided peach baskets instead of Naismith’s requested boxes.  Naismith introduced his invention -- the game of basketball -- on Dec. 21, He selected two men to be the captains. After they chose sides, Naismith tossed a soccer ball up between the two centers – there were 18 men to a side. As he later wrote, it was the start of the first basketball game and the finish of the trouble with that class. Word spread about the newly invented game, and numerous associations wrote Naismith for a copy of the rules, which were published in the January 15, 1892, issue of the Triangle, the YMCA Training School’s campus paper. Still to come were tattooed chest pounding thugs, constantly blasting music mixed with over caffeinated screaming announcers, taking 25 minutes to play the last 30 seconds of a game, silly towel waving by spectators, optional defense, and many players with I.Qs matching their heights in inches.

1903  Tuesday   It would have been more logical if silent pictures had grown out of the talkie instead of the other way round…….Mary Pickford …….  The Great Train Robbery, the 1st Western film, was released. The uncredited director was  Edwin S. Porter, a cameraman for Thomas Edison’s production company.  It was filmed not in the old west – Wyoming,  but on the East Coast in various locales in New Jersey such as  Edison's New York studio, at Essex County Park in New Jersey, and along the Lackawanna railroad. The  12-minute movie, with 14 scenes introduced three of the great American cinema traditions—editing, the chase scene, and the Western.  Star, Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson actually played 3 roles; a bandit, a shot passenger, and a “tenderfoot” dancer.  The plot was inspired by an actual robbery that occurred on August 29, 1900, when four members of George Leroy Parker's (Butch Cassidy) 'Hole in the Wall' gang halted the No. 3 train on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks toward Table Rock, Wyoming. The bandits forced the conductor to uncouple the passenger cars from the rest of the train and then blew up the safe in the mail car to escape with about $5,000 in cash.

    1911 –Friday I'd rather win two or three, lose one, win two or three more. I'm a great believer in things evening out. If you win a whole bunch in a row, somewhere along the line you're going to lose some too…….Happy Birthday,  Walter Alston, American baseball player and Dodgers manager born in Venice, Ohio.  Alston was the king of the one year contracts. He signed 23 consecutive one-year contracts as manager of the Dodgers in keeping with their policy at the time of signing managers to one-year contracts. He succeeded Charlie Dressen, who was fired for demanding a three-year contract. Alson managed Dodgers' teams to four World Series Championships – 1955 (the only one in Brooklyn), 1959, 1963 and 1965,  and three National League Championships 1956, 1966 and 1974. His playing career consisted of, being a first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals for 1 game on  September 27 1936. He struck out in his lone major league at bat.


    1913 –Monday  I can't tell you the joy I felt in flying in that show … I loved it so. The freedom of spirit that was Peter Pan was suddenly there for me. I discovered I was happier in the air than on the ground. Happy Birthday, Mary Martin, American actress and singer born in Weatherford, Texas.  Martin had lengthy and highly successful career on film and on the stage but for the Editorial Board of the Gnus, she will always be Peter Pan. She lost out the lead in the original Broadway production of the James M. Barrie play ….to Jean Arthur but when it was turned into a musical she probably felt I’ve gotta crow as she won the lead. The show was telecast on NBC's Producer's Showcase, airing on March 7, 1955, repeated on January 9, 1956. We saw it both times.  Oh yes, she was the mother of Larry Hagman, Jeannie’s astronaut on I Dream of Jeannie and J.R on Dallas.

1913 -Monday  Today you can go to a gas station and find the cash register open and the toilets locked. They must think toilet paper is worth more than money…..

Joey Bishop…….. Prior to the construction of the first Gulf station in Pittsburgh and the gazillions of  filling stations that followed throughout the United States, automobile drivers pulled into almost any old general or hardware store, or even blacksmith shops in order to fill up their tanks. On this day, the  first U.S. drive-in automobile gas station opened at the intersection of Baum Boulevard and St. Clair Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was operated by the Gulf Oil Company. The station featured free air, water, crankcase service, restrooms, sold the first commercial roadmaps, and had  a lighted sign for "Good Gulf Gasoline." It was open all night…..and gas was 27 cents a gallon!!!!!!!!  While the gas station is gone, there is a plaque which  reads: At this site in Dec. 1913, Gulf Refining Co. opened the first drive-in facility designed and built to provide gasoline, oils, and lubricants to the motoring public.

            1913 –Monday- But did he ever return?
No, he never returned,
And his fate is still unlearned.
He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Buenos Aires,
He's the man who never returned…..
with apologies to the Kingston Trio…..The Buenos Aires Subway, the Subte, started operating, it became the first underground railway system in the southern hemisphere and in Latin America. 
The first line of the metro, Line A, running from Plaza de Mayo to Plaza Miserere, was built and initially operated by a private company.   Two companies, Corporación de Transportes de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires and Administración General de Transportes de Buenos Aires were in charge of the subway and then liquidized, before the state-owned company Subterráneos de Buenos Airestook over in 1963.

1913 – Monday I will build a motor car for the great multitude….Henry Ford.   The Ford Motor Company introduced the first moving assembly line. Prior to this, all cars including Ford’s Model T, introduced in 1908 were hand crafted. Constructed in in the company’s Highland Park, Michigan automobile factory, initially Ford used its new assembly line technique to manufacture flywheel magnetos at the Highland Park factory unit. And, of course, a flywheel magneto is a magneto mounted in the flywheel of a small engine, often a two-stroke – a magneto is is a combination of a distributor and generator built into one unit.  Got it?  While the standard practice had been for each worker to assemble his own magneto, the introduction of the assembly line meant that the entire operation was divided into 29 tasks. These now started to be performed by 29 different workmen along a moving belt. The average time required to assemble a magneto dropped from 20 minutes to 13 minutes so clearly the system had its attractions.

     1918 –Sunday  Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make………Bela Lugosi………..Transylvania united with the Kingdom of Romania, following the incorporation of all the undead in caskets in Bessarabia on March 27 and all the undead in caskets in Bukovina on November 28, thus concluding what  was called either the Great Union or the Brides of Dracula. The entire process is documented in the film, Twilight.

1919 – Monday If you want a party hack, don't elect me…..Lady Astor - Nancy Astor - an American born in Virginia, was sworn in as the first female member of the British Parliament. After divorcing her first husband, Astor,  married  Waldorf Astor, ( If you’re thinking Waldorf Astoria, New York City - William Waldorf Astor opened the 13-story Waldorf Hotel on the site of his mansion at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street) the great-great-grandson of the American fur trader John Jacob Astor. When Waldorf Astor was “promoted” to the House of Lords, good old Nancy from Virginia was elected to his vacated seat in the House of Commons.  The  first woman elected to the British Parliament was Constance Markiewicz, but she did not take up her seat because of her Irish nationalist views.

1921 –Thursday- Oh yeah, I need steam
Feel the steam all around me
Ah you're turning up the heat
When I start to dream aloud
See you move your hands and feet
Won't you step into this cloud of steam
This steam
….Peter Gabriel…..Steam…….The Detroit Steam Motors Corporation announced the Trask steam car. Very few of these touring cars were actually built. All of them had a 2-cylinder engine of their own design. A handful of prototype models carrying the Windsor name were also built for the company's projected sales in Canada. The basic model was a touring car to sell for $1,000. A larger model was announced in late 1923, with a sedan priced at $1,900.  A steam car craze had started when a steam-driven automobile had reached the world-record speed of 127.66mph in 1906.  Those customers who received the handful of completed cars complained that the vehicles were sluggish and unpredictable, sometimes going in reverse when they should go forward.

1921 – Thursday –I am Tarzan of the Apes. I want you. I am yours. You are mine. We live here together always in my house. I will bring you the best of fruits, the tenderest deer, the finest meats that roam the jungle. I will hunt for you. I am the greatest of the jungle fighters. I will fight for you. I am the mightiest of the jungle fighters. You are Jane Porter, I saw it in your letter. When you see this you will know that it is for you and that Tarzan of the Apes loves you…….Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes  ……..The  premiere of The Adventures of Tarzan starring Elmo Lincoln, with sixteen year old  Louise Lorraine as Jane and featuring Joe Martin as “A Man in An Ape Suit” . Filmed in the jungles of  Arizona., it was directed by Robert F. Hill and Scott Sidney. The movie combined two Edgar Rice Burroughs books, The Return of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar. In case you were wondering about actors who have played Tarzan; Gordon Griffith    1918  (young Tarzan)
Elmo Lincoln       1918-1921
Gene Pollar        1920
P. Dempsey Tabler  1920
James Pierce       1927
Frank Merrill      1928-1929
Johnny Weismuller  1932-1948
Buster Crabbe      1933
Herman Brix       1935-1938
Glen Morris        1938
Lex Barker         1949-1953
Clint Walker       1954
Gordon Scott       1955-1960
Denny Miller       1959
Jock Mahoney       1962-1963
Ron Ely            1966-1970
Mike Henry         1966-1968
Miles O'Keefe      1981
Christopher Lambert 1984
Joe Lara           1989
Wolf Larsen        1991
Casper Van Dien    1998
Travis Fimmel      2003

            1922- Friday- How do I Land?... Message written over  downtown Los Angeles…..(We’ve also  seen this as Nov. 28 which seems to be the generally accepted date, but…..) Cyril Turner became the first U.S skywriter. An Englishman, Turner wrote “Hello U.S.A. Call Vanderbilt 7200" .  They received over 47,000 calls in less than three hours.  He wrote letters in the sky a half-mile high using oil dropped on the planes hot exhaust pipe and manipulated by levers.  Skywriting is done by one plane that can generally write up to six characters, with a skilled pilot at times maneuvering upside down as they decide when smoke is needed for the letters. Five to seven planes are needed for longer messages

 1923 – Saturday I no longer live in a world of soundless movement and voiceless faces.. ….Patient of Dr. William House……William F. House, American neurotologist  born in Kansas City, Missouri. In the 1960's, House developed and implanted the first cochlear implant.  The first medical device to restore a human sense, the implant provided the opportunity to hear for deaf and hard of hearing patients whose condition could not be improved by hearing aids or other means. He was also credited with introducing the use of the operating microscope to neurosurgery and developed the first surgical treatment for Meniere’s disease, which includes episodes of vertigo. This cured first American in space,  astronaut Alan Shepard.

1924    Monday  Fascinating Rhythm,
You've got me on the go!
Fascinating Rhythm,
I'm all a-quiver……
George and Ira Gershwin's musical Lady Be Good,  premiered at the Liberty Theatre on Broadway. The hit musical closed on September 12, 1925, running for 330 performances. Stars were Victor Arden, Ward Arnold and Adele and Fred Astaire.  Although the Gershwin brothers did not write all of the numbers for the musical, they did create the majority of the songs, including the hits Fascinating Rhythm, Oh, Lady be Good!, and The Half of it, Dearie’ Blues.

1925 - Tuesday In many respects my career and experiences with people and events have been seamless in that I cannot separate one from another. Without doubt, the thread of one's life should be within the matrix of the total human experience. Happy Birthday, Martin Rodbell, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and poet,  was born in Baltimore, Maryland.  Rodbell shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Alfred G. Gilman for "their discovery of G-proteins – the material from which G-strings are created - and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells."  G-proteins are a family of proteins that work as switches and intermediary between guanosine diphosphate (GDP) and guanosine triphosphate (GTP) to regulate downstream cell processes.  The Editiorial Board of the Gnus looked up guansonine diphosphate and guanosine triphosphate and it didn’t help.  Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…..Groucho Marx.

1934 Saturday Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed. ….Josef Stalin…………Dictatorial Bulimic,  Josef Stalin began a purge of real and perceived enemies and the head of the Communist Party in Leningrad, Sergei M. Kirov, was one of those assassinated    The Library of Congress sums it up neatly; the murder of Sergei Kirov, set off a chain of events that culminated in the Great Terror of the 1930s. Kirov was a full member of the ruling Politburo, leader of the Leningrad party apparatus, and an influential member of the ruling elite. Some party members had even approached him secretly with the proposal that he take over as general secretary -  Big mistake -  In need of a pretext for launching a broad purge, Stalin evidently decided that murdering Kirov would be expedient. The murder was carried out by a young assassin named Leonid Nikolaev. Recent evidence has indicated that Stalin and the NKVD planned the crime. Stalin then used the murder as an excuse for introducing draconian laws against political crime and for conducting a witch-hunt for alleged conspirators against Kirov. Over the next four-and-a-half years, millions of innocent party members and others were arrested

1941 Monday  We, by grace of heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on the Throne of a line unbroken for ages eternal, enjoin upon ye, Our loyal and brave subjects:

We hereby declare War on the United States of America and the British Empire. The men and officers of Our Army and Navy shall do their utmost in prosecuting the war. Our public servants of various departments shall perform faithfully and diligently their respective duties; the entire nation with a united will shall mobilize their total strength so that nothing will miscarry in the attainment of Our war aims. …..As his fleet was steaming towards Pearl Harbor, Japanese emperor Hirohito signed a declaration of war. Japan’s Tojo rejected U.S. proposals for a Pacific settlement as fantastic and unrealistic. Tojo and the militarists would take the primary blame for the war.  Hirohito got off mainly because the probably would not be peace if he was tried as a war criminal.

1941 -Monday There was a realism and a sense of excitement like nothing I had ever felt before, not only was I amazed, I determined then and there to figure out how it worked. ……Reaction to seeing House of Wax…..Happy Birthday, Stephen A. Benton American physicist born in San Francisco.  Benton  was a pioneer in medical imaging and fine-arts holography. Using common white light, in  1968, he invented the “rainbow holograms” as seen on credit cards while working for Polaroid Corporation. He stated that his fascination with optical phenomena began with the 3-D glasses he used as an 11-year-old to watch the 1953 movie House of Wax. (not the later Paris Hilton version – for that bomb he may have advocating blinding people).

1945 – Saturday ….I'd make a wonderful Lady Macbeth. I'll wear a pair of platform shoes or something …..Happy Birthday, Bette Midler, American singer-songwriter, actress and producer born in Honolulu.  The “Divine Miss M” got her start performing in the homosexual bath houses of New York City with accompanist, Barry Manilow.  After her mainstream breakthrough, The Editorial Board of the Gnus and Mrs. Editorial Board of the Gnus attended several Midler concerts during the early 1970s – she came on stage in a diaper at midnight for her New Year’s Eve 1972 concert - and loved her early recordings before she became enveloped in schmaltz and went event more mainstream as her career evolve.  Wind Beneath My Wings? Really?  For Bette at her best, listen to her version of Jackie Wilson’s Higher and Higher, her Delta Dawn, and  Bobby Freeman’s Do You Want to Dance.

1948 –Wednesday The final mystery is oneself. …..Oscar Wilde…..The Taman Shud Case. The body was found on the shore of Somerton Beach. The man was resting against the seawall, slumped forward, with a half-smoked cigarette lying on his lapel. He was well dressed, in a suit with shined and heeled shoes- odd attire for a beach on a summer day. There was no sign of violence or a struggle. The man carried no identification of any kind. In an Agatha Christie type  mystery for you,  the body of an unidentified man was  found in Adelaide, Australia.  There was a train ticket but of course he never used it since he was kaput. The case involved an undetectable poison – possibly since if it was undetectable..and a secret code in a very rare book found in a suitcase that may have belonged to the gent.  It remains unsolved and is "one of Australia's most profound mysteries."  Taman Shud was written on a scrap of paper hidden in one of the man’s pockets. The phrase translates as "ended" or "finished" and is a phrase used on the last page of a collection of poems called The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

1952 –Monday-  That, that) Dude looks like a lady
(That, that) Dude looks like a lady
(That, that) Dude looks like a lady
(That, that) Dude looks like a lady …..
Aerosmith…Breathlessly, The  New York Daily News reported - Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty  - the news of Christine Jorgenson, formerly George William Jorgensen, Jr of the Bronx, the first notable case of a sex change operation in a hospital in Copenhagen. The surgery was directed by Dr. Christopher Hamburger. George took the name Christine in his honor.  Jorgensen was not the first person to undergo sex-reassignment surgery. During the 1920s,  German doctors performed the surgery on at least two patients. The difference, in Jorgensen’s case, was that he/she underwent hormone-replacement therapy in conjunction with the surgery. The earlier surgeries were strictly cut-and-paste.

1955 –Thursday I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move. ………..In Montgomery Alabama, a tired (well she was tired but the act of civil disobedience was planned)  Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, an act that was in direct violation of a city ordinance requiring black people to ride in the rear of the bus. Three days after the incident, she was found guilty and ordered to pay a $10 fine, plus an additional $4 in court costs. According to a Montgomery city ordinance in 1955, African Americans were required to sit at the back of public buses and were also obligated to give up those seats to white riders if the front of the bus filled up. Parks was in the first row of the black section when the white driver demanded that she give up her seat to a white man. This single act of nonviolent resistance sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, an eleven-month struggle to desegregate the city’s buses. Under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., the boycott resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that public bus segregation is unconstitutional and catapulted both King and Parks into the national spotlight.

    1957 -Sunday- Took a walk and passed your house
Late last night
All the shades were pulled and drawn
Way down tight
From within, a dim light cast
Two silhouettes on the shade
Oh, what a lovely couple they ma-ade
…..The Rays………Three rock n’ roll greats made their national TV debut on the same  Ed Sullivan Show: Buddy Holly and the Crickets  - Peggy Sue and That'll Be The Day, Sam Cooke – Sentimental Reasons and You Send Me, and the Rays Silhouettes (well the Rays were one-hit wonders but Silhouettes is a great song). Also appearing was Bobby Helms – Special Angel (but more famous for the later Christmas ear worm, Jingle Bell Rock), Polly Bergen and actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr. who recited Kipling’s poem If.

            1958 – Monday- It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style. ….Oscar Wilde …….The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago, Illinois, killed  92 children and three nuns. The fire in the K-8 school began in the basement of the 48-year-old building and quickly spread to an open stairway before fanning out into the second floor, trapping most victims in their classrooms and forcing others to jump from second-story windows.  There was only one fire escape, no sprinklers, no automatic fire alarm, no smoke or heat detectors, no alarm connected to the fire department, no fire-resistant stairwells and no fire-safe doors from the stairwells to the second floor. While the building's exterior was brick, the interior was made almost entirely of combustibles - stairs, walls, floors, doors and roof - all wood. The floors had been coated and re-coated many times with flammable petroleum based waxes. Other than that, things were fine. 

1958  -Monday To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him
Just to see him smile, makes my life worthwhile
To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him
And I do
………………The Teddy Bears' To Know Him Is To Love Him landed at  #1 on the Billboard Charts replacing It’s Only Make Believe by Conway Twitty.  The Teddy Bears would then be stuffed from the top spot by The Chipmunk Song by David Seville (Ross Bagdasarian) and the Chipmunks.  Yes, one of the Teddy Bears was the song’s writer, Phil Spector,  who claimed he  was inspired to write this by a photograph of his father Ben's tombstone that said "To have known him was to have loved him." P

            1959-Tuesday-  Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised……Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Introduction to The Worst Journey in the World………Twelve nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, took off their polar strength gloves and signed the Antarctica Treaty.  The treaty banned military activity and weapons testing on that continent. This was the first arms control agreement signed during the Cold War period.  It took effect  in 1961 and has since been signed by many other nations. The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 50.  Countries signing the treaty receive a cute little stuffed penguin and 100 lbs of petrel guano.

1959 -  Tuesday  If you could see the earth illuminated when you were in a place as dark as night, it would look to you more splendid than the moon…..Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems………..The first color photograph of Earth was received from outer space.  A camera mounted on the nose of a Thor missile launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida took the first color picture of Earth from space. The camera was in the missile’s nose cone. Talk about the mail being slow,  the data capsule containing the camera wouldn’t be recovered until February 16, 1960 on the beach of Mayaguana Island, in the Bahama Islands. The photo provided proof that the movie, Plan 9 From Outer Space, released in July was in fact a documentary revealing how Aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop humanity from creating the Solaranite.   The first black and white photo was taken in 1946 with a camera attached to a V-2 rocket.

1967  Friday  Me shooting 40% at the foul line is just God's way to say nobody's perfect…..Shaquille O'Neal…….Wilt Chamberlain, a legendarily bad free throw shooter set an NBA record by missing 22 free throws in a game.  In all, Wilt, playing for the 76ers went 8 for 30 from the foul line yet still scored 52 points in a 133-109 win over the Seattle SuperSonics.  Chamberlain also set the record (shared with Adrian Dantly) of  most free throws made in a game - 28 vs. the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962 – this was the game in which he scored 100 points.  Cliff Roux of the St. Louis Bombers went  0 for 20 in free throws during a 1948 game vs. the Knicks.

1971 –Wednesday The Purpose of Project Gutenberg is to encourage the creation and distribution of electronic books …….Michael S. Hart, a student at the University of Illinois launched Project Gutenberg. Hart posted the  Declaration of Independence using a Xerox Sigma V mainframe computer at his university’s Materials Research Lab. Project Gutenberg, named for  Johannes Gutenberg who who developed a method of printing from movable type – the printing press – in 1440, is a volunteer effort to digitize culturally-significant books and texts that have passed into public domain. The initial goal is to make the ten thousand most consulted books available to the public at little or no charge, and to do so by the end of the 20th century

1976  Grundy (to the camera): Well that's it for tonight. I'll be seeing you soon. I hope l'll not be seeing you (the band) again. From me though, goodnight. …..End of show……The rather talentless but publicity aware,  Sex Pistols used profanity, and quite a bit of I,t on television and got branded as "rotten punks."  Coincidently, the Pistols' single Anarchy in the UK had been released the week before. They appeared on the live, early evening local London magazine show Thames Today, and in doing so propelled themselves to fame and fortune. They also destroyed the career of the show’s host Bill Grundy.  This was a long time ago and any idiot can and will drop an F bomb, it has become an adjective,  and they used it several times and threw in “shit” for good measure but then……hoo boy, the cries of outrage could be heard across the nation and beyond, while boosting record sales. By Christmas, the Sex Pistols were famous ……tabloid famous.  A bit more of the witty repartee - STEVE: You dirty sod. You dirty old man.
GRUNDY: Well keep going, chief. Keep going. Go on, you've got another ten seconds. Say something outrageous.
STEVE: You dirty bastard.
GRUNDY: Go on, again.
STEVE: You dirty f..ker!
GRUNDY: What a clever boy.
STEVE: You f..king rotter!

1977-Thursday  I wanna jump, but I'm afraid I'll fall
I wanna holler, but the joint's too small
Young man rhythm's got a hold of me, too
I got the rockin' pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu
….Huey “Piano” Smith…… When Legionaire’s Disease broke out the previous year in Philadelphia largely among people attending a state convention of the American Legion, no one knew exactly what it was but it wasn’t good.  On this day  the isolation of the bacterium Legionella pneumophila that was the cause of Legionnaire's Disease, was described in a scientific paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. After the bacterium causing the illness was named, the name of the illness was changed to legionellosis


1980-Monday  Life begins with a disk drive. ……… Tim Paterson IBM delivered its first prototype PC to Microsoft. IBM  had selected Microsoft to create MS-DOS, the operating system for its first PC. Steve Ballmer an assistant to Gates. Paul Allen  had purchased the QDOS operating system (Quick and Dirty Operating System) written in six weeks by Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products, for their prototype Intel 8086 based computer for $50,000. It was renamed MS-DOS and licensed to IBM. And voila, The IBM 5150 PC standardized the marketplace. Oh, and in 1981, Tim Paterson quit Seattle Computer Products and found employment at Microsoft


1986-Monday  Well, I love Cubism, it's my favorite style
When I see a Cubist painting I've just got to smile
But there's one painter, I'm his biggest fan
He's the father of Cubism and his name's Cezanne, Cezanne
Cezanne, Cezanne, the father of Cubism
Some people say that it was Picasso
Other people claim it was Dechirico
Some people think it was Modiglian(i)
But they're all crazy, it was Paul Cezanne, Cezanne
Cezanne, Cezanne, the father of Cubism
……….Five Chinese Brothers, Paul Cezanne….. The Musee d'Orsay in Paris was was inaugurated by the President of the Republic, François Mitterrand.   It opened to the general public on December 9th. The Museum, located in the center of the city, on the banks of the Seine, opposite the Tuileries Gardens was installed in the former Orsay railway station, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900.  In 1973 at the urging of Georges Pompidou, the Direction des Musées de France was considering the installation of a new museum in the train station – in which all of the arts from 1848-1914 would be represented, thereby relieving the overcrowded facilities at the Louvre, Jeu de Paume, and other locations.  Needless to say, the favorite section of the Editorial Board of the Gnus is the top floor with works by impressionists Degas, Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro, and Caillebotte. In the Gachet collection, there are works by Van Gogh and Cezanne.  Highlights in sculpture include breathtaking Degas dancers.


1987 – Tuesday If we offer a true weather-free, turn-up-and-go, frequent departure, te dah de dah de dah de dum good service, why shouldn't we command a premium for speed? ….Alastair Morton….. The digging of the Eurotunnel began on the English side to link England and France, under co-chairman Alastair Morton, well it wasn’t exactly under Morton, one couldn’t expect him to sit still for a few years.  Morton oversaw building of  the  31.4-mile Channel Tunnel between Folkestone, England, and Calais, France.  It would cost cost nearly twice as much as the original Ł2.8 billion estimate.  The tunnel would carry high-speed Eurostar passenger trains, Eurotunnel roll-on/roll-off vehicle transport - the largest in the world - and international rail freight trains.


1990 -Saturday Hello, I must be going.
I cannot stay,
I came to say
I must be going.
I'm glad I came
but just the same
I must be going
……Groucho Marx…..British and French workers digging the English Channel Tunnel, the "Chunnel" (
le tunnel sous la Manche  in France) between their countries finally met in the service tunnel after knocking out a passage large enough to walk through and shake hands, 22.3 km from the UK and 15.6 km from France. Englishman Graham Fagg and Frenchman Phillippe Cozette carried out the ceremonial break through. The complete story is available on the History Chunnel. It took 15,000 workers over seven years with lots of little shovels and pails – the 11 boring machines helped too,  to dig the tunnel. There are actually three complete tunnels in the Chunnel.  The two outside ones are the passenger trains. The small inner one is a guidance train. Squeegee men immediately appeared and offered wipe their visors. The Editorial Board of the Gnus had the pleasure of staying at the Old Station House  B&B in near Shrewsbury in Shropshire. The owners, Colin and Margaret Langley-Ingress are quite knowledgeable about the entire chunnel process.  Sir Colin was and engineer on the project and one of the first through and Lady Margaret was one of the first women to go through. They have mementos, great stories to tell about the process, delicious meals and fabulous antique decorated rooms.


1991 - Sunday Oh what a time we had / Living on the ground / I've moved to Station #5 / See you next time around……Montrose……Space Station #5……..The space shuttle Atlantis STS-44 safely returned from an abbreviated unclassified – that meant it wasn’t secret and the astronauts didn’t have to wear fake glasses and moustaches, Department of Defense  mission. The landing was originally scheduled for Kennedy Space Center on December 4, but the ten-day mission was shortened and the landing rescheduled following the  November 30th on-orbit failure of one of three orbiter inertial measurement units. Don’t you hate when that happens?  Unfortunately, interstellar gluons attached themselves to that week orbiter inertial measurement unit and mutated on exposure to Earth’s atmosphere leading to the development of the dread disease, Textosterone Moronicus, which causes people to not only text while driving but to attempt to rationalized their stupidity.


1992    Tuesday  What goes, "Ding, dong, bang"?

Amy Fisher at your door. ……..The tabloids were orgasmic as in  In Mineola, N.Y., Amy Fisher was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for shooting and seriously wounding Mary Jo Buttafuoco. Fisher was released in 1999 after serving 7 years. They all got their 15 minutes of fame and then they all went away.  The “Long Island Lolita” as the slutty 17 year old  was dubbed had carried on an affair with the slutty, yet piggish twit,  Joey Buttafuco, husband of Mary Jo. In 1993, the DA charged Joey with statutory rape. Amy testified about their sexual affair. Joey was indicted on felony charges of rape, sodomy, and endangering the welfare of a minor. Joey pled guilty to one count of statutory rape. He served six months in prison.  Fisher went on to become a porn star after her release.


1997- Monday -You're on Earth. There's no cure for that.”…..Samuel Beckett ……..Eight planets from our Solar System lined up from West to East beginning with Pluto, followed by Mercury, Mars, Venus, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn, with a crescent moon alongside, in a rare configuration visible from Earth that lasted until Dec 8. Of course at that time, Pluto was a planet, now it isn’t. It was a gala time for scrabble players as the phenomenon is called a syzygy.  A syzygy is the alignment of three or more celestial bodies in the same gravitational system along a straight line. The word is usually used in context with the Sun, Earth, and the Moon or a planet, where the latter is in conjunction or opposition. Solar and lunar eclipses occur at times of syzygy, as do transits and occultations.


1997  Monday  I wasn't choking P.J. that hard,  I mean, he could breathe……. In California Latrell Sprewell, selfish, borderline insane, guard for the Golden State Warriors, choked and threatened coach P.J. Carlesimo. The Warriors quickly terminated Sprewell’s multi-million contract and the NBA then banned him from basketball for one year.  Sprewell decided that the best way to settle a disagreement at practice with coach PJ Carlesimo was to throttle the life out of him. When that didn't work, he threatened to kill him. In 2004, after being given a second (third? Fourth? Fifth? Chance ) by the New York Knicks – never considered among the top organization in the league and then being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sprewell would turn a three-year, $21 million contract offer from  Minnesota by declaring that "I have a family to feed," Thankfully, that was the end of his career.


1998    Tuesday  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

 Toys in every store

 But the prettiest sight to see

 Is the holly that will be

 On your own front door …..Meredith Wilson…..Ranma, Cuba’s only daily newspaper, recommended that Christmas be re-established as a permanent holiday. Shortly before the visit of Pope John Paul II to Havana,  Cuba's Communist Party recommended that Dec. 25 be re-established as an annual holiday. Christmas went kaput in 1969 when dictator, Fidel Castro said, he needed everyone to work on the sugar harvest.


1998  -Tuesday I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to forget that words are the daughters of the earth, and that things are the sons of heaven. Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas: I wish, however, that the instrument might be less apt to decay, and that signs might be permanent, like the things which they denote…..Samuel Johnson……… Dutch and Flemish lexicographers unveiled a 40-tome dictionary with 45,000 pages that documented words back to 1500.   This item was from the Xeroxian World of the Internet and copied ad nauseum so the Editorial Board of the Gnus researched it a bit further.  We believe it refers to  NL-Translex: Machine Translation for Dutch by Catia Cucchiarini, Johan Van Hoorde and Elizabeth D'Halleweyn. The stated aims of the project are; The practical aim of this project is to develop translation modules between Dutch on the one hand and English, French and German on the other, which translators can use effectively. In particular, the aim is to facilitate the translation work of the European Commission's Translation Service (SdT) and the translation services of official bodies of the EU Member States in their communication with the EU and with one another.  Glad we could clear that up for you…..we think.


1999  - Wednesday We share half our genes with the banana ……Robert McCredie May……… The National Human Genome Research Institute, a team of scientists from Canada, England, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S announced that they had virtually mapped all 34 million chemical letters of the number 22 human chromosome, the 2nd smallest of the 23 pairs.  Why number 22?  Glad you asked. It was chosen to be sequenced first because it is one of the most densely packed, with 33.5 million pieces, or chemical components aka “letters”. Dr. Francis Collins, chair of the Institute, modestly noted “For the first time we can see the entire landscape of a human chromosome. I think this is probably the most important scientific effort that mankind has ever mounted. That includes splitting the atom and going to the moon.” Actually, researchers were only able to map out ninety-seven percent of the chromosome’s genetic material but that was good enough.

2002 - Sunday  She left a country where people knew her worth  She will come back to a country where she means nothing…….Rafael Perreira, a professor of art history of the Central University of Venezuela, noting that under the Hugo Chávez’s government, museums had been neglected and underfunded……. Ever alert Venezuela museum officials discovered that Henri Matisse's $3 million  painting "Odalisque in Red Pants," a 1925 work  of a topless, raven-haired woman kneeling on a floor, was stolen as long as two years earlier from the Sofia Imber Museum of Contemporary Art and replaced by an imitation. Well they didn’t actually discover it as they were contacted by a Miami gallery owner saying that someone had offered to sell it to him. Experts at the museum then inspected their version and were shocked to find that it was a fake, and not a very good one, at that. In 2012 FBI agents recovered the painting and arrested 2 people at the Miami Beach Loews Hotel.

22006    Friday

A poem lovely as a tree.


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;


A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;


A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;


A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;


A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;


Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.


Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast; 
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray 
A tree that may in summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree……Joyce Kilmer….Trees……..In Berkeley, California,  where else?, protesters began sitting in trees near Memorial Stadium which UCal Berkeley officials planned to cut in order to build a $124 million athletic center. The last 4 protesters came down on December 9, 2008.  At its peak, The squatment, had more than a dozen people living on limbs of oak and redwood trees. Over the years they would pass the time hurling feces and assaulting police officers while wasting taxpayer money and educational resources. It was  one of the longest tree-sits ever, falling short of Julia Butterfly Hill's 738-day stay in a coast redwood in Humboldt County 10 years earlier.

2007 -Saturday  If you could be beautiful and not so smart, or brilliant and not so beautiful, what would you be and why?  “Well, I'd rather choose to be beautiful, um because, to be beautiful it's natural. But being smart you can can learn, um a lot of things...a lot of things from the can learn from a lot of things being smart."…… 2001 Miss Philippine’s contestant…….Surprise! 23 year ol Zhang Zilin, Miss China, won the Miss World 2007 title in her own country at the Crown of Beauty Theatre, Sanya. There were an estimated two billion viewers around the world but mostly in China.  Afterwards, the families of the judges were released and all were allowed to leave the country.

2010 –Wednesday The Journal Nature published a research study that estimated the universe contains some 300 sextillion stars, 3 times more than previously calculated.  Blame it on the red dwarfs (we always knew that Grumpy was a Commie).  red dwarfs are relatively small and dim compared to stars like our Sun and astronomers hadn't been able to detect them in galaxies other than our own Milky Way and its nearest neighbors before now and so they didn’t know how much of the total stellar population of the universe is made up of red dwarfs. Powerful instruments on the Keck Observatory in Hawaii were able to  detect the faint signature of red dwarfs in eight massive, relatively nearby galaxies which are located between about 50 million and 300 million light years away. They discovered that the red dwarfs, which are only between 10 and 20 percent as massive as the Sun, were much more bountiful than expected. Oh, here is the number -300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

2011  -Thursday Never go to a country ending in Stan…….John Cafarella…. In Almaty, Kazakhstan, in central Asia,  a new 5.2 mile subway line officially. Work had begun in 1988 under Soviet rule stopped when Soviet rule stopped.  Construction resumed in 2005. There are the seven stations of the Almaty Metro and have stained glass windows, marble floors and intricate mosaics. Stainless steel trains equipped with air conditioning and surveillance cameras arrive at the stations every 15 minutes. Almaty is Kazakhstan’s largest city. It is also known as the “Southern Capital” of the country. To enter the metro, you may use either your multi entry smart card that expires in 90 days , a token valid during one day, or  a dead chicken,. There were initial concerns when the people learned that jerboa, ibex, and antelope were for barred from entry.   

Back To Calendar


1409 –Saturday  Definition of a College professor: someone who talks in other people's sleep……….W. H. Auden……Founded by masters and scholars from Prague, University of Leipzig, in Germany, opened.  These were German students and professors who withdrew from the University of Prague in a snit when Wenceslas IV, king of Bohemia, turned Prague, founded in 1348 over to the Czechs. The first football game between the Leipzig Tonsures  and the  University of Vienna  Lipizzaners was held later that day.

1170   Wednesday Will no one rid me of this troublesome (turbulent) priest? ….King Henry II…..Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, returned to Canterbury from France.  This was not a good thing.  Becket had been feuding with former bff  King Henry II since 1164  when Henry passed a law which stated that any person found guilty in a Church court would be punished by a royal court. Becket disagreed, and knowing of Henry’s temper, he fled to France for his own safety. On his return to England, he excommunicated Roger de Pont L'Évęque, the Archbishop of York and other leading churchmen who had supported Henry while he was away. Henry, who was in Normandy at the time, was, shall we say, not happy, when he heard the news and supposedly shouted out his infamous question.  On December 29, in Canterbury Cathedral, four of Henry’s knights did just that.

1620   Wednesday   I read about eight newspapers in a day. When I'm in a town with only one newspaper, I read it eight times……Will Rogers…….  An English newspaper headline read: “The new tidings out of Italie are not yet come.” In December, 2006 this was reported to be the world’s oldest headline by the Economist. The Editorial Board of the Gnus found the article but the name of the newspaper is not mentioned.  Subsequent headlines included, Headless Body in Topless Bar, Diana Was Alive Hours Before She Died, Marijuana Issue Sent to a Joint Committee, Homicide Victims Rarely Talk to  Police, Miracle Cure Kills 6th Patient, The Bra Celebrates a Pair of Historic Milestones This Year, Police Arrest Everyone on February 22nd,  and Lawyers Back, Despite Use of Bug Spray.

1697 –Monday An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches with spire steeples which point as with a silent finger to the sky and stars….Samuel Taylor Coleridge…….. St Paul's Cathedral in London was consecrated.  This was the fourth iteration of the cathedral, built on the highest point in the city.  This St. Paul’s was a masterpiece of Britain's most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, and  was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The Right Reverend Henry Compton, Bishop of London, preached the sermon at the consecration……to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity….  The first service was  a Thanksgiving for the Peace between England and France.

1761 –Wednesday  I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness – to save oneself trouble…….Agatha Christie………. Joyeaux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Nicolas Louis Robert,  French inventor born in Paris. Robert  invented a prototype of a machine on which paper was formed on a continuous sheet of wire cloth. He patented it on  January 18, 1799. Robert was working as a proofreader for the famous printer Pierre-Francois Didot, when he came up with  the idea of a machine to produce a continuous roll of paper to fill the urgent need for banknotes after the French Revolution. Good news - Robert completed the design and sold his patent rights to St. Leger Didot for the sum of 27,400 francs. Bad news - financial difficulties at the mill, however, prevented Didot from paying Robert for the patent, and although Robert eventually recovered ownership, he was never able to realize any money for his invention.

1763 – Friday  … bigotry no sanction and to persecution no assistance…...George Washington, letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport.  Sixty six years after the consecration of St. Paul’s came he dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, the oldest synagogue in what would become the United States.  The congregation was founded in 1658 by the descendants of 'Marranos' who fled the Inquisitions in Spain (“no one expects the Spanish Inquisition! “ Monty Python) and Portugal and who themselves left the Caribbean seeking the greater religious tolerance that Rhode Island offered. Isaac Touro became the first spiritual leader of Jeshuat Israel in 1758. In 1759, the congregation bought some land and hired Peter Harrison to design the synagogue.

1775 – Saturday You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag
……George M. Cohan……The USS Alfred, flag ship of the Colonial Fleet on the Delaware River, became  the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag, the precursor to the Stars and Stripes.  The flag was hoisted by Navy Lieutenant, John Paul Jones. The design consisted of 13 stripes, alternately red and white, representing the Thirteen Colonies, with a blue field in the upper left-hand corner bearing the red cross of St. George of England with the white cross of St. Andrew of Scotland. Later the flag was raised on the liberty pole at Prospect Hill, which was near George Washington's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the “country’s”  unofficial national flag on July 4, 1776, Independence Day; and it remained the unofficial national flag and ensign of the Navy until June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress authorized the Stars and Stripes.

1804- Sunday I am the successor, not of Louis XVI, but of Charlemagne……In Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (not Indiana), and the day after his church wedding to the promiscuous Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself, Napoleon I. Pope Pius VII handed Napoleon the crown that the 35-year-old general placed on his own head. Napoleon planed his coronation with as much care as he did his wars. The task of organizing the coronation was given to L. Ph. de Ségur, the Grand master of Ceremonies, and A. L. de Rémusat, then First Chamberlain. The architects Percier and Fontaine took care of the temporary decorations and Jean Baptiste Isabey designed the costumes. Napoleon planned all along to avoid accepting the Pope as his overlord and Pius, a practical man, agreed to the order of ceremony in exchange for regaining several papal territories, a pied-ŕ-terre in the 7th Arrondissement, never having to wait on line for the Eiffel Tower,  and a chance to visit France with the hope of winning the French people back to the Catholic church. The ceremony lasted for more than three hours ending by three o'clock. Napoleon’s rationale was based on an ostensible plot to do him in by the Bourbons,  family of monarchectomy victim,  Louis XVI. He argued that there should be a hereditary monarchy of Bonapartes in order to prevent the return of the Bourbons.

1805 – Monday  One sharp blow and the war is over ….Napoleon…..One year after his self-coronation came the  Battle of Austerlitz (aka the Battle of the Three Emperors)  as 68,000 French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte defeated  a 90,000 strong joint Russo-Austrian force. The battle took place near Austerlitz in Moravia (now Slavkov u Brna, Czech Republic).  The French had entered Vienna on November 13 and then pursued the Russian and Austrian allied armies into Moravia. Here, he lured them into a trap, seemly vacating the center of the battlefield but then attacking the weakened allied center.  One of Napoleon's greatest victories, Austerlitz effectively ended the War of the Third Coalition. Two days later, with their territory overrun and their armies destroyed, Austria made peace through the Treaty of Pressburg. The remains of the Russian army withdrew east.Having taken much of Germany, Napoleon abolished the Holy Roman Empire and established the Confederation of the Rhine as a buffer state between France and Prussia. French losses at Austerlitz numbered 1,305 killed, 6,940 wounded, and 573 captured. Allied casualties were massive and included 15,000 killed and wounded, as well as 12,000 captured

1823 –Tuesday The American continents … are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. …….During his seventh annual message to Congress President James Monroe proclaimed the "Monroe Doctrine." He stated that Marilyn Monroe should only star in comedies and not dramas like The Misfits or Clash By Night .  It was a new U.S. foreign policy initiative, primarily the work of Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, as the Monroe Doctrine forbade European interference in the American hemisphere but also asserted U.S. neutrality in regard to future European conflicts.  The doctrine was conceived to meet major concerns of the moment, but it soon became a watchword of U.S. policy in the Western Hemisphere.

1837   Saturday It is to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes…..Arthur Conan Doyle…. Happy Birthday, Dr. Joseph Bell, British physician born in Edinburgh.  Bell was a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh who’s unique skills at observation and deduction made him a celebrity. One of his many students was Arthur Conan Doyle and Bell \ is believed to be the prototype of  Conan Doyle's detective 'Sherlock Holmes.' One of Bell’s more famous demonstrations - This, gentlemen" announced [Professor Bell], "contains a very potent drug. To the taste it is   intensely bitter. It is most offensive to the sense of smell. But I want you to test it by smell and  taste; and, as I don’t ask anything of my students which I wouldn’t be willing to do myself, I will taste it before passing it round"

Here he dipped his finger in the liquid, and placed it in his mouth. The tumbler was passed round. With wry and sour faces the students followed the Professor’s lead. One after another tasted the liquid; varied and amusing were the grimaces made. The tumbler, having gone the round, was returned to the Professor.     "Gentlemen", said he, with a laugh, " I am deeply grieved to find that not one of you has developed this power of perception, which I so often speak about; for if you watched me closely, you would have found that, while I placed my forefinger in the medicine, it was the middle finger which found its way into my mouth"  -Conan Doyle’s Best Books – In Three Volumes Illustrated, B.F. Collier & Son, Publishers    

1845 –Tuesday  …..our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions……John L. O’Sullivan,  The United States Democratic Review, Volume 6, Issue 23 …….Twenty two years to the day after the Monroe Doctrine, in his opening message to Congress, President James Polk cited the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 (though it would not be called by that name until 1852) to insist that no European colony or dominion shall be established on the North American continent. Polk made it clear that he was committed to the expansion of the United States through the annexation of Texas, the acquisition of the Oregon territory, and the purchase of California from Mexico. He did  not use the term Manifest Destiny in his speech.  The term was originally coined by journalist John L. O'Sullivan in 1839,  became the operative term to describe the expansion of the young nation, which happened to be the primary subject of Polk's speech

1859 – Friday  It is possible that the execution of John Brown might consolidate slavery in Virginia, but it is certain that it would shatter the whole American democracy. You save your shame, but you destroy your glory……….Victor Hugo, John Brown kaput. In Charles Town, Virginia,  59  year old abolitionist John Brown was executed on charges of treason, murder, and insurrection. Brown and followers attempted to take over the U.S Military arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Va. and use the weapons to start a slave rebellion and then a republic of freed slaves and abolitionist whites. Things didn’t go well.  A U.S army contingent led by Col. Robert E. Lee ended the plans and arrested Brown.  The revisionism began immediately. The executions as an example of the government's support of slavery. John Brown became their martyr, a hero murdered for his belief that slavery should be abolished. In reality, Brown and his men were prosecuted and executed for taking over a government facility although he should have been tried in a Federal Court, not a State Court.  Brown's name became a symbol of pro-Union, anti-slavery beliefs.

1859 – Friday Painting is the art of hollowing a surface. Joyeaux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday,  Georges Seurat, neo-impressionist French painter, born in Paris.  Seurat,  famous for his dots rather than brush strokes –pointillism and famous for his masterwork, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte, which took two years to complete.  Seurat broke with tradition with his pure colors seemed to blend when viewed from a distance. He  preferred the term Divisionism    to describe his work.

1863  Wednesday   Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung…..P. T. Barnum……Happy Birthday, Charles Ringling, one of the seven Ringling brothers of circus fame, was born in  McGregor, Iowa.  Five Ringlings were involved in the founding of the famous Ringling Brothers Circus which began as a wagon show in 1884 and grew into a large enough circus business than in 1907 they bought the Barnum & Bailey Circus.  Initially they kept them as two separate entities but merged them in 1918 calling their circus the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows.  John Ringling’s son, John Ringling North, sold the circus to interests outside of the family in 196

1864  Friday Say goodnight Gracie……George Burns…… Confederate General Archibald Gracie  was rendered kaput at Petersburg.  Gracie was leading the fighting in the trenches of and he was observing the Union troops through his telescope (or binoculars). Suddenly an artillery shell exploded in front of him.

1867    Monday  In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time . . . Ladies and gentlemen, I beg most earnestly, most gratefully, and most affectionately, to bid you, each and all, farewell….Charles Dickens closing remarks at the end of his 1876/68 Tour.  People waited long lines to hear Charles Dickens give his first reading of his 2nd  American Tour (opening act was Aerosmith) at the Tremont Temple in Boston.  The enthusiastic audience  included literary stars Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson   After Charles Dickens traveled to America for the first time in 1842, he left the country feeling a bit  disillusioned - but he returned to England having gathered material to write American Notes and later Martin Chuzzlewit. Things went better this time.  The 55-year-old Dickens read selections from A Christmas Carol and The Pickwick Papers.

1877 – Sunday  Oxygen, every moment, oxygen every day
I can't live without it, don't take it away
I need to breathe you in like oxygen
……Bryan Adams….French scientist, Louis-Paul Cailletet  (followed a f few days later by the Swiss physicist Raoul Pictet ) became the first to liquefy oxygen. He was quite fluid in his research as he was also was first to liquefy nitrogen, hydrogen, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and acetylene. The process involved cooling them below their critical temperatures, first compressing the gas, then cooling it, then allowing it to expand to cool it still further.
Through cooling and compression, the volume of a gas can be reduced by so much that its molecules collapse upon each other and come into contact, changing into a liquid. The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science notes that the liquefaction of the first of the so-called permanent gases heralded the birth of low-temperature research and is often described in the literature as having started a ‘race’ for attaining progressively lower temperatures.

1881 – Friday Magnetism, as you recall from physics class, is a powerful force that causes certain items to be attracted to refrigerators. …….Dave Barry….. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday,  Heinrich Georg Barkhausen German physicist born in Bremen.  Barkhausen discovered the eponymous  Barkhausen effect in 1919.  And what, you may ask is the Barkhausen effect?  It is  a principle concerning changes in the magnetic properties of metal. His work in acoustics and magnetism led to the discovery that magnetization affects whole domains of a ferromagnetic material, rather than individual atoms alone. After Barkhausening up the wrong tree for a while, he  discovered that a slow, smooth increase of a magnetic field applied to a piece of ferromagnetic material, such as iron, causes it to become magnetized, not continuously but in minute, itty bitty steps. The Barkhausen effect and you – a crackling sound similar to what is actually produced as domains in the iron “snap” and “click” into place can also be heard through your computer speakers. If the iron core is removed from the coil, there is no reorientation of atoms and, therefore, no sound or amplifier output.

1885 – Wednesday … I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti …..Hannibal Lecter……Happy Birthday, George R. Minot American physician  born in Boston.  Minot received (with George Whipple and William Murphy) the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1934 for the introduction of a raw-liver diet to regenerate blood hemoglobin in the treatment of pernicious anemia.  Though we now think of this as a relatively minor ailment, in the early 20th century it was an invariably fatal disease. Minot showed that the findings showed that the ingestion of one half-pound of liver daily effectively reversed the course of the disease.  The Editorial Board of the Gnus does not like liver but does like liverwurst and we’re not sure if that works.  Devouring liver became the standard treatment for pernicious anemia until Vitamin B-12 was isolated, two decades later.

1895Monday The production of cold is a thing very worth of the inquisition both for the use and disclosure of causes …..Francis Bacon….Twelve years after Cailletet’s work (see above, 1877), James Dewar exhibited his new apparatus for the production of liquid air at the Royal Institution  in London. Regenerative cooling proved to be the technological link needed to liquefy hydrogen. On  May 10, 1898, he used it to become the first to statically liquefy hydrogen. The insulated vessel Dewar used was the vacuum container flask he developed earlier which became known as Dewar flasks, which we know as a thermos.  

1902 – Tuesday Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine….Elvis……..The first working V-8 engine was patented in France by French engine designer Leon-Marie-Joseph-Clement Levavasseur. The engine block was the first to arrange eight pistons in the V-formation. The V-formation, allows a crankshaft to be turned by eight pistons with only four throws.  They were called "Antoinette" and were made for a few years but were out of the business in 1909 due to what is called the secondary shake.  The secondary shake is a mixture of the Twist and the Hully Gully.  The V-8  was more successful than the Q-8 and W-8 formations previously tried.  Actually, they went through most of the alphabet and were thinking of turning to Cyrillic when the V-8 finally worked.

1906 – Sunday …… record keeps on spinning
makes my life worth living
record keeps on spinning round
the record keeps on turning
all the hits i'm learning
stay forever in my mind, my mind, my mind
……The Tweeds……Happy Birthday, Peter C. Goldmark American engineer – born in Budapest, Hungary.  While working for Columbia Broadcasting System in 1936 he developed the first commercial color television system.  The system used a rotating three-color disk.  And kiddies, before the 8 track and audio cassette and before the CD and before the MP3 and before iTues there used to be the  the LP (long playing record ). Goldmark developed the
33 1/3 ( revolutions per minute) which would be introduced in 1948.  The LP, and the Editorial Board of the Gnus has dozens of them,  could hold much more music and produce better sound then a 78 revolutions per minute…..even if it was Fabian doing the warbling.

1917 Sunday 
So, my darling, please surrender
All your love so warm and tender
Let me hold you in my arms, dear
While the moon shines bright above
 Russia reached an armistice with the Central Powers although the actual treaty, Brest-Litovsk,  would not be signed until March of 1918.  The Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin had taken over the country in November. They preferred spending Russia’s meager finances on things like food rather that the war with Germany. As a result of Brest-Litovsk, Russia would lose a million square miles of its territory, a third of its population, a majority of its coal, oil, and iron stores, the rights to Alex Olvechkin’s contract, the secret recipe for borsht, Rudolf Nureyev’s ballet slippers, Rudolf Nureyev, Olga Korbut, Vladimir Putin’s soul, a few oligarchs, the toilets for the Sochi Winter Olympics, and much of its industry.

1920 –Thursday He was so depressed, he tried to commit suicide by inhaling next to an Armenian……Woody Allen ……..More than a month of Turkish-Armenian War, the Turkish, with help from the Bolsheviks, dictated the Treaty of Alexandropol. In September 1920 the Turks had attacked, seizing Kars and Alexandropol and the fighting was over.  With the Treaty of Alexandropol Armenia renounced all pre-1914 Turkish territories and Kars and Ardahan, recognized that there were no Armenian minorities in Turkey.  The Armenian Bolsheviks then forced the Armenian government to resign. Armenia would become an independent Soviet Socialist republic within the frontiers that had been under the jurisdiction of the government before the Turkish invasion and a revolutionary committee would take power temporarily. After more than two and half years, following the Armenia genocide by the Turks, independence had come to an end.

1927 –Friday  The question, "Who ought to be boss?" is like asking "Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?" Obviously, the man who can sing tenor….Henry Ford …..The Ford Motor Company discontinued production of the Model T Ford in May 1927. Ford then basically shut down as assembly lines were re-tooled. The first Ford Model A car was rolled out for sale in New York City and in 35 other cities around the U.S., Canada and Europe on this day.  The announcement of the new car was made in October.  125,000 orders were placed for the new Ford before anyone had actually seen one. At the time, the new Ford wasn’t even built.  By December 2 there were huge lines of potential buyers. The car was affordable: the Phaeton sold for $395 and the Tudor Sedan for $495.  Credit terms were easy and the salesmen wore funny clown suits and yelled and had camels walking around and the volume on the commercials was turned up to eleven,

1929 Monday  He got a big ugly club and a head fulla hairuh
(Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
Like great big lions and grizzly bearuhs
(Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
(Alley-Oop) He's the toughest man there is alive
(Alley-Oop) Wearin' clothes from a wildcat's hide
(Alley-Oop) He's the king of the jungle jive
(Look at that cave man go!!) (SCREAM
) …….Hollywood Argyles, Alley Oop…….Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Chinese paleoanthropologist Pei Wenzhong, a member of a team led by Davidson Black,  discovered a complete skull of  what would be known as Peking Man on Dragon Bone Hill northwest of Zhoukoudian, in the southwest suburbs of Beijing. Later, archaeologists unearthed over 40 individually fossilized skeletons of Peking Man, male, female, old and young, all at the same site. Peking Man is believed to have been small in stature ranging between 4 feet, 8 inches and 5 feet, 1 inch tall. They also had jutting brows, collapsed chins and broad noses. It was also believed that they walked upright and were likely to have weighed approximately 100 pounds. The discovery pushed the history of Beijing's civilization back to some 600,000 years. When Japan invaded China during WW II, a decision was made to transfer the fossils to the United States for safe keeping.  Bad idea.  At some point in the process of transfer, the most important evidence in the world concerning early man’s evolution mysteriously went missing during the fall of 1941. However, we can give you the Food Network’s recipe for Peking Duck - Soak the whole duck in the large pot of boiling water. Remove it as soon as the skin changes color.

Sprinkle the inside of the duck with sugar, salt, and five-spice powder. Rub the skin of the duck with molasses. Truss the duck with string and hang in an airing place for 2 hours, or put the duck in the refrigerator overnight without any cover. This will dry the skin of the duck so that it will be crispy. Preheat rotisserie oven to 375 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until the skin is reddish brown. Before serving, pour hot oil over the skin to increase the crispiness. Carve the skin and meat from the duck, and serve

1930 – Tuesday If, by the grace of God, we have passed the worst of this storm, the future months will be easy. If we shall be called upon to endure more of this period, we must gird ourselves for even greater effort, for today we are writing the introduction to the future history of civilization in America. The question is whether that history shall be written in terms of individual responsibility, and the capacity of the Nation for voluntary cooperative action, or whether it shall be written in terms of futile attempt to cure poverty by the enactment of law, instead of the maintained and protected initiative of our people. ….Herbert Hoover, speech May 1931………In his  State of the Union message, U.S. President Herbert Hoover proposed a US$150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy.  Well that certainly worked out well. The country would not emerge from the Great Depression until the production increases of World War II.

 1942-Wednesday  All of us . . . knew that with the advent of the chain reaction, the world would never be the same again,…. physicist Samuel K. Allison…… Gone fission. The first nuclear chain reaction, the fission of the uranium isotope 235, was produced by Drs. Arthur Compton and Enrico Fermi on a squash court  beneath the West Stands of Stagg Field in Chicago.  The initial chain reaction was too weak to power even a single light bulb. The reactor, called Chicago Pile Number One, or CP-1 for short, consisted of 40,000 graphite blocks that enclosed 19,000 pieces of uranium metal and uranium oxide fuel arranged the graphite in layers within a 24-foot-square wooden framework. Three years earlier, they had discovered that if an atom of uranium was bombarded by neutrons, the uranium atom would sometimes was split – fission would take place. Later, it had been found that when an atom of uranium fissioned, additional neurons were emitted and became available for further reaction with other uranium atoms. These facts implied the possibility of a chain reaction, similar in certain respects to the reaction which is the source of the sun's energy and…..boom!.

1943   Thursday   Joe: Thanks, but I don't drink. Carmen Jones: Boy, if the army was made up of nothin' but soldiers like you, war wouldn't do nobody no good.   ……Carmen Jones, a contemporary reworking of the Georges Bizet opera Carmen by Oscar Hammerstein II with an all-black cast, opened on Broadway. Hammerstein reset the action of the play from 19th century Seville to World War II North Carolina and Chicago and perform it with an all-black cast. In creating the musical, Hammerstein worked with the original Carmen score and libretto. With the exception of two arias, he did not alter Bizet's music in any way.  The critics loved it and the show would run for 503 performancesThe Editorial Board of the Gnus awaits the all-white version of Porgy & Bess.

1947 Tuesday   In these matters we relied upon the codex, now in Egypt, which contains the twenty-four books of Scripture and which had been in Jerusalem for several years. It was used as the standard text in the correction of books. Everyone relied on it, because it had been corrected by Ben Asher himself who worked on its details closely for many years and corrected it many times whenever it was being copied….Maimonides….Following a UN resolution calling for the creation of Arab and Jewish states in Palestine, a  Syrian mob burned a synagogue where the Aleppo Codex was hidden. The Aleppo Codex , a Bible, was written around A.D. 920 in Palestine, probably in the vicinity of Tiberias, where Jewish scholars developed the system of vowel pointing which was to become the standard Masoretic system of vocalization. Rabbi Aaron Ben Asher wrote the vowel points and the marginal Masorah (a system of comments cross-referencing the spelling and the occurrence of particular words) in this manuscript. It received the name of "Aleppo Codex" because for about five centuries it was kept in the synagogue in Aleppo, northern Syria (it was in Egypt prior to that). Nearly two-thirds of the pages were retrieved by congregant, Mourad Faham. But 196 pages vanished, including books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah, as well as pages from other books.

1954 Thursday  Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness… Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?......Joseph Welch, in response to McCarthy accusing Fred Fisher, one of the employees of Welch's law firm, of being a Communist…..Senator Joseph McCarthy was censured  by the Senate.  McCarthy was a two-term Republican U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. He dominated the anti-communist movement in the U.S., 1950-54. He was noted for claiming that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers, engaged in a conspiracy to undermine the United States, inside the federal government. He was proven correct by government documents and inquiry, including decrypted Venona files. McCarthy ran afoul of fellow Republicans and President Eisenhower with his hearings and bullying attacks on the army during the spring of 1954.  From a peak of popularity in January 1954, he was censured  67-22 after Democrats regained control of the Senate in November.

1956 – Sunday  The most honest, courageous politician I have ever met…..Jesse Jackson….Leaving Mexico, the yacht Granma reached the shores of Cuba's Oriente province. Exiled Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 assorted mass murderers as well as other members of the 26th of July Movement would disembark to initiate the Cuban Revolution and decades of misery. He led his remaining group of between twenty and thirty men to a hideout in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra, where they made effective propaganda use of their radio transmitter.

1957- Monday Daisuke Serizawa-hakase: If my device can serve a good purpose, i would announce it to everyone in the world! But in its current form, it's just a weapon of horrible destruction. Please understand, Ogata! Hideto Ogata: I understand. But if we don't use your device against Godzilla, what are we going to do? ……1954 Godzilla…. Fifteen years after the first nuclear chain reaction – see 1942 above,  at 12:30 a.m. the first full-scale atomic electric generating station in the U.S. began operation in  Shippingport, Pennsylvania. Shippingport, along the Ohio River in far western Pennsylvania, became home to America's first commercial nuclear power plant under President Dwight D. Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" program. It reached full power at sixty-eight megawatts five days later. The plant supplied power to Pittsburgh and the castle of a Dr. Frankenstein who was able to create life that we now know as Lindsay Lohan.  Although AEC intended Shippingport to become operational by 1957, Great Britain's Calder Hall Pressurized Pile Producing Power and Plutonium Plant at Seascale, Cumbria, went online on August 27, 1956, more than a year before Shippingport, earning the honor of being the world's first large-scale commercial nuclear power plant.

1957 – Sunday Darling you send me
I know you send me
Darling you send me
Honest you do, honest you do
Honest you do,
whoa………Sam Cooke's You Send Me hits #1 on the Billboard Charts replacing Elvis’ Jailhouse Rock. Sam would be sent out of the top spot by……oh, this is terrible…..Pat Boone’s April Love.

1959 –Wednesday  De tous les ouvrages construits par la main humaine, les barrages sont les plus meurtriers. (Of all the works of mankind, dams are the most murderous….André Coyne, construction engineer at Malpasset……The Malpasset arch Dam collapsed in France. The ensuing flood killed 412 people. Appropriately, Malpasset  translates roughly to "passes badly" or "doesn't go very well". In November 1959 South Eastern France was suddenly subjected to huge rainfalls. The level of the Malpasset reservoir started to rise at such a fast pace that the engineers did not have the time to make the tests necessary during the first filling of the dam with the resulting disastrous consequences. Oh, and the foundation of the dam was flawed. The Dam was located on the Reyran River (fr), located approximately 7 km north of Fréjus on the French Riviera

1961 –Saturday First they came for the Batistianos and I didn't protest because I had no connections with Batista's government. Then they came for the big landowners and I didn't protest because I didn't have a Sugar mill; I had a small tobacco farm. Then they came for the big businessmen and I didn't protest because I was a small shopkeeper not a factory owner. Finally they came for me……version of a traditional lament against dictators…..Five years after his yachting trip to Cuba, Fidel Castro declared himself a Communist.  Well actually he said he was a Marxist-Leninist but it didn’t really matter to all the people who would be killed. After coming to power over the habitually corrupt Fulgencio Batista in 1959, Castro promised a revolution "as green as Cuba's palm trees!" with national elections in three months. Private property would be secure, a free press guaranteed, friendly relations with the U.S. were essential.

1971- Thursday I'm moving to Mars next week, so if you have any boxes..... Steven Wright………..The Mars 3 (U.S.S.R.) made the first soft landing on Mars and   returned sixty photos the first radio signals from its surface.            Included in the pictures were some of Elvis, Jimmy Hoffa, and Amelia Earhart.  Fourteen seconds after touch down, radio communications from the Mars 3 lander were cut off, possibly due to a raging dust storm. The Orbiter portion of the spacecraft entered orbit and returned data for several months confirming Mars as the birthplace of Al Sharpton, people that call into talk radio shows, and people who complain to you about the line while you are waiting online and you know if you give any response they will never shut up.

1971 – Thursday  Perpetual sun, endless white sand and turquoise seas have helped to attract many tourists over the years, but it is the UAE's unbeatable shopping, superb resorts, excellent restaurants, spectacular events, an intriguing traditional culture, and a safe and welcoming environment that lure visitors back time and time again…..UAE Tourist Office blurb………..In a geo-political sixsome Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain formed the United Arab Emirates after independence from Great Britain.  Sheikh Zaid ben Sultan, Emir of Abu Dhabi, the richest of the seven emirates, was the union’s first president, followed by Sheikh Rashid ben Saeed of Dubai, the second-richest emirate. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have oil reserves. The remaining emirates do not.

1972 – Saturday Papa was a rolling stone, (my son)
Where ever he laid his hat was his home
and when he died, all he left us was alone
The Temptations had  their final #1 hit with their ode to Mick Jagger’s children, Papa Was A Rolling Stone .  Papa replaced Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now in the top spot.  The Temptations would be replaced by …..gasp…..Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman.  In this iteration of the Temptations, Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin had left the group and Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Richard Street, Damon Harris, and Otis Williams performed the 12 minute ode to Papa.

1973 –Sunday I believe I booked a suite …Keith Moon to police after being taken to jail….. Did they trash the rooms before or after they slept in them? The Who and their companions were jailed overnight in Montreal following $6000 worth of Bonaventure Hotel destruction inflicted after their show at the Forum. RCA executives planned the after concert party.  Bad idea.  Among other things such as smashing bottles – ketchup was popular- and chopping up artwork, a  sofa was launched from the window of the room to the street below. A television set was hurled to the bottom of the hotel swimming pool. The floor of the suite ended up in what was called “ a blinding display of shattered glass and demolished furnishings”. Then Keith Moon and Pete Townshend decided to expand the space of the hotel room. Consequently, the Who and fourteen members of their touring party were arrested and taken to the clink.

1978   Saturday Musical treacle history  as twin purveyors of  musical pap  Barbra  Streisand and Neil  Diamond's lame, uninspired and ultimately abominable money grab, You Don't Bring Me Flowers, went to  #1 replacing Donna Summers’ cover of the horrid MacArthur Park. At least  the next # 1 Le Freak by Chic could be danced to.

1982-Thursday But don't tell my heart my achy breaky heart
I just don't think he'd understand
And if you tell my heart my achy breaky heart
He might blow up and kill this man
….Billy Ray Cyrus…..Dr. Barney Clark became the first human to receive an artificial heart. Doctors used the Jarvik-7, named after its designer Robert K. Jarvik, an American physician at the University of Utah. Designed to function just like a natural heart, the Jarvik-7 had two pumps (like the ventricles), each with a disk-shaped mechanism that pushed the blood from the inlet valve to the outlet valve.  Clark, 61, was the ideal candidate, suffering from congestive heart failure so debilitating that he had trouble walking from his bedroom to the bathroom. Doctors determined that he was too sick to be eligible for a heart transplant, leaving the implant of an artificial heart his only option. Clark survived for 112 days.  He then  became one of the Zombies that attacked the mall in Dawn of the Dead.

1988 – Friday  I will never forget, we hung the (robot) arm over the right wing, we panned it to the (damage) location and took a look and I said to myself, 'we are going to die …..shuttle commander, Robert “Hoot” Gibson.  The first of several space shuttle flights on December 2 through the years.  Atlantis (STS 27) made a classified (secret) mission.  Astronauts wore fake moustaches and big horn rimmed glasses along with blue fright wigs. 85 seconds after launch, a piece of insulation on the tip of the shuttle's right-side solid-fuel booster broke away and struck Atlantis' right side. The impact was not noted on NASA television at the time and after landing. NASA engineers wrote it off as no big deal.  It was the most extensive shuttle heat shield damage ever recorded until Columbia took off on its final voyage.

1988- Friday Mayor]: Drebin, I don't want anymore trouble like you had last year on the South Side. Understand? That's my policy.
Frank: Yes. Well, when I see 5 weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of the park in full view of 100 people, I shoot the bastards. That's *my* policy.
Mayor: That was a Shakespeare-In-The-Park production of "Julius Caesar", you moron! You killed 5 actors! Good ones
. ……One of the favorite movies of the Editorial Board of the Gnus, the Bergmanesque,  Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! a movie based on TV's Police Squad, was released.  Lt. Frank Drebin, Leslie Nielson (good old Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox on TV) attempts to foil an attempt on the life of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.  It all comes to a thrilling climax at a baseball game with Neilson undercover as an umpire. On hand for the fun were noted thespian Priscilla Presley, Ricardo Montalban, George Kennedy, and the USC Trojan Marching Band. 

1990- Sunday Q: What on Earth can the spacewalks be compared with? Like fixing your roof at night while wearing diapers, ski-clothes, and scuba gear over your pajamas……….The shuttle Columbia (STS 35), after one of the longest delays ever – it had been scheduled for a May launch so this delay was like an average delay at Newark Airport, with its primary mission being round-the-clock observations of celestial sphere in ultraviolet and X-ray astronomy with the ASTRO-1 observatory which consisted of four telescopes.  The flight also included a number of secondary tasks, experiments, and payloads, including a "Space Classroom Program" (gave a new aspect to sending students for a “time out”) as part of the NASA educational outreach program. Rather than exploring the universe, interesting gear carried on the flight was a trash compactor, and a new toilet system that could be "unloaded" in flight. The mission turned out to be a an exercise in sleep deprivation, since without a Spacelab habitable module, the astronauts had to work from the shuttle middeck. Since they were running two shifts, that meant the OFF shift was trying, with no great success, to get some sleep while the ON shift was working alongside them, and the result was that everyone ended up exhausted. Microbes attached to the shuttle tiles would mutate on exposure to Earth’s atmosphere creating humans who litter.  

1992-Wednesday  Q:What is it like being in space? No fresh air, no beer, no tv, no sex, and no shoes. Try that for 2 weeks some time…..  Launch number 3 -see 1988 and 1990, The shuttle Discovery (STS 53) was launched for a secret flight for the Defense Department.  Due to the secret nature of the mission the disguised astronauts all wore Bill Clinton masks and kept asking Mission Control to define “is”. However, we knew that the crew was Crew: David M. Walker, Robert D. Cabana, Guion S. Bluford, James S. Voss, and Michael R. Clifford. They too returned with interstellar microbes that mutated on Earth and resulted in the development of a human strain of people that watched reality shows featuring rude and occasionally violent 20 somethings.

1993 – Thursday  I am a decent man who exports flowers……Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was rendered kaput by Columbian security forces in Medellín.  At one point, Escobar controlled over 80% of the cocaine shipped to the U.S. As if that wasn’t enough, Escobar was wanted for the killing of a justice minister, a presidential candidate and a crusading anti-drug newspaper editor; for masterminding the midair bombing of a Colombian jetliner in 1989 that killed 110 people, including two American citizens, and for shipping tons of cocaine to the United States and Europe. Not taking any chances, Hundreds of soldiers and police surrounded Escobar's Medellin hide-out, which they had identified through a traced phone call, and killed the sleaze bag and a bodyguard in a 20-minute shootout when the two tried to escape via the roof.

1993 –Thursday We apologize for the delay, please remain on the Air-to-Ground lines, your call is very important to us………Launch # 4 for the day, see 1988,1990,1992 above,  Space Shuttle program: STS-61 – NASA launched  the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. The crew was Commander Richard O. Covey, Pilot Kenneth D. Bowersox, Payload Commander F. Story Musgrave and Mission Specialists Kathryn C. Thornton, Claude Nicollier, Jeffrey A. Hoffman and Tom Akers. NASA notes that this was one of most challenging and complex manned missions ever attempted. During a record five back-to-back space walks totaling 35 hours and 28 minutes, two teams of astronauts completed the first servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).  The telescope had been stuck in place, unable to swivel and consequently NASA had 20,000 pictures of Wanda La Boom Boom’s Hebrides vacation. Hubble was redeployed on flight day nine. After the repairs, Hubble was able to get clear views of Barnard’s Star, birth place of Al Sharpton.  

1995  Saturday   Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here Iam
Want you to know, y'all, where I
stand….Bob …….Still out to launch (see above) but not a shuttle this time as NASA launched a US-European observatory on a one billion-dollar mission to study the sun from its deep core to the outer corona and the solar wind.. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, SOHO, later detected rivers of charged particles flowing over the surface of the sun and sunquakes. Data provide information for the 2007 documentary, Sunshine starring Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, and Rose Byrne demonstrating  how a team of international astronauts would be sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057. Unexpectedly, SOHO turned out to be a tool in discovering comets, even though it wasn't designed to do so. As of November 2012 the satellite had spotted around 2,400 comets, with new ones (on average) found about once every 2.6 days.

2001 –Sunday Hello Mr. Lay, my name be Bubba and you goan be mah wife…. Enron goes to prison……..Enron filed for bankruptcy. The Enron Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a New York court, the beginning of the unraveling of  one of the largest corporate scandals in U.S. history.  The company disappeared almost overnight and the  collapse affected the lives of thousands of employees, many pension funds and shook Wall Street to its very core.  Investopedia explains that The mark-to-market practice led to schemes that were designed to hide the losses and make the company appear to be more profitable than it really was. In order to cope with the mounting losses, Andrew Fastow, who was promoted to CFO in 1998, came up with a devious plan to make the company appear to be in great shape, despite the fact that many of its subsidiaries were losing money.

2005  Friday   The nights are cool and I'm a fool.
Each star's a pool of water... cool, clear water.
And with the dawn I'll wake and yawn
and carry on
to water... cool, clear water…
..Bob Nolan…….Jiamusi, a city of 800,000 in northeast China, shut down a water plant on a poisoned river, fearing contamination from the approaching toxic chemicals mainly benezene. The slick on the Amur River, fed by the Songhua River, originally 50 miles long, now stretched for 90 miles.  The spill was caused by an explosion Nov. 13 at a state-owned petrochemical plant in nearby Jilin province. Ever truthful, communist officials at first denied the blast led to any pollution but admitted the disaster  a week later.  They also had to apologize to Russia since the spill flowed into Vladimir Putin’s paradise also.

2008 –Tuesday -That planet has a considerable but moderate atmosphere. So that the inhabitants probably enjoy a situation in many respects similar to ours….William Herschel, The Gentlemans's Magazine and Historical Chronicle, 1784………. Phoenix Lander kaput. Phoenix wasn’t merely dead; it's really most sincerely dead. NASA stopped listening for any residual beeps sent by the Phoenix Lander with the spacecraft orbiting Mars. After nearly a month of daily checks to listen for any last communications (gasps)  from the lander, the Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter ended their efforts to listen for Phoenix. The final communication from Phoenix remains a brief signal received via Odyssey on Nov. 2. “Oh my God…..they’re coming closer and they look hungry…….arghhhh". The Phoenix lander targeted  the circumpolar region using a robotic arm to dig through the protective top soil layer to the water ice below and ultimately, to bring both soil and water ice to the lander platform for sophisticated scientific analysis.

2009  Wednesday  The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that man may become robots……Erich Fromm ……..An Italian-led team of scientists at the Bio-Medical Campus University of Rome said a robotic hand had been successfully connected to an amputee, allowing him to feel sensations in the artificial limb and control it with his thoughts. They implanted electrodes into the arm of the patient who had lost his left hand and forearm in a car accident. A video was shown of Pierpaolo Petruzziello age 26 as he concentrated to give orders to the hand placed next to him.  Standing in front of a lamp,  Petruzzielo made a shadow rabbit, a dog, and and amoeba. The hand, from the Yul Brynner character in Westworld,  would have unpleasant tendency of reaching out and strangling sleeping women lying in bed next to Petruzziello

2010  Thursday   If you don't like bacteria, you're on the wrong planet……Stewart Brand ………NASA researcher Felisa Wolfe-Simon reported that a strange bacterium, Halomonadaceae, found in California's Mono Lake, thrived on arsenic and hence, she believed, redefined life as we know it. She said the bacterium does not merely eat arsenic, but incorporates the toxic element directly into its DNA. Naturally, her finding stirred much controversy among bacteriologists and pharmacologists since the Halomonadaceae resembled many talentless celebrities who are famous for just being famous as well as the entire New York City Council.  However, in 2012 scientists reported that the bacteria is just resistant to arsenic and actually dependent for life on phosphorous, more like the judges on television talent shows.

2012 –Sunday  Wine brings to light the hidden secrets of the soul, gives being to our hopes, bids the coward flight, drives dull care away, and teaches new means for the accomplishment of our wishes…..Horace …….Now this is really sad. In Italy somebody broke into the estate of Gianfranco Soldera in Tuscany and emptied the massive oak casks of 62,600 liters of his Brunello di Montalcino (the Editorial Board of the Gnus LOVES Brunello). The vandals smashed through armoured glass before calmly uncorking the cellar's barrels and letting the 2007 to 2012 vintages (sob) gush out. Blame?  Could have been the Mafia although Soldera claimed their were not threats.  Could have also been neighbors as Soldera had dropped a dime on several claiming they were using some Merlot grapes rather than Sangiovese in their Brunello.

2012 - Sunday  They say the universe is expanding. That should help with the traffic…..Steven Wright ……While wine was being spilled in Italy, see above, traffic was backing up in Russia. Typical December weather including heavy snow and ice caused a huge back-up of traffic on the M-10 highway in Russia. The M-10 highway links Moscow with Russia's second largest city St Petersburg, some 700 km northwest of the capital, and stretches on to the border with Finland. The media stated that the traffic jam was about 124 miles long while officials stated it was only about 12 miles long. One man told the state broadcaster he had advanced one kilometer over the previous 24 hours. The traffic started to break up after three days.

2013-Monday Giant steps are what you take
Walking on the moon
I hope my legs don't break
Walking on the moon
We could walk forever
Walking on the moon
We could live together
Walking on, walking on the moon
….The Police……China launched the Chang'e-3 lunar probe, carrying the  Yutu, aka Jade Rabbit rover. The spacecraft headed into orbit and then on to the Moon. It landed on the surface of the Moon on December 14, Chang’e 3 became the first craft to make a soft landing on the Moon in 37 years.  Unfortunately, the Apollo 17 astronauts had ordered their Gong Bao Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, and Chow Mein just before leaving the moon and forgotten to cancel the order.  Chang'e-3 was stuck with the food and no tip. Unfortunately, the rover quickly lost its ability to rove.  Stuck in one place, it kept

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1557  Tuesday  Christianity is a wonderful religion.  We should try it sometime….unknown….The 1st Covenant of Scottish protestants formed. a group of Protestant nobles opposed to Queen Mary (Tudor) marrying the Roman Catholic Dauphin of France, signed a covenant to state that they would promote the ‘blessed work of God and his Congregation against the Congregation of Satan’, the former being the Protestants and the latter the Catholics.

1616 – Saturday Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,

and I'm not sure about the former……Albert Einstein…. Happy Birthday, John Wallis  British mathematician born in Ashford. Wallis, the most influential British mathematician before Isaac Newton,  introduced the infinity math symbol. Wallis was also skilled in cryptography and decoded Royalist (Charles I) messages for the Parliamentarians (Oliver Cromwell) during the Civil War. Infinity symbol refers to things without any limit. It  is used in mathematics or physics to express that some things have no limit. For example, set of natural numbers has no limit and could be expressed by infinity ∞ sign. Infinity is designated as the ∞ symbol because it was imagined as a special variation of ouroborus snake - an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…..Groucho Marx.

1621   Friday About ten months ago [1609] a report reached my ears that a certain Fleming [Hans Lippershey] had constructed a spyglass, by means of which visible objects, though very distant from the eye of the observer, were distinctly seen as if nearby... Of this truly remarkable effect several experiences were related, to which some persons gave credence while others denied them. A few days later the report was confirmed to me in a letter from a noble Frenchman at Paris, Jacques Badovere, which caused me to apply myself wholeheartedly to enquire into the means by which I might arrive at the invention of a similar instrument. This I did shortly afterwards, my basis being the theory of refraction. First I prepared a tube of lead, at the ends of which I fitted two glass lenses, both plane on one side while on the other side one was spherically convex and the other concave  …….Galileo Galilei announced that he had perfected his telescope. The telescope, invented by Dutch eyeglass maker,  Hans Lippershey, was introduced to astronomy in 1609 by Galileo, who became the first man to see the craters of the Moon, and who went on to discover sunspots, the four large moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn.

1714- Monday  Uranus is often seen as a cold and desolate place, but in fact it is extremely volatile and alive……a be careful of how you pronounce Uranus joke…… An object later identified by Sir William Herschel in 1781 as Uranus, was discovered by John Flamsteed,- who catalogued it in his star catalogue as 34 Tauri. Flamsteed was to become the first Astronomer Royal. Prior to Herschel, eighteen observers charted Uranus without realizing its true nature.

1732- Wednesdaythere was not the least pulse in either heart or arteries, and not the least breathing could be observed:  So that he was in all appearance dead. I applied my mouth close to his and blowed my breath as strong as I could... I blew again my breath as strong as I could, raising his chest fully with it; and immediately I felt six or seven very quick beats of the heart……William Tossach….The first mouth to mouth resuscitation occurred when miner James Blair, overcome by fumes,  was rescued from a fire in a coal mine in Alloa, Scotland. William Tossach, a Scottish surgeon performed the procedure.  This was the first clinical use of artificial respiration, or…..18th century “forbidden love”.  In 1740   The Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommended mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for drowning victims.

1755 – Wednesday What a business is this of a portrait painter! You bring him a potato and expect he will paint you a peach…….. Happy Birthday, Gilbert Stuart, American painter born in Saunderstown, Rhode Island. Stuart was wAmerica's leading portraitist of the Federal period. That’s his  unfinished portrait of George Washington, known as The Athenaeum, that appeared on the one-dollar bill and a variety of U.S. Postage stamps.  It took him 15 years to complete his portrait of Abigail Adams.

1800   -Wednesday  The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do…Joseph Stalin…….. Electors met and cast their ballots for the presidency. A tie resulted between Thomas Jefferson and the odious Aaron Burr.  They didn’t run as tickets in those days and Burr was actually Democratic-Republican Jefferson’s running mate versus Federalist incumbent, John Adams since votes for President and Vice President were not listed on separate ballots. It was this/close between the many who would become one of the great presidents, and a man would later commit treason. The election was decided in the House of Representatives where each state wielded a single vote. Interestingly, the old Federalist Congress would make the decision, since the newly elected Republicans had not yet taken office. Most Federalists preferred Burr, and, Alexander Hamilton, later killed by Burr in a duel,  influenced the outcome. After numerous blocked ballots, Hamilton helped to secure the presidency for Jefferson, the man he felt was the lesser of two evils. Ten state delegations voted for Jefferson, 4 supported Burr, and 2 made no choice. 

1800 –Wednesday War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, y'all
…..Edwin Starr…..During the War of the Second Coalition, in the Battle of Hohenlinden , French General Jean Moreau(Napoleon did not lead every battle) decisively defeats the Archduke John of Austria near Munich. This victory, together with Napoleon Bonaparte's earlier victory at Marengo, would  force the Austrians to sign an armistice and end the war. The Wars of Coalition were basically European monarchy reaction to the monarchectomy of the French Revolution.  The coalitions did not do well in either the first war – 1792 nor the second, 1798.

            1818 – Thursday ….By thy rivers gently flowing, Illinois, Illinois,
O'er thy prairies verdant growing, Illinois, Illinois,
Comes an echo on the breeze.
Rustling through the leafy trees, and its mellow tones are these, Illinois, Illinois,
And its mellow tones are these, Illinois.

From a wilderness of prairies, Illinois, Illinois,
Straight thy way and never varies, Illinois, Illinois,
Till upon the inland sea,
Stands thy great commercial tree, turning all the world to thee, Illinois, Illinois,
Turning all the world to thee, Illinois……
C.H. Chamberlain and Archibald Johnston…

 Illinois was the 21st state to enter the United States.  The state was named after the Illinois River. The river was named by French explorer Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle in 1679 after the Indians he found living along the banks. Illinois is the French spelling for the Illinois and Peoria Indian word "iliniwok," meaning men or warriors and perhaps referring to members of the Illinois tribe.  State symboss include – Song – Illinois, Song Bird – cardinal, Tree – white oak, Flower – violet; Animal: white-tailed deer;  Fish-bluegill; Insect- monarch butterfly;  and Mineral- fluorite

            1826 –Sunday Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigues anything?.......President Abraham Lincoln’s question directed to George B. McClellan, who had excused his lack of action in the fall of 1862 because of exhausted horses…..Happy Birthday, George MacClellan, Union Civil War general was born in Philadelphia. MacClellan was loved by his troops, loathed by Lincoln and  noted for his consistent overestimation of the strength of the enemy, notably failing to follow up on Robert E. Lee’s weakened forces after the Battle of Antietam. He ran for President, with George Pendleton as V.P,  as a Democrat in a “peace” platform against Abraham Lincoln in 1864.  McClellan carried only Delaware, Kentucky and New Jersey but he was so excited about winning New Jersey that he would eventually be elected Governor.

1828 – Wednesday I've got big shoes to fill. This is my chance to do something. I have to seize the moment……Turnabout is fair play as the Electoral College met to elect Andrew Jackson as 7th President of the United States.  Jackson (and vice presidential candidate John C. Calhoun) easily defeated John Quincy Adams (and Richard Rush) in a re run of the election of 1824, except  Jackson had lost that much closer vote and it went to the House of Representatives which decided in favor of Adams.

1833- Tuesday Never know how much I love you
Never know how much I care
When you put your arms around me
I get a fever that's so hard to bear
….Peggy Lee…. Happy Birthday Carlos Juan Finlay, Cuban epidemiologist Puerto Príncipe..  In 1881, Finlay suggested that yellow fever, an acute febrile illness fatal to half its victims, was transmitted from mosquitoes to humans. His theory, confirmed in 1900 by the American surgeon Walter Reed, led to Reed’s proof that mosquitoes do indeed transmit yellow fever and William Gorgas’ eradication of the disease in Cuba and Panama would follow. Finlay also made important contributions toward the understanding of infant tetanus and of cholera.

1833 Tuesday Feelings, nothing more than feelings
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Teardrops rolling down on my face
Trying to forget my feelings of love
….Morris Albert….There were no coed dorms or suites but Oberlin College in Ohio became the first coed institution of higher learning in the United States, with fifteen women and twenty-nine men enrolled.  A Presbyterian minister, and a missionary, founded the Oberlin College Institute,  what has now become a bastion of political correctness and accompanying thought policing. They established the town and the college on about 500 acres of donated land with about 40 other individuals.

1838- Monday The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. …Patrick Young …..Happy Birthday Cleveland Abbe, meterorologist born in New York City.  Abbe, an astronomer,  was first official weather forecaster (meteorologist) in the U.S. He started a private weather reporting and warning service in Cincinnati. His weather reports or bulletins began to be issued on Sept. 1, 1869. Abbe was the only man in the country who was already experienced in drawing weather maps from telegraphic reports and forecasting from them, so when the U.S Weather Service was created he became the official forecaster of the weather. After all, folks had to blame somebody when the forecasts were wrong.

            1857 – Thursday A man's most open actions have a secret side to them….Conrad, The Shadow Line…… Wszystkiego Najlepszego!/Happy Birthday, author Joseph Conrad born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski  in Berdichev (then Poland, now Berdychiv in the Ukraine). Conrad spent most of his life in England including sixteen years with the British Merchant Navy.  The experience provided his with the materials for his most famous works, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, and Nostromo. He was a masterful teller of exciting adventures of the sea but he also inquired into individual when faced with nature’s invariable and his inner battles with good and evil. Conrad was a writer of complex skill and striking insight, we know this because the Editorial Board of the Gnus had to read and discussHeart of Darkness and Nostromo as an undergraduate but enjoyed the novels enough to re-read them 30 years on down the line. Conrad is increasingly regarded as one of the greatest English novelists.

1857 – Thursday If you want to hang out, you've gotta take her out, cocaine
If you want to get down, get down on the ground, cocaine
She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie,
If you got bad news, you want to kick them blues, cocaine
When your day is done, and you want to run cocaine
She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie,
……Eric Clapton………Vsechno nejlepsi k Tvym narozeninam/Happy Birthday, Carl Koller -Czech-born American ophthalmic surgeon (brother of Coca Koller) born in Schüttenhofen, Bohemia - now Sušice, Czech Republic. Koller introduced cocaine as a surface anesthetic in eye surgery in 1884 and  inaugurated the modern era of local anesthesia. Blame it on Sigmund Freud.  Koller was a surgeon at the Vienna General Hospital when his colleague Sigmund Freud, attempting to cure a friend of morphine addiction, asked him to review and investigate the general physiological effects of cocaine as a possible remedy. His experimental results convinced Koller that cocaine could be used as a local anesthetic as well as appreciate Disco music It was also quickly adopted for nose and throat surgery and for dentistry.

1895 –Tuesday  Teaching is not only the presentation of facts to students, it is persuading them to be interested in the world, to want to learn about it – a state of mind. If you are to ‘lead out’ children, you have to persuade them to walk with you. ………Alles Gute zum Geburtstag/Happy Birthday Anna Freud, Austrian scientist, psychoanalyst born in Vienna.  Sigmund's daughter, she  was not “afreud” of the dark but was a founder and one of the foremost practitioners of child psychoanalysis. Freud discovered that children often required different psychological treatment from adults and emphasized the role that early disruptions in attachment could play in the subsequent development of psychological problems noting particularly that in later life, as adults they would abandon shopping carts in supermarket parking lots. Her work studying children who had experienced abandonment or extreme neglect laid the foundation for later research

1900 Monday A nickel’s worth of goulash beats a five dollar can of vitamins…..Martin H. Fischer…… Alles Gute zum Geburtstag/Happy Birthday Richard Kuhn, Austrian-German biochemist and academic born in Vienna just five years after Anna Freud (see above).   Kuhn was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on carotenoids and vitamins. Carotenoids are the organic pigments in plant cells or created by algae or bacteria. Kuhn discovered, and determined the composition of eight of these compounds and purified them. He also isolated vitamins B6 and B12 instructing them to go sit in a corner until they learned to get along with the other vitamins. Vitamins B6 and B12, members of the B-complex family of water-soluble vitamins, are essential nutrients, meaning that you must obtain them from your diet or supplements in order to live. He was forbidden by the Nazis to accept the award so he had to wait until, after World War II.  There was a darker side too,  Kuhn never joined the Nazi Party, however, party officials and the Gestapo described him as politically reliable and loyal to the regime.

1904 Saturday  There's a (moon out tonight) whoa-oh-oh ooh
Let's go strollin'
There's a (girl in my heart) whoa-oh-oh ooh
Whose heart I've stolen
There's a moon out tonight (whoa-oh-oh ooh)
Let's go strollin' through the park (ooh-ooh-ooh-oo
……The Capris…..The Jovian moon Himalia was  discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at California’s Lick Observatory.  Himalia, shaped like a potato, is the fifth largest moon orbiting Jupiter. It was the sixth to be discovered, after the four Galilean moons and then Amalthea.  It is  only about 5% the size of the fourth largest moon, Europa.  Himalia was named for a nymph of the island of Rhodes in Greek mythology who was one legion of the lovers of Zeus

1910- Saturday There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures…James Thurber ……Neon lighting, which had been invented  by French physicist Georges Claude, made its public debut at the Paris Motor Show. The colored light is produced by passing electrical current through inert gases in a vacuum tube. He was granted a U.S. patent for the electrodes — they didn’t “sputter,” allowing for constant, non-flickering light. He had a monopoly on neon lighting until the 1930s Claude’s purpose was actually to employ an inexpensive, high quality method of producing pure oxygen to sell to hospitals and welding shops. Looking for a way to use the large quantities of leftover gases such as argon and neon, and voila, before you could say “garish Las Vegas displays”, there it was.

            1912 –Tuesday  One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans …Otto von Bismarck, 1888…….The preface to World War I – the first Balkan War ended as Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro signed an armistice with Turkey. The Turkish collapse was so complete that all parties were willing to conclude an armistice on this day. A peace conference was begun in London, but after a coup d’état by the Young Turks in Constantinople in January 1913, war with the resumed.  In 1913, the Second Balkan War began after Serbia and Greece demanded that Bulgaria cede to them portions of Macedonia. On June 28, 1914, a Serbian, Gavrilo Princip assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo initiating a series of events connected to entangling alliances that would result in the start of WWI two months later.

1924    Wednesday  We did not know what we wanted and how to do it. It just sort of grew. The first struggle was over what the language would look like. Then how to parse expressions - it was a big problem and what we did looks astonishingly clumsy now. Happy Birthday,   John Backus, inventor (FORTRAN computer language), born in Philadelphia.  FORTRAN the first high level programming language,  is most widely used in physics and engineering.

Backus was also responsible for the Backus-Naur Form (or BNF), a standard notation which can be used to decribe the sytanx of a computer language in a formal and unambiguous way.

1929 –Tuesday  Don!t worry General Custer, there’s only a few Indians in that village………John Cafarella, paraphrasing……President Herbert Hoover announced to the U.S. Congress that the worst effects of the recent stock market crash were behind the nation and the American people had regained faith in the economy.  Well that certainly worked out well.

1933 –Sunday  It's absolutely stupid that we live without an ozone layer. We have men, we've got rockets, we've got saran wrap - fix it!.......Lewis Black….Hartelijk gefeliciteerd/Happy Birthday, Paul Crutzen, Dutch atmospheric chemist born in Amsterdam.  Crutzen received the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (with American chemists Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland) for demonstrating, that chemical compounds of nitrogen oxide accelerate the destruction of stratospheric ozone, which protects the Earth from the Sun's ultraviolet radiation.  You know, like melting the polar ice caps. Based on the research of Molina and Rowland, Crutzen developed a model of the potential ozone depletion resulting from continued use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), mostly used in aerosol spray cans and as refrigerants or cleaners.

            1947- Wednesday I have always depended on the kindness of strangers ……….A Streetcar Named Desire (discarded titles included; A Streetcar Named Like, A Streetcar Named Mild Infatuation; and A Streetcar Named Stalking), written by Tennessee Williams, directed by Elia Kazan,  and starring Marlon Brando – who yelled for “Stella!”, Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden opened on Broadway. The play would run for 855 performances until December 1949 and then be turned into the movie, with Vivien Leigh replacing Tandy,  that made Brando a star in 1951.

1947 Wednesday  She's my transistor sister
With a radio on her arm
No one can resist her
Cause she's loaded with
A musical charm
…..Freddie Cannon……The point-contact transistor is invented by researchers John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain working under physicist William Bradford Shockley at Bell Laboratories. Transistors would go on to replace vacuum tubes and mark the beginning of the “second-generation” of computers. They were cheaper to construct, faster in their operation, and more energy efficient.

1948 Friday Immediately, though, something felt wrong,Very wrong. For a start, my mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine. I could feel it staining my teeth and running down my chin. Then the head in my mouth twitched….. after being handed what he thought was a rubber bat…..Happy Birthday Heavy-metal legend  John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne born Birmingham, England. Osbourne achieved the fame breakthrough as lead singer of Black Sabbath but then launched a successful solo career after leaving the group in 1979. Yes, he did decapitate a bat, but  Ozzy didn't bite the head off a bat on purpose-the whole thing was a gruesome accident. While on stage he was handed what he thought was a fake rubber bat and attempted to rip its top off. Producer of memorable rock music, the Editorial Board of the Gnus  cannot overlook how Osbourne inflicted his vulgar wife and  boring superficial spawn on the on the public in one of the early television reality shows.

1948     Friday Most pumpkin dishes involve scooping out the seeds, cutting off the skin, and chopping up the flesh before cooking….Yotam Ottolenghi …..The "Pumpkin Papers" came to light a day after Richard Nixon obtained them. The House Un-American Activities Committee announced that former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers had produced microfilm of secret documents hidden inside a pumpkin on his Maryland farm. More accurately, the Pumpkin Papers would be called the "Dumbwaiter Papers."  The sixty-five typed pages and four handwritten pages all came from an envelope removed from a dumbwaiter shaft in the Baltimore home of Chambers's nephew's mother. The name "Pumpkin Papers" comes from the fact that the rolls of 35 mm film were found wrapped in waxed paper inside a hollowed-out pumpkin on Chambers's Maryland farm.  The Pumpkin Papers played a decisive role in the Alger Hiss trials. 

1958 Wednesday It’s Only Make Believe by Conway Twitty made its contribution to correct comma placement as the # 1 song on the Billboard charts replacing Tom Dooley by the Kingston Trio which had “hung” onto the top spot for just one week.  One week later it would be To Know Him is to Love Him by the Teddy Bears (Phil Specter).

1960Saturday  A law was made a distant moon ago here:
July and August cannot be too hot.
And there's a legal limit to the snow here
In Camelot.
The winter is forbidden till December
And exits March the second on the dot.
(just happens to be the birthday of John Cafarella)
By order, summer lingers through September
In Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!
......... Alan J. .Lerner and Frederick Lowe’s musical, Camelot directed by Moss Hart opened on Broadway starring Richard Burton, Robert Goulet (who stole the show as Lancelot) and Julie Andrews.- Roddy McDowell was in there too.   Burton and Andrews would win Tony Awards for best actor and actress in a musical.

1964    Thursday  Rudolph: Hey, Clarice? After practice, would you... would you...
Comet the Coach: Rudolph! You get back here! It's your turn, you know!
Rudolph: Gee, I gotta go back!
[starts to run off but then runs back]
Rudolph: Would you walk home with me?
Clarice: Uh-huh. Rudolph? I think you're cute.
Rudolph: [jumping around, on first flight] I'm cute! I'm cuuuuuuuute!
 Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer 1st aired as a special on CBS TV.  Voices included Burl Ives as Sam the Snowman and Billie Mae Richards as Rudolf.  The program became an enduring Christmas favorite airing every year forever.  It was based on Gene Autry’s hit  recording (written in 1939 as a story by Robert L. May).  May's brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, developed the lyrics and melody for it. Marks' musical version was first recorded by Gene Autry in 1949, selling 2 million copies that year.

1966  Saturday Winchester Cathedral
You're bringing me down
You stood and you watched as
My baby left town
…….Let’s see, in 1966 we had Simon & Garfunkle, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Percy Sledge, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Neil Diamond (yes, the same Neil Diamond), Cher (rock’s Methuselah), The Mothers of Invention, The Four Tops, The Monkees (a musical blip) and yet somehow, The New Vaudeville Band's Winchester Cathedral hits #1    which replace the Supremes’ You Keep Me Hangin’ on.  Winchester Cathedral (Rudy Vallee made a cover version, megaphone and all) would last a week before the Monkees’ I’m a Believer took the top spot. 

1967 Sunday  On Saturday, I was a surgeon in South Africa, very little known. On Monday, I was world renowned ……..Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Christiaan Barnard senior cardiothoracic surgeon at the Groote Schuur Hospital, with his team of 20 surgeons,(must have been a really big room) performed the first human heart transplant on a South African businessman, 54-yr-old Louis Washkansky.  Washkansky could either wait for certain death or risk transplant surgery with an 80 percent chance of surviving. He chose the surgery. The donor was Denise Durval who had been hit by a vehicle while walking to her car. As she was dying, her father consented to the removal of her heart.  Washkansky died 18 days later from double pneumonia, contracted after destruction of his body's immunity mechanism by drugs administered to suppress rejection of his new heart.  But he would later reappear in The Walking Dead and eat three or four minor characters.

1967 Sunday On which side of the platform is my train?" asked a stranger in a Jersey City depot the other day.  "Well, my friend," replied a gentleman, passing, "if you take the left you'll be right; if you take the right you'll be left." -- Weekly Mountaineer, The Dales, Oregon, January 6, 1877 ………….20th Century Limited kaput The express passenger train "20th Century Limited" ended over 60 years of service when it made  its last run from New York City to Chicago.  The New York Central’s 20th Century Limited competed with Pennsylvania Railroad's Broadway Limited for top honors on the New York to Chicago route.  The Broadway Limited faded away earlier in the year. In its final year the “Limited” traveled from Grand Central Station to Harmon (now Croton Harmon in Westchester) to Albany and then two stops in Chicago – Englewood Union Station and LaSalle Street Station.

1968 - Tuesday: Elvis Presley: [joking while reading a script] It says here "Elvis, we're to film you from the waist up. You are not to touch hands with body... uh, I mean body with hands."………. Elvis Presley's "comeback" TV special aired on NBC. Sponsored by the Singer Sewing Machine Company, the special also featured a taped, semi-unplugged performance given earlier (June 27) at Burbank Studios before a live audience. Resplendent in black leather, this was Elvis' first appearance before a live audience since 1961. The 1 hour show opened with a medley of his old hits: Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, All Shook Up, Jailhouse Rock, Love Me Tender, and, honor of the season, Blue Christmas. The electrifying live sequences featured guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana.

Wrapping up things was  the grand finale, I Can Dream.  Backing up Elvis were the Blossoms– featuring the great Darlene Love. In this one hour, Presley wiped away years of bad movies and lots of schlock music.  Elvis ,mamaged tp redefine his image and claim his spot in rock history. It was so strong that it would outlast the next 10 years of getting fat, lazy and Las Vegasized.

1968 Tuesday  I remember 1968, it felt like every pitcher was right on top of you that year.  It felt like they weren't 60 feet, 6 inches away. It felt like they were 40 feet away. Ken Harrelson……Major League Baseball was so excited about Elvis’ comeback that they lowered the pitcher’s mound from 15 inches to 10 inches to aid the hitters. A higher mound is supposed to help the pitcher because it lets him throw downhill.  The hitters needed all the help they could get. The league earned run average was 2.98 -- the lowest in 50 years, and the 14th-lowest season ERA since 1901.  Seven pitchers who qualified for the ERA title had an ERA below 2.00 that season, led by Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals, whose 1.12 ERA was the third-lowest since 1900 and the other two occurred during the “dead ball” era.  In 1968 Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox won a batting title with a .301 average.  Denny McClain won 31 games for the Detroit Tigers. In 1969, Pete Rose hit .348 and Harmon Killebrew hit 49 home runs but pitching did not collapse – there were fifteen 20 game winners.

            1973 – Monday Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another…..Plato, The Republic …….Launched March 2, 1972, Pioneer 10, the first mission to be sent to the outer planets of the Solar System,  sent back the first close-up images of Jupiter from a distance of about 81,000 miles. It spotted a life form, later identified as the pod that came to Earth and caused television writers to include and epidemic obnoxious smartass children’s roles in sitcoms.  Thanks to Pioneer 10's pictures, the planet Jupiter and its moons, which were formerly only small circles in a telescope, The spacecraft signal was last detected on Jan. 23, 2003. No signal at all was detected during a final attempt on Feb. 6-7, 2003. Pioneer Project staff at NASA Ames then concluded that the spacecraft power level had fallen below that needed to power the onboard transmitter, so no further attempts would be made. NASA now refers to Pioneer 10 as a "ghost ship" of the outer solar system. If it hasn’t been eaten by an interstellar blob, the spacecraft is flying in the general direction of the star,  Aldebaran – the eye of the bull in the constellation Taurus.

            1976 Friday  Channeling their inner Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, A 40-foot inflatable pig being photographed at Battersea Power Station outside of London for the cover of Pink Floyd's Animals album breaks its moorings and drifts toward the east, reaching a height of 18,000 feet before coming down in Kent.

1979 – Monday I’d walk over you to see the Who….. post concert t-shirt…..In Cincinnati, Ohio, eleven fans were killed during a stampede for seats before the Who concert at Riverfront Coliseum. 7,000 concert-goers rushed to secure first-come, first-served spots at the edge of the stage. As many as 14,770 of these so-called festival-style tickets had been sold for the Cincinnati performance at $10 each, with just over 3,575 reserved seats. There were also too-few doors and too-few ticket takers to handle the sudden influx of fans.  Other than that, things were fine. The Who were not told of the tragedy until after their performance and then it was that something serious had happened and they should hurry their encore. After the brief encore they were told of the deaths. They were devastated.

1979 Monday -You only ride like a Pacer if you're wide like a Pacer.

-Small was never this wide.

-The first wide small car.-….original promotional tag lines…… It was adieu Pacer as the last AMC Pacer rolled off assembly line at the factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Pacer, introduced in 1975, was generally acknowledged as one of the worst cars of all time was all conspicuously ugly.  A Time Magazine writer described it as  “in the summer, it was like being an ant under a mean kid's magnifying glass. The air conditioning was non-existent.” The vehicle  was nearly half as wide (77 inches) as it was long (171.5 inches, on a 100-inch wheelbase).  The Pacer just about killed AMC.  The Matador Coupe didn’t help either.

1984 I was pregnant and living ... near the factory on that night. We woke up with our eyes burning and could hear people outside screaming,"……Rambhai Kailash, 50, whose daughter was born with muscular dystrophy and whose husband died from cancer five years after the disaster………… Shortly after midnight, the inhabitants of the city of Bhopal, approximately 1 million people,  in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, became victims of the world's worst industrial disaster. December 2, the 100 workers on the late shift were in the process of making the pesticide Sevin…..yeah, the same stuff that you used in your yard or garden…Oy, At about 11:00 p.m., the gauges began to indicate a dangerous level of pressure in the tanks, but the workers thought the instruments were malfunctioning and took no measures to alleviate the problem.  Big mistake.  Over 40 tons of highly poisonous methyl isocyanate gas leaked out of the Union Carbide pesticide factory. People living close to the plant were close heard the alarms but ignored them because alarms at the plant were so frequent. The December cold weather kept the gas close to the ground as it swept through Bhopal. Poisonous gases covered an area of  40 sq. kms killing thousands of people in its immediate wake. Over 500,000 suffered from acute breathlessness, pain in the eyes and vomiting as they ran in panic to get away from the poison clouds that hung close to the ground for more than four hours.  People continue to die from the after effects and the death toll has reached 20,000.

1998  Thursday,Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do? Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.  Hugh Fennyman: How?  Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery. ……The movie Shakespeare in Love premiered in New York City.  Directed by John Madden and starring Joseph Fiennes and  the ever annoying Gwyneth Paltrow and it is a harmless, poofy comedy but there is no way it should have won the Academy Award for Best Picture of over Steven Spieilberg’s brilliant powerful WWII epic, Saving Private Ryan.

            1999 - Friday We have your satellite if you want it back send 20 billion in Martian money. No funny business or you will never see it again….Reportedly seen on a wall in a hall at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory after losing contact with the Mars Polar Lander……..The Mars Polar Lander kaput. The craft, launched in January of 1999  was in the final minutes of slowing itself down, ready to make a self-controlled touch down and then like Paul Hogan or Ralph Macchio,  was never heard from again.  An investigation gave the most probable cause for the gazillion dollar failure as spurious signals – don’t you hate when that happens? - when the trio of lander legs deployed during descent gave a false indication to onboard smarts of the spacecraft. It fooled itself into thinking it had landed, although it was high above Mars. (Sort of like Herbert Hoover, see 1929 above, thought the economy had recovered) The result  was  a premature shutdown of the spacecraft's engines and the destruction of the lander when it fell onto the planet. In this scenario, the probe would have been destroyed as it smacked into the surface at 50 miles per hour. Or, after retreating from Earth in the documentary movie, Mars Attacks, Martians thought the craft might me a precursor to an invasion from Earth led by the Italian Government of the moment and quickly defended themselves.

            1999-Friday It is my opinion that big mistakes don't kill people in the wilderness, little mistakes do. Little mistakes domino. I drop my camera, I dive overboard to get it; I'm not tethered. This would have been a fatal error…………On the same day that Mars Polar Lander (see above) was lost, Tori Murden became the first woman to row across the Atlantic….she arrived at the pier just after her liner had sailed, jumped into a row boat and began rowing to try to catch it and ended up rowing the whole way from the Canary Islands to the West Indies She had been on a pace that would have shattered the world's record--73 days set in 1970--for rowing across the Atlantic. Murden was attempting a southern route, follwing east to west as many of the world's early explorers had done. . She left the Canary Islands on Sept. 13, 1999, and was hoping to  end in the Caribbean some 2,900 miles later.  Enter Hurricane Lenny adding 12 days, a capsizing, and lots of discouragement.  She rowed 3,333 miles in eighty-two days.

2000  Sunday   I would prefer even to fail with honor than to win by cheating …..Sophocles…  Good news -  Sandra Baldwin was elected the first female president of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Bad news - Baldwin resigned in May 2002 after she admitted lying about her academic credentials.  Baldwin claimed she graduated from the University of Colorado in 1962 and received a doctorate in American literature from Arizona State in 1967. She finally owned up  that she left Colorado in 1959 after three years at the university, and received a bachelor's degree from Arizona State in 1962. She said she completed doctoral studies at Arizona State, but did not have time to do the dissertation because……blah blah blah.  The Editorial Board of the Gnus the same completion, but we got lazy.

2004  Friday   Q: Did you hear about the junkie that was addicted to brake fluid and Crystal Meth? A: He said he could stop anytime……..It was reported that methamphetamine initially revs up the dopamine nervous system in the brain and that sex is the No. 1 reason people use it. The effect of an IV hit of crystal meth is the equivalent of 10 orgasms all on top of each other lasting for 30 minutes to an hour, with a feeling of arousal that lasts for another day and a half. Hoo boy!  After you have been using it a little bit longer you can't have sex even when you're high. Nothing happens. It doesn't work. Later hair falls out and teeth fall out.  This is our way of telling you that today it was announced that a  total of 1,083 clandestine methamphetamine labs were cleaned up in Tennessee in 2003.

2005  Saturday    Bye bye love, I'll catch you later
Got a lead foot down on my accelerator and the rearview mirror torn off
I ain't never lookin' back. And that's a fact.
I've tried all I can imagine
I've begged and pleaded in true lover's fashion
I've got pride, I'm takin' it for a ride
Bye bye, bye bye my baby, bye bye
…Jo Dee Messina…..The  Central African Republic ordered radio and television stations to stop broadcasting songs which encourage men to dump their wives, saying such music is a hindrance to the country's development. Communications Minister Fidele Ngoundgika said the ban covered songs which might inspire Central African men to look for new partners if their marriages no longer satisfied their needs.  If men do grow tired of their wives they can always take another as polygamy is still legal in the former French colony. Men are allowed to marry up to four wives.

2008 Wednesday  Don't hang up (no, no),
Oh, don't you do it now,
Don't hang up (no, no).
Don't hang up like you always do.
I know you think our love is true.
I'll explain the facts to you, don't hang up.
Give me a chance
…….The Orlons…….Probably thinking it was a robo call from “credit card services”, Congresswoman hung up on President-elect Obama . Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida assumed it was a hoax when a man who purported to be Barack Obama called her. She hung up on him. two further calls before Ms Ros- Lehtinen was convinced that the call was genuine. He finally convinced here when he explained his plans to waste trillions of tax dollars and lower U.S Foreign policy influence to level of Uruguay.

2010   Friday   Easter Island Head: Hey! Dum-dum!
Larry: Yes?
Easter Island Head: You give me gum-gum!
Larry: I give you gum-gum?
Easter Island Head: You new Dum-dum. You give me gum-gum.
Larry: Gee, okay, you know what? I have no gum-gum. Sorry. And my name isn't Dum-dum. My name's Larry.
Easter Island Head: No, your name Dum-dum.
[People screaming]
Easter Island Head: Oh, you in trouble, Dum-dum. You better run-run. From Attila the Hun-hun.
[Larry runs as Attila and his gang are chasing him]
Easter Island Head: See you later, Dum-dum!
 …from Night at the Musuem, 2006…. A land dispute on Easter Island turned violent when Chilena riot police evicting islanders from their pre- Chilean occupation ancestral home were surrounded by rock-throwing protesters. About two dozen people were injured in a 7-hours-long confrontation. The official native name of Easter Island, known for its gigantic Pat Sajack size stone heads known as Moais, is Rapa Nui, and that's what many natives call themselves, refusing to identify with Chile, which annexed the island in 1888.

2012   Monday    Q: What is the difference between an illegal immigrant and E.T.? A: E.T. eventually went home!......  Dutch  volunteer soccer linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen, age 42 died a day after he was beaten by players from Osdorp following a match against his club Buitenboys in the city of Almere. The offenders, aged 14-17, were all ethnic Moroccans.

2013 – Tuesday Let's face it, space is a risky business. I always considered every launch a barely controlled explosion Aaron Cohen, NASA Administrator….. The launch of SpaceX’s next generation communication satellite Falcon 9 .  This was SpaceX’s first ever delivery of a commercial space satellite to the lucrative market of geostationary orbit. Another major milestone occurred 27 minutes after liftoff, when the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket reignited its second stage for a maneuver that delivered the SES-8 satellite into its intended orbit, establishing communications with the extra stellar beings who in Tom Wolfe’s words, “mau mau the flack catchers”.

2014 – Wednesday - Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York ……Opening line, Richard III……..A DNA and genealogical study confirmed the identity of King Richard III’s  remains found in Leicester, England and uncovered new truths about his appearance and Plantagenet lineage. While no contemporary portraits of Richard III survive, (all postdate his death by approximately 25 years) the DNA-predicted hair and eye colour are also consistent with his appearance in an early portrait. This was the oldest DNA identification case of a known individual, to date.  Last of the Plantagenet dynasty, Richard III was one of England’s most famous and controversial kings. Following his death against the forces of Henry Tudor (Henry VII) at the Battle of Bosworth August 22, 1485  he was buried at Grey Friars in Leicester; however, after the dissolution of the friary in 1538, the location of his grave was lost.

2014 - Wednesday, Final report of the commercial starship Nostromo. Third officer reporting. The other members of the crew, Kane, Lambert, Parker, Brett, Ash and Captain Dallas, are dead. Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier in about six weeks. With a little luck, the network will pick me up. This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off …… lines, Alien……….The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched its Hayabusa2 missionfrom Tanegashima Space Center.  The mission was to rendezvous with an asteroid – wittily named Asteroid 1999 JU3, a so-called carbonaceous, or C-type, space rock – and  land a small probe plus three mini rovers on its surface, and then return samples to Earth. It will rendezvous with the asteroid in mid-2018 and collect samples that will be returned to Earth in 2020.  Who knows what it will bring back but it is yery brave considering the damage Godzilla did to Tokyo.  NASA and JAXA cooperated  on the science of the mission so possibly Mothra might attack Detroit.

Back To Calendar


771   Saturday    Oh, brothers! I don't care for brothers. My elder brother won't die, and my younger brothers seem never to do anything else…..Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray…….When his younger 20 year old brother, Carloman, went kaput,  Charlemagne became sole ruler of the Frankish Empire.  The two, sons of Pepin the Short and Bertrada,  were crowned together in 756 by Pope Stephen. They succeeded together in 768. Charlemagne would later found the Holy Roman Empire, strengthened European economic and political life, and promoted the cultural revival known as the Carolingian Renaissance.

1259 – Thursday  All treaties between great states cease to be binding when they come in conflict with the struggle for existence……Otto von Bismarck…..Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed  to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry, a weak monarch – son of  King John so it figures,  renounced  his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels. We note that this was one of a plethora of Parisian Peace Pacts including: Treaty of Paris (1229)—ended the Albigensian Crusade
Treaty of Paris (1259)—between Henry III of England and Louis IX of France
Treaty of Paris (1623)—between France, Savoy, and Venice against Spanish forces in Valtelline
 Treaty of Paris (1763)—ended the Seven Years' War
 Treaty of Paris (1783)—ended the American Revolutionary War
 Treaty of Paris (1810)—ended the war between France and Sweden
 Treaty of Paris (1814)—ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition
 Treaty of Paris (1815)—followed the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo
Treaty of Paris (1856)—ended the Crimean War
Treaty of Paris (1898)—ended the Spanish-American War
Paris Peace Conference, 1919—treaties with the defeated powers of the First World War
 Treaty of Paris (1920)—united Bessarabia and Romania
Paris Peace Treaties, 1947—formally established peace between the World War II Allies and Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Finland
 Paris Peace Accords (1973)—ended American involvement in the Vietnam War

1514-Friday, Your religion is what you do when the sermon is over. ….H. Jackson Brown, Jr. ………Richard Hunne, English "heretic", allegedly committed, ahem,   suicide. Hunne was liveryman of the Merchant Taylors Company, a prosperous London citizen, highly respected within his community and among his fellow tradesmen. He was also a Lollard, a reformer.  He was also the only prisoner held in the Lollard’s Tower of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  In the custody of bishop, Richard Fitzjames, Hunne was found hanging by his belt.  No one believed the suicide story so Fitzames than put his corpse on trial for heresy (they claimed to have found a Wycliff Bible in his cell.) Surprise! He was convicted and the body of the hapless Hunne was then burned. 

1619- Wednesday, Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God. A group of settlers from Bristol, England, sailing on the Margaret, arrived at Berkeley Hundred in present-day Charles City County, Virginia.  It was about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, where the first permanent settlement of the Colony of Virginia was established on May 14, 1607.. After lunch at Chucky Cheese, sightseeing and purchasing t shirts and refrigerator magnets, they held a service thanking God for their safe arrival. Captain John Woodleaf held the service of thanksgiving. This may have been the true first Thanksgiving in America, ahead of the Pilgrims' arrival in Massachusetts and Thanksgiving in 1621. Almost as important, the Berkeley Hundred (Plantation) was the site of first bourbon whiskey distilled: 1621, by George Thorpe, an Episcopal priest

1674 - Tuesday  I'm a little hoarse tonight. I've been living in Chicago for the past two months, and you know how it is, yelling for help on the way home every night. Things are so tough in Chicago that at Easter time, for bunnies the little kids use porcupines…..Fred Allen, Much Ado About Me……Ah, 4th grade, Explorers, the famous team of Marquette and Joliet (Jolliet). Other famous teams include,  Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis. They were one word to a 10 year old, MarquetteandJoliet and a fill in answer on the test. On this day,  Father Marquette built the 1st dwelling at what is now Chicago.  As a result of the cold winter weather, he and two companions, Joliet had returned to Canada,  camped near the site of what is now Chicago, becoming the first Europeans to live there.

1745 -Saturday, Will ye no come back again’ – Scottish lament after Charles Edward Stuart returned to France following the failure of the 1745 uprising…...Bonnie Prince Charlie, aka Charles Stuart,  reached Derby, the southernmost point of his English invasion. The “Young Pretender was on his way to claim the English throne from the 2nd  German Georgie, George II.  The  Hanovers, Protestants were imported from Germany after the kapution of Queen Ann. After Derby, many of Charlie’s troops returned to Scotland and on April 16, 1746, William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, decisively defeated him at Culloden. Romanticized in Scottish history, Young Pretender was fairly useless and ended his days as an alcoholic, “Boozy Prince Charlie”.

1783 – Thursday The time now drew near when General Washington intended to leave this part of the country for his beloved retreat at Mt. Vernon. On Tuesday the 4th of December it was made known to the officers then in New York that General Washington intended to commence his journey on that day. At 12 o'clock the officers repaired to Fraunces Tavern in Pearl Street where General Washington had appointed to meet them and to take his final leave of them. We had been assembled but a few moments when his excellency entered the room. His emotions were too strong to be concealed which seemed to be reciprocated by every officer present. After partaking of a slight refreshment in almost breathless silence the Gen. filled his glass with wine and turning to the officers said, 'With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.' After the officers had taken a glass of wine the Gen. said, 'I cannot come to each of you, but shall feel obliged if each of you will come and take me by the hand.'….Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge memoir……Nine days after the last British soldiers left American soil and truly ended the Revolution, at  Fraunces Tavern, 54 Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan General George Washington met with and formally said farewell to his officers.  “See ya guys,  take care”.   After Washington became president, the tavern's owner, Samuel Fraunces, served as his chief steward in New York.

1812-Friday There's one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor's. Clyde Moore Peter Gaillard of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, patented the horse-drawn power mower. Lawns were large in those days – most of Pennsylvania was a lawn in fact- but think of a lawn mower being pulled by a horse except the lawn mower looks more like a plow that doesn’t dig….got it? One does wonder about what he invented to remove the horse droppings that replaced the grass mowed.       

1816 - Wednesday   I say if the electoral college and popular vote are split, it goes to a winner-take-all wrestling match. Talk about ratings!!!....Unkown…. In the   Electoral College, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States. He defeated Federalist Rufus King and vice presidential candidate John Eager Howard. The Democratic-Republican Congressional Caucus had nominated  Monroe for president and New York governor Daniel D Tompkins for vice-president. Of note in this ho hum election was the state of the State of Indiana.  When the official count of the electoral votes took place in February of 1817, there were some objections made that since Indiana was not recognized by Congress until December 11, 1816 while the Electoral College had cast its ballots on December 4, therefore the State of Indiana did not yet exist and its votes shouldn’t be counted. Others argued that Indiana had been organized as a state, with its constitution on June 29, and that Congress was merely acknowledging a state that already existed.  They never settled it and it didn’t matter since Monroe won 16 of the 19 states.

1829 -  Friday Whether the question be to continue or to discontinue the practice of suttee, the decision is equally surrounded by an awful responsibility. To consent to the consignment, year after year, of hundreds of innocent victims to a cruel and untimely end, when the power exists of preventing it, is a predicament which no conscience can contemplate without horror……William Bentinck, British Governor General….. British colonial rulers abolished "suttee" (Sati) in India. This was the practice of a widow burning herself to death on her husband's funeral pyre. No that didn’t mean that after they hurled themselves onto the pyre they could be arrested and imprisoned, British Governor-General Lord William Bentinck issued a regulation declaring that anyone who abetted suttee in Bengal is guilty of culpable homicide. The ruling to end the cultural tradition was met with fierce local opposition, but many women were spared their lives as a result of this decision. In Nepal, sati was not banned until 1920.

1835  -Friday   There are two great rules of life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that everyone can, in the end, get what he wants if he only tries. This is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is more or less an exception to the general rule.   Happy Birthday, Samuel Butler  English writer and painter, was born in Nottingham.  The opening quote earned him an item in the Gnus.  If that wasn’t enough, this was Life is one long process of getting tired

1839 – Wednesday Keep the ball rollin'
Keep the ball rollin'
Girl, the name of the game is love
On your mark, get set, let the kissin' start
And just keep the ball rollin', baby, right into my heart
……Jay and the Techniques……The Whig Party opened a national convention in Harrisburg, Pa., Delegates nominated old “Tippicanoe”, William Henry Harrison for president and John Tyler as Vice President. Giddy with excitement, the Whigs constructed a 10-foot ball of twine, wood and tin, covered with Whig slogans, one of several “Harrison Balls” and rolled it from Cleveland to Columbus, Ohio.. This led to the expression "Keep the ball rolling." One of several in this, campaign along with such vote getters as Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”; “Old Buckeye”; “Van, Van, is a used-up man” (opponent, Martin Van Buren);  “The Farmer’s President”; “The Hero of Tippecanoe”; “Harrison, Two Dollars a Day and Roast Bee

1843- Monday Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until your forehead bleeds… Douglas Adams ……Manila paper was patented, #3362,   by John and Lyman Hollingsworth of Braintree, Massachusetts. It was originally manufactured in the Philippines. This manilla tasted a bit more bland  than chocolate paper. The Hollingsworths, cut up manila rope and ground it into pulp to create the paper.    Manilla a strong paper or thin cardboard with a smooth light brown finish made from Manila hemp. And manila hemp is a kind of hemp (plant) obtained from the abaca plant in the Philippines.  Your file folders are probably manila paper.      

1844 Wednesday   It has been well observed that the office of President of the United States should neither be sought nor declined. I have never sought it, nor should I feel at liberty to decline it, if conferred upon me by the voluntary suffrages of my fellow citizens …James K. Polk….In the Electoral College, actually the voters were in their state capitals,  Democrat  James K. Polk, a most underrated but excellent President was elected 11th President of United States. Polk and Vice Presidential candidate,  George M. Dallas defeated the Whig ticket of Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen 170 – 105 Electoral votes.  Of note is that during the Polk Presidency, his wife, Sarah, recognized that James was insufficiently impressive to draw attention on appearance and therefore began the tradition of having “Hail to the Chief” played when he made a public showing.

 1849 – Tuesday Another white man's trick! Let me go! Let me die fighting!...... Happy Birthday, Crazy Horse, war chief of the Oglala Sioux, one of the bands of the Lakota, born near near the present-day city of Rapid City, South Dakota. He was a prominent leader in the Sioux resistance to white encroachment in the mineral-rich Black Hills of South Dakota. Crazy Horse, called “Curly” as a child, joined Sitting Bull and Gall in defeating George Armstrong Custer at the battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. Crazy Horse attacked from from the north and west, while Gall charged Custer from the south and east.  Things didn’t go well after that.  Harassed by troops, he surrendered on May 6, 1877 at Ft. Robinson in northwest Nebraska after being promised a reservation in the Powder River country. Add that one to the long list of  broken promises to Native Americans. After a few months on the reservation Crazy Horse left without permission to take his sick wife to her family at the Brule Agency about 40 miles away. On his way back forty government scouts arrested him. When he”resisted” arrest,. soldier bayoneted him in the stomach. He died the same night.

1858 –Saturday What do you call a polar bear wearing ear muffs? Anything you want, he can’t hear you……… This was another of those “why hadn’t anyone thought of that before” inventions, so Happy Birthday, Chester Greenwood, American inventor and manufacturer of earmuffs born in Farmington, Maine (now the “Earmuff Capital of the World”). By the time he was 15, Greenwood  had experienced very uncomfortable cold ears while skating in winter (duh!) near his home in Maine, and he eventually solved his problem with beaver fur pads on a wire frame.  He patented an improved model -#188,292- March 13, 1877- with a steel band which held them in place and with Greenwood's Champion Ear Protectors and then established Greenwood's Ear Protector Factory. He became wealthy supplying his Ear Protectors to U.S. soldiers during World War I.  In 1977, Maine's legislature declared December 21 "Chester Greenwood Day" to honor a native son and his contribution to cold weather protection.        

1860 (sometimes given as 1861) –Monday,  The society girl meets more dangers than the girl on the stage. There is more danger at a tango tea than in the theatre. The actor is less dangerous than the dancing master……Happy Birthday, Lillian Russell, singer and actress,born Helen Louise Leonard in Clinton, Iowa. She was famous as much for her flamboyant lifestyle as for her performances.. Russell performed in burlesque and light opera, debuting in Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore in 1879. She was praised and ogled for her voluptuous beauty and was frequently photographed. Women everywhere tried to emulate her plump physique by buying potions and corsets to accentuate their curves. The 186 lb. Russell was the ideal beauty of her time and she kept by eating without restraint. We note that when Alexander Graham Bell introduced long distance telephone service on May 8, 1890, her voice was the first carried over the line. Stationed in New York, Russell sang "Sabre Song" to audiences in Boston and Washington.

1872 –Wednesday  Day-o, day-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day
Me say day, me say day-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home
….Harry Belafonte……The mystery of the Mary Celeste .The Dei Gratia, a small British brig, observed the Mary Celeste, an American vessel, sailing erratically but with full sail near the Azores Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. When a boarding party arrived, the ship's charts had been tossed around but and the crewmen's belongings were still in their quarters. The ship's only lifeboat was missing, and one of its two pumps had been disassembled. Three and a half feet of water was sloshing in the ship's bottom, though the cargo of 1,701 barrels of industrial alcohol was largely intact.but not a single human was onboard.  Where did everyone go? Free Happy Meals at Azore’s MacDonalds? Forgot their passports and swam back to get them?  They were hiding and waiting for a signal to jump out and yell “surprise” but no one gave the signal so they just stayed hidden? Tis a mystery.  The ship began its voyage on November 7, 1872, sailing with seven crewmen and Capt. Benjamin Spooner Briggs, his wife, Sarah, and the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Sophia. The ship log's last entry was recorded at 5 a.m. on November 25.  Theories on the cause of the disappearance have ranged from cargo fumes to mutiny to (inevitably) alien abduction. The Mary Celeste's fate inspired fictional solutions in an Arthur Conan Doyle story, he called it the Marie Celeste and  blamed a race war), a 1935 Hammer horror film featuring a hook-armed Bela Lugosi, and a Dr. Who episode  blaming it on Daleks.

1875 –Saturday I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating……Notorious New York City politician/crook William Marcy “Boss” Tweed escaped from prison. He would  later be recaptured in Spain. He didn’t exactly toss a rope out of his window and rappel down the prison wall. Tweed, who may have stolen as much as $200 million form the taxpayers (establishing a grand  New York City tradition for politicians that carries on to this day) was, ironically, in a Debtor’s Prison prior to  “escape”.  At the Ludlow Street Jail, on most days his sympathetic jailers allowed him out to enjoy carriage rides in Central Park or visit with his family. On this day, after a typical long day out, claiming his wife was ill, Tweed asked to visit and  after arriving at his home on Madison Avenue, Tweed excused himself to go upstairs. A few minutes later Tweed's two guards asked someone to fetch the Boss as it was getting late and they needed to get back to Ludlow Street Prison. . Moments later, Tweed's son Richard came down the stairs and announced: "Father's gone."

1892 - Sunday  (Communists) should be crushed like worms…..Feliz Cumplea–os!/Happy Birthday, Francisco Franco (y Bahamonde), Spanish general and dictator  born in El Ferrol. . He came to power as a result of the Spanish Civil War which was essentially a proxy fight between Fascists and Nazis vs. Communists. The Fascists won.  Franco became “El Caudillo” (The Leader), and joyfully set about  persecuting political opponents, repressing the culture and language of Spain’s Basque and Catalan regions, censuring the media and otherwise exerteing absolute control over the country.  Other than that, he was fine. He achieved more fame in 1975 by taking an inordinate amount of time to go kaput.  This resulted in the famous Chevy Chase weekly news updates – General Franco still dead.

 1894-Tuesday None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try………Mark Twain……..George Parker was issued a. patent for a fountain pen design. This would  become the Parker Pen Company's first major success. The pen, named “The Lucky Curve”, because of the feed system solved the problem of  previous pens, which while carried in a pocket, retained ink in the feed tube, as opposed to depositing it in one’s bag or pocket.  However, warmed by body temperature, the ink expanded  thus forcing ink from the pen point into the cap and onto the barrel, gleefully causing ink-stained shirts or pants and soiled fingers on the next use. Parker’s feed system was designed to drain the ink back into the reservoir by capillary action (think of how liquid travels through plants) when the pen was upright in the pocket of its owner.

1908 –Friday  When asked what his idea of happiness would be, (Hershey) replied, 'to have an experiment that works, and do it over and over again……Happy Birthday Alfred D. Hershey, American biologist born in Owosso, Michigan.   Hershey was the  creator of the famous “blender experiment” – just like you’d see in a high school science class – to research viruses that infect bacteria, bacteriophages. He put the phages in a bacterial colony and mixed them but then at the crucial moment he whirred them in a Waring Blendor, which he had discovered produced just the right shearing force to tear the phage particles from the bacterial walls. Hershey proved that only DNA, and not protein, was injected into a bacterial cell by an infecting phage particle. The DNA was sufficient to transfer to the bacteria all the genetic information needed to produce more phage……one could  then “turn the phage” or as Bob Dylan wrote about it in his song, My Back Phages.  Hershey won the Nobel Prize along with Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria, for Medicine in 1969.

1909 –Saturday   How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?"….Jacques Plante………This is one of quite a few items for which the Editorial Board of the Gnus notes “check date” during the initial, we refer to as the item placement process.  If we’re not sure, back we go and so The Montreal Canadiens ice hockey club, the oldest surviving professional hockey franchise in the world, was founded as a charter member of the National Hockey Association.  John Ambrose O’Brien, who beat George Kendall Kennedy in the race of creating a team with French Canadians. That fact is confirmed on Canada’s biographical site, where it is written that Kennedy purchased the franchise Les Canadiens for $7,500.Not so fast Pilgrim.  In his book Trail for the Stanley Cup, Charles Coleman noted that the Montreal Canadiens come from another franchise—not Les Canadiens but from the Haileybury Comets, another team owned and operated by John Ambrose O’Brien. That franchise was transferred to George Kendall on November 12, 1910. So we went to the official site of the Montreal Canadiens.  They should know where they came from.  Right?  “On December 4, 1909, two days after the founding of the National Hockey Association, the hockey world sees the birth of the Montreal Canadiens at Montreal’s Windsor Hotel thanks to businessman J. Ambrose O’Brien. In addition to the Canadiens, the new league also includes the Montreal Wanderers as well as teams in Renfrew, Haileybury and Cobalt.”

1918 Wednesday Old Man Rhythm is-a in my shoes
It's no use sittin' here singin' the blues
So Gbe my guest, you've got nothin' to lose
Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise?
Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise?
....Frankie Ford……….. Less than a month after the armistice was signed on November 11, President Woodrow Wilson sailed off  to Europe.  Wilson represented the United States in the Paris peace talks and, in so doing, became the first president to travel to Europe while in office.  The trip took 9 days on the S.S George Washington during which Wilson enjoyed playing shuffleboard, dining at the Captain’s Table, climbing the rock wall, karaoke night, the Tequila Bar, all you can eat buffets, the company of  Stu and Bernice Rosenswieg at breakfast,  dodgeball and Bingo.

1924 - Thursday We learn geology the morning after the earthquake ……Ralph Waldo Emerson… Happy Birthday, Frank Press, American geophysicist, born in Brooklyn, NY. Press was famous for his investigations of the structure of the Earth's crust and mantle and the mechanics of earthquakes. Today in Science History notes that he pioneered the use of seismic waves to explore subsurface geological structures and for his pioneering use of waves to explore Earth's deep interior. He was stirred but not shaken enough to invent an improved seismograph,.

1941  Thursday You are now entering Jefferson, the 49th State of the Union. Jefferson is now in patriotic rebellion against the States of California and Oregon. This State has seceded from California and Oregon this Thursday, November 27, 1941.  Patriotic Jeffersonians intend to secede each Thursday until further notice…..Originally produced November 27, 1941 and handed out to motorists stopped at highway blockades on route 99 outside of Yreka, California……In Yreka, Ca., the new state of Jefferson elected John C. Childs as its 1st governor.  The proponents of this US state-to-be, made up of California’s northern parts and southern bits of Oregon.  It all came to a screeching halt on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The state movement originated with the abundant supply of minerals and timber in this region which was inaccessible due to the lack of sufficient roads and bridges. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted to allocate $100 to research the possibility of seceding from the state of California. On December 4th Yrekans held an election for the first provisional governor for the State of Jefferson.  John C. Childs, a judge in Crescent City, Del Norte County, California, won the local election.

1942 - Friday The Holocaust was the most evil crime ever committed…..Stephen Ambrose……. (we’ve also seen this as October, per the Virtual Jewish Library) Christians aiding Jews with the formation of  Żegota, also known as the “Konrad Żegota Committee,” codename for the Council to Aid Jews. This would be an underground organization in German-occupied Poland from 1942 to 1945. It operated under the auspices of the Polish Government in Exile through the Government Delegation for Poland, in Warsaw. Żegota’s express purpose was to aid the country’s Jews and find places of safety for them in occupied Poland. Poland was the only country in occupied Europe where, throughout the war, there existed such a dedicated secret organization.

Here 1945 – Tuesday Q: Does the "wake-up" song actually wake you up? Yes - with these speakers, it sounds like the national anthem being played on an electric shaver…… Happy Birthday, Roberta Bondar, Canadian neurologist, academic, and astronaut born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  A neurologist and a researcher of the nervous system, Bondar was one of the six original Canadian astronauts (the others were Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Pamela Sue Anderson, Keanu Reeves, and Morley Safer) selected in 1983. In 1992 she became the first Canadian woman and the second Canadian astronaut to go into space when as a payload specialist on the space shuttle Discovery during Mission STS-42, January 22-30, 1992 she performed life science and material science experiments in the Spacelab and on the middeck.

1945 – Tuesday Humor has a way of bringing people together. It unites people. In fact, I'm rather serious when I suggest that someone should plant a few whoopee cushions in the United Nations…….. Ron Dentinger……..In a 65-7 vote the United States Senate approved U.S. participation in United Nations. At the time, the newly created United Nations was intended to mediate disagreements among nations in order to prevent war and other types of military aggression. Well that certainly worked out well.  The bill was approved by the House and signed into law by President Truman later that month.  The Senate also defeated a proposal by Senator Robert Taft that the United States urge its U.N. representatives to seek "immediate action" on arms control and possible prohibition of weapons such as atomic bombs.

1948 – Saturday  I've always wanted to be a Juke...and I still do. ……..Jon Bon Jovi ……Happy Birthday Southside Johnny, aka John Lyon,  American singer-songwriter (Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes) born in Neptune, New Jersey.  They are a a Jersey Shore musical group led by Southside Johnny. They began  recording albums since 1976 and are closely associated with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. They have recorded and/or performed several Springsteen songs, including "The Fever" and "Fade Away". Springsteen has also performed with the band on numerous occasions and in 1991 guested on a truly great recording – It’s Been a Long Time.

1951 Tuesday A volcano may be considered as a cannon of immense size. …..Oliver Goldsmith ……..Superheated gases rolled down Mount Catarman (Hibok-Hibok) volcano in the Philippines, killing 500 people.  It is the youngest and the only historically active volcano on Camiguin Island, which is located 9 km off the north coast of Mindanao Island. The pyroclastic flow reached the edge of the town of Mambajao.

1952 – Thursday The smog curled between the streetlamps and the spokes of the wrought iron framework. It seemed through your body and into your bones….. Sara Sheridan, London Calling …….Not a Stephen King novel or movie but  a heavy smog (a smog is fog that has become mixed and polluted with smoke, technically it’s a form of air pollution produced by the photochemical reaction of sunlight with hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides that have been released into the atmosphere, especially by automotive emissions) descended on  London, England. It persisted  for four days, leading to the deaths of at least 4,000 people. Wha hoppen?  A seemingly harmless high-pressure air mass stalled over the Thames River Valley. When cold air arrived suddenly from the west, the two air masses cuddled and the air over London just settled in for an extended stary. Fumes from cars and factories were  also trapped in place.  To make matters worse, it was colder than normal which caused residents to burn extra coal in their furnaces. All that “gook” (Professor Sy Yentz likes his scientific vocabulary) caused the  extraordinarily heavy smog to smother the city. The smog became so thick and dense that by December 7 there was virtually no sunlight and visibility was reduced to five yards in many places.

1954 Saturday There are only two things our customers have, time and money - and they don't like spending either one of them, so we better sell them their hamburgers quickly…..James McLamore ………The first Burger King ( Insta Burger King ) was opened in Miami, Florida by James McLamore and David Edgerton. Hamburgers and milkshakes were 18 cents. Burger King continued to grow slowly and in 1967 followed other fast food chains by allowing franchise restaurants. The idea was copied from the fast food restaurant concept introduced by Dick and Mac McDonald ( Ray Kroc bought out the McDonalds in 1955 .  We think of Burger King as Pepsi to McDonalds as Coke. In case you were wondering, The “Whopper” sandwich was introduced in 1957.  It became an instant success, leading the founders to develop the "Burger King, HOME OF THE WHOPPER" campaign in 1958.

1956-Tuesday Ev'ry time I see your face,
It reminds me of the places we used to go.
But all I got is a photograph
AndI realize you're not coming back anymore
……….Ringo Starr……Elvis Presley visited the Sun recording studio at 760 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, with his companion, Marilyn Evans, a showgirl from Las Vegas, interrupting a Carl Perkins session that featured Jerry Lee Lewis on piano. Lewis was a $15 per session player at the time.  Fellow label mate Johnny Cash also arrived and the four begin running through an impromptu jam on a series of songs they all know (mainly spirituals). Producer Sam Phillips recorded what would become famously known as the "Million Dollar Quartet" sessions, although they didn’t  get released to the public officially until the early Eighties. When the famous photo was taken, Perkins had had his hit with Blue Suede Shoes, Cash with Folsom Prison Blues and I Walk the Line, Elvis with Hound Dog and Don’t Be Cruel.  Jerry Lee’s Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On would be released a few weeks later.

1961 —Monday Sometimes when the game is close and the play is roughest, you forget the crowd and the noise, and it is just you against somebody else to see who is the better man……..Syracuse running back Ernie Davis became  the first African American  to be taken No. 1 in the NFL draft (1962 season) after being selected by the Washington Redskins.  The number 2 selection was quarterback Roman Gabriel of North Carolina St. by the Los Angeles Rams. Davis was the successor to  the great Jim (then Jimmy) Brown to Syracuse University, where he led the Orangemen to a national championship in 1959, and in 1961 he became the first African American to be awarded the Heisman Trophy. Shortly after the draft, Davis was struck with leukemia. He never played in a single NFL game and died on May 18, 1963, at the age of 23.

1965-Saturday The fascination to go into space has existed for hundreds of years. But as we do things and they're successful, people get bored……Jim Lovell…..Gemini 7 was launched with astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell (of Apollo 13 - "Houston, we have a problem" fame) aboard.  Of note is that a just-used urine collection bag split open early in the mission. The crew never managed to collect all the floating globules. When asked to describe the record flight later, Lovell described it as '...two weeks in the Men's Room'. The primary objectives of the mission were demonstrating manned orbital flight for approximately 14 days and evaluating the physiological effects of a long-duration flight on the crew. Among the secondary objectives were providing a rendezvous target for the Gemini 6-A spacecraft – more practice for the docking that would be needed for Moon landings. Interstellar neutrinos attached to the urine globules and on exposure to Earth’s atmosphere would mutate into humanoid type creatures that we know as celebutards.

1965 – Saturday To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…….Chapter 3, Ecclesiastes,….
Folk Rock was in full spin as The Byrds' followed up Mr. Tambourine Man with  Turn! Turn! Turn! – written by Pete Seeger -  rotated to the #1 spot on the Billboard Charts. Turn! Turn! Turn! replaced the Supremes insipid I Hear a Symphony at the top.  It would, in turn, be  knocked from #1 three weeks later by The Dave Clark Five’s Over and Over.

1969-Thursday  I am not a hoodlum. I'm a community organizer……Bobby Seale…..The Police killed two members of the Black Panther Party.  The Black Panthers were violent left wing racists but this wasn’t exactly a shootout.   It was more of a shoot in as a detail of Chicago police officers assigned to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office went to an apartment at 2337 West Monroe Street on Chicago's South Side with the stated purpose of executing a search for illegal weapons. They entered shooting.  Mark Clark, twenty-two, who was in the front living room when the police entered, and Fred Hampton, twenty-one, who was in the rear bedroom, were killed. Hampton was shot four times, twice in the head; Clark, twice in the arm, and through the heart and lungs. Both were dead on arrival at the hospital. Surprise! On January 30, 1970, a Cook County grand jury indicted the seven surviving occupants of the apartment on charges ranging from attempted murder to illegal possession of firearms. No indictment was brought against the police.  A  photograph showing holes in a door jamb was identified as coming from bullets fired from inside the apartment. They proved to be nail heads. Months later, a federal investigation showed that only one shot was fired by the Panthers, although that number remained in dispute. Police fired 82 to 99 shots.

1971 – Saturday We all came out to Montreux
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn't have much time
Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Were at the best place around
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
…..Deep Purple…..The Montreux Casino in Switzerland caught fire thanks to some genius wielding a flare gun during a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention concert.  The Mothers were performing ‘King Kong when the flare gun was fired.  Unfortunately the roof was wood.  The Ultimate Classic Rock website notes that hortly after everyone got to safety, the fire reached the building’s heating system, causing an explosion. Fortunately — miraculously, even — no one was killed in the blaze. According to Zappa, most injuries were minor cuts and burns, with only a few people going to the hospital. But the casino was completely engulfed in flames, and all of the band’s equipment was destroyed, except, oddly enough, a cowbell. Since the casino was on the shore of a lake, the incident would be noted in the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water".  Zappa would go kaput on this day in 1993.

1977  SundayThey were jealous of me because I had an empire and they didn’t’. Bokassa reaction to only 600 of the 2,500 invited foreign dignitaries attending the ceremony.  In yet another of the never ending examples of how wonderfully Democracy works in Africa,  Jean-Bedel Bokassa ruler of the Central African Empire (formerly the Central African Republic, look for it south of Chad and west of Sudan), crowned himself emperor in a ceremony duplicating the coronation of Napoleon – December 2, 1802 . The coronation cost over $22 million, about ź of the country’s annual budget. Emperor Bokassa was deposed in 1979.  He ended up in exile in France.  Bokassa was sentenced in absentia to death in 1980, but he as Encyclopedia Britannica puts it,  inexplicably chose to return to the Central African Republic in 1986. He was arrested and put on trial, and in 1987 was found guilty of the murders of the schoolchildren and other crimes.  The good news was that  he was acquitted of charges of cannibalism). His death sentence was subsequently commuted, and he was freed in 1993 and went kaput in 1996.

1978-  Monday Capt. Neal Patterson: The ray that destroyed the space station and knocked us off our course may have originated right here.
Lt. Mike Cruze: Oh, come off it! How could a bunch of women invent a gizmo like that?
Lt. Larry Turner: Sure, and even if they invented it, how could they aim it? You know how women drivers are!
……Pioneer Venus 1, launched in May of 1978 became the first craft to orbit Venus.  The Orbiter was inserted into an elliptical orbit around Venus.  Pioneer Venus 1was a flat cylinder 2.5 m in diameter and 1.2 m high. It carried 17 experiments, including a radar mapper. Scientists used the radar to map nearly the entire planet, resolving features as small as 80 kilometers. The spacecraft remained in orbit until August of 1992, when it used up all its fuel and burnt up in the atmosphere…..or so we thought.  It was actually shot down  by a group of Amazons lead by Queen Yllana and Zsa Zsa Gabor who fell in love with Rawhide’s Eric Fleming who was leading and American space mission and all the Venusian were beautiful women in short dresses and high heels and oh, it was so exciting.   This was made into the documentary, Queen of Outer Space in 1958 – twenty years before the Venus Pioneer.

1980 –Thursday Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited 'cause we're reunited, hey, hey
…..Peaches & Herb…………English rock group Led Zeppelin officially disbands, following the death of drummer John Bonham on September 25. Always keeping The Eagles in mind –really, the Beatles were the only band that never reunited, on July 13 ,1985, Page, Plant, and Jones reunited for the Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, with  a short set featuring drummers Tony Thompson and Phil Collins and bassist Paul Martinez. They reunited again on May 14 , 1988, for the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert, with Bonham's son, Jason Bonham, on drums. In 1994, Page and Plant reunited for a 90-minute UnLedded MTV project. They later released an album called No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded. On  December 10, 2007, Led Zeppelin reunited for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at the O2 Arena in London, with Jason Bonham again taking his late father's place on drums. That’s it as of 2015….evidently Plant, looking more ghastly with every photo (really Bobby, you’re not 25, cut the hair, it doesn’t go with the wrinkles, right Mick?) had been the obstacle to the big bucks next iteration.

1981 Thursday  Lance Cumson: You've destroyed our entire way of life. Richard Channing Denault: Well, I can only hope…….. The hilarious prime time soap opera, Falcon Crest premiered CBS-TV and ran to 1990.  Substitute wine for oil and poof, it’s Dallas.  Key ingredients for prime time soaps – aging big name actress, Jane Wyman – check, young studs, Robert Foxworth, Lorenzo Lamas – check..  Also see; Knot’s Landing, Dynasty, Melrose Place, The O.C (fewer actors, more models), One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl (see models) and Dallas redux (all models no actors).

1981 Thursday   Billy Ray: So, I heard you turned 80 today. Norman: Is that what you heard? Billy Ray: Yeah. Man, that's really old. Norman: You should meet my father. Billy Ray: Your father's still alive? Norman: No, but you should meet him…….On Golden Pond had a limited release – the Academy Award qualifier.  The movie, which has not aged well and is infected with Jane Fonda, starred Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn directed by Mark Rydell.  In his last film, Henry Fonda played Norman Thayer, a cranky 80-year-old retired professor, making his annual pilgrimage with his wife Katharine Hepburn (in her only teaming with Henry Fonda) to their New England summer cottage. Janey turns up to spoil the fun but surprise, Henry bonds with her son in this sticky connect the dots confection.

1985 Wednesday A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing…..Emo Philips….The Cray X-MP/48 supercomputer went into operation at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The X-MP was the first parallel vector processor produced by Cray Research, and it would become popular for generating computer graphics, particularly for creating special effects for big budget films so cities can be destroyed at will. The processors delivered a maximum of 200 megaflops per processor for a a total of 400 megaflops. And Hollywood certainly has had its share of megaflops. 

1991-Wednesday People call me a victim of Lebanon, say I lost seven years of my life. I didn't lose them -- I lived them……Islamic terrorists in Lebanon release kidnapped American journalist Terry Anderson after 2,454 days in captivity. Anderson, covered Lebanon's civil war for The Associated Press for three years before his abduction in 1985. He was then held prisoner in an underground dungeon for the next six-and-a-half years until the civil war came to an end.

1991- Wednesday The station manager approached as he always did and greeted the inbound passengers. He then stepped into our office (the cockpit) and greeted us cordially, explaining he had some bad news. I quickly responded that I thought we could guess the nature of his grim tidings. He produced a message from New York operations in a very familiar format. This content, however, had never before in its 64-year history been inscribed on any Pan American document. Pan Am, as of 9 a.m. on Dec. 4, 1991, had ceased operations. None of our flight attendants could restrain their emotions, or their tears. All were at least 20-year veterans with Pan American or National Airlines. They vented their disbelief and their resentment of the Delta decision; consoling them prevented those of us in the cockpit from showing our own pent-up feelings.Our station manager asked us if we would operate the trip to Miami. He would find a way to buy fuel. Many passengers were stranded, and some Pan Am employees were packing to leave their stations and their jobs….Captain Mark S. Pyle, captain of the last Pan Am flight to operate worldwide…..On May 20, 1939, Pan Am launched the first U.S. passenger service to Europe, using the Boeing 314 Yankee Clipper, the "flying boat".  It all came to an end as Pan American World Airways ceased operations with B727-221/Adv N368PA Clipper Goodwill at Miami Airport.  The shutdown meant the loss of the jobs of 7,500 Pan Am employees, thousands of whom had worked in the New York area and were in the process of moving to Miami to join the carrier at its new headquarters at Miami International Airport. However, new, smaller versions using the name Pan Am were later formed

1993-Saturday ……Can't let it get past me
You're far from plastic
Talk about gettin blasted
I hate these blurred lines
…Robin Thicke……Astronauts Story Musgrave and Jeffrey A. Hoffman aboard space shuttle Endeavour  repaired the near-sighted Hubble Space Telescope. This was the first in a series of planned visits to the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope, The mission's most important objective was to install two devices to fix Hubble's vision problem. Because Hubble's primary mirror was incorrectly shaped, the telescope could not focus all the light from an object to a single sharp point. Instead, it saw a fuzzy halo around objects it observed thanks to errors in a test instrument apparently led Perkin-Elmer, which fabricated the optics, to finish the 2.4-metre primary mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope incorrectly. Tests by NASA earlier this month showed that a lens in the test instrument, called the 'reflective null corrector', is about a millimeter askew. This did, however make many aging actors look better without the help of screens over cameras.

1996  Wednesday     You drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and it lands on the ground
And out comes the man from Mars
And you try to run but he's got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you're in the man from Mars
You go out at night eating cars
... Blondie, Rapture…..The Mars Pathfinder (delayed from Dec 2)was launched from Cape Canaveral on a 310 million-mile odyssey to explore the planet's surface. It had a remote-controlled 22-pound, 6-wheel, roving vehicle to sample Martian soil and rock and send data back beginning on Jul 4, 1997 as well as an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.  The spacecraft consisted of two small elements, a 370-kg (816-pound) lander and a 10.6-kg (23-pound) rover. Once on the surface, the lander was formally named the Carl Sagan Memorial Station after the 20th-century American astronomer. The rover was named Sojourner in honor of the 19th-century African American civil rights advocate Sojourner Truth.

 1997 Thursday I wasn't choking P.J. that hard, I mean, he could breathe……The National Basketball Association suspended All-Star cretin Latrell Sprewell of the Golden State Warriors for one year for choking and threatening to kill his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, three days earlier. A forward thinking arbitrator later reduced the suspension and reinstated Sprewell to the Warriors, who had terminated his contract. In 1995, Sprewell fought with Warriors teammate Jerome Kersey and returned to practice carrying a two-by-four. He reportedly threatened to return again, with a gun. In 1998, Sprewell spent three months under house arrest for a reckless driving incident in California in which he forced another driver off the road. There is always a foolish team that will sign these exemplars of citizenship and this time it was the New York Knicks.  Out memories of Latrell’s Knick career focus on an out of position Latrell appearing an instant too late to prevent a game winning shot……repeatedly. Sprewell was last seen calling a $27-30 million contract from the rather sad Minnesota Timberwolves franchise, “insulting”.  The dear boy claimed he had a family to feed.  Mercifully that was the last of him in the NBA.

1998Friday  Q: What on Earth can the spacewalks be compared with? Like fixing your roof at night while wearing diapers, ski-clothes, and scuba gear over your pajamas………The space shuttle Endeavor (STS-88) with crew of six astronauts was launched on the first mission to begin assembling the international space station.  By the way, Endeavor, as was all space shuttles, was named after a famous ship of discovery, the Endeavour of Capt. James Cook which sailed from 1768 -1771 during which he “discovered”, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia: South Coast, Australia: North Coast and the Great Barrier Reef.  This Endeavour was crewed by Robert D. Cabana, Commander

Frederick W. Sturckow, Pilot, Nancy J. Currie, Mission Specialist, Jerry L. Ross, Mission Specialist, James H. Newman, Mission Specialist, and some Russian, probably a spy. The primary payload was the U.S. built ISS module called Unity, technically referred to by NASA as ISS Node-1. The primary objective of the mission was the mating of Unity to the Russian built ISS module called Zarya,---built in Russia but paid for by NASA-- technically referred to by NASA as the ISS Functional Cargo Block and referred to by the Russians as the Control Module,

1998 -Friday It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road…..bumper sticker……The first PC for the car, made by Clarion Co., went on sale for $1,299. It used a Microsoft operating system and responded to voice commands via the car stereo to change radio stations and CDs, check e-mail, and use global positioning. Built to fit into a standard radio slot in the dashboard, the Auto PC allows drivers to control a digital radio, a CD player, a cellular phone and a navigation system. It also taps into voice synthesis to read incoming e-mail, traffic reports and a person's personal phone directory.

2000- Monday ……no credible statistical evidence and no other competent substantial evidence” to establish a reasonable probability that Gore might win if granted a hand recount of the undervotes. This court… concludes the evidence does not establish any illegality, dishonesty, improper influence, coercion, or fraud in the balloting and counting processes,……In Florida Judge N. Saunders Sauls denied Al Gore’s request for a recount. The ruling also restores Bush’s 930-vote lead that existed before recount numbers were taken into account. On December 7, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a recount. The US Supreme Court then set aside the decision by the Florida Supreme Court to extend the vote counting deadline and sent the case back to the Florida court. A Florida state judge refused to overturn George W. Bush's certified victory in Florida. Got it?

2003   Thursday    ……Look out for the cheater
Make way for the fool hearted clown
Look out for the cheater
He's gonna build you up
Just to let you down
……Bob Kuban and the In-Men….  Mega headed Barry Bonds, chemically tainted San Francisco Giant homerun star, told a grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream supplied by BALCO, but that he never thought they were steroids. He also believed in the tooth fairy, Santa Clause, the magic bullet that hit JFK, Atlantis, the Seven Cities of Cibola, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, Pecos Bill, Bigfoot, Blackbeard’s Ghost, and the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. The San Francisco Chronicle obtained a transcript of his testimony in 2004.

2006- Monday I got food poisoning today. But I don't know when I'm going to use it…….Steven Wright……E. coli O157 causes diarrhea that is often bloody and accompanied by severe abdominal cramps, but fever is typically absent or mild. Oh those belching burritos! An E. coli outbreak that sickened at least 65 people, two of them seriously, was linked by health investigators to three Taco Bell restaurants in New Jersey. The outbreak, initially believed to stem from green onions, was later believed to have come from lettuce. The chief Taco of Taco Bell, Greg Creed noted while eating at Burger King that “Neither the health department nor we know what caused it. Not everybody that got sick ate at Taco Bell.”

2006- Monday Open the door, get on the floor
Everybody walk the dinosaur
Open the door, get on the floor
Everybody walk the dinosaur
Open the door, get on the floor
Everybody walk the dinosaur
Open the door, get on the floor
Everybody walk the dinosaur…
…Was (Not Was)…… This is no yolking matter, a 65 million-year-old nest of dinosaur eggs was auctioned to an unnamed buyer in Los Angeles for $420,000. The nest contained twenty-two broken eggs, nineteen of which were in embryonic form, with some of the raptors clearly visible. The nest had been discovered in Guangdong, China in 1984.  Auction house Bonhams and Butterfields had estimated the raptoid nest, which contained exposed embryos of the predators, would go for between $180,000 and $20,000

2008  Thursday, The French are glad to die for love.
They delight in fighting duels
But I prefer a man who lives
And gives expensive jewels.
A kiss on the hand
May be quite continental,
But diamonds are a girl's best friend…
…Marilyn Monroe ….. Armed robbers, some elegantly disguised as women, snatched $108 million worth of diamond rings, necklaces and luxury watches from a Harry Winston boutique in Paris on the Avenue Montaigne, off the Champs Elysees.  It was quick and clean as  gun-toting thieves took just 20 minutes (the meter was running in their taxi) to raid the store safes and swipe rings, necklaces and luxury watches from display cases.It was the largest jewelry theft ever in France and just slightly below the $127 million world-record diamond robbery in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2003.  In June, 2009, French police arrested 25 suspects in connection with the robbery and recovered some of the jewelry. Then, in 2011 investigators found jewels valued at $25 million in a plastic container set in a cement mold inside a sewer at a home in the Paris suburb of Seine-St. Denis. Surprise!  The  house belonged to one of the 9 people charged in the heist.

2013 –Wednesday I'll never have enough time to paint all the pictures I'd like to……The 1951 Norman Rockwell painting Saying Grace, oil on canvas 43 by 41 inches, was sold at auction for forty-six million dollars in New York, setting a new record for American artwork at auction. It was one of three Rockwells sold, the others were The Gossips, which sold for nearly $8.5 million, and Walking to Church, which topped $3.2 million.

2013 Wednesday—….Woh, down in Mexico, I never really been so I don't really know.
And oh, Mexico, I guess I'll have to go.
Woh, Mexico, I never really been so I don't really know.
And oh, Mexico, I guess I'll have to go now.
Talking bout Mexico. Big ol' honkey-tonk down in Mexico
. ……James Taylor…. The big showcase – Mexico City is a great venue for professional basketball - NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves was postponed because of smoke inside the Mexico City arena. While the teams were warming up for their regular-season matchup, lights went out in parts of the arena and smoke began pouring out of vents in the upper deck. A malfunctioning generator, also used for cooking chimichangas, outside the arena was blamed.

2014 -Thursday Until this discovery, it was assumed that comparable engravings were only made by modern humans (Homo sapiens) in Africa, starting about 100,000 years ago,…… José Joordens, researcher at the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University.…… It was discovered that Homo erectus on Java was already using shells of freshwater mussels as tools half a million years ago, and as a 'canvas' for an engraving (We shell overcome). Not to mentionconnecting them with string and using them as telephones. The discovery of an engraved geometrical pattern on one of the shells came as a total surprise..An international team of researchers, led by Leiden archaeologist José Joordens, published this discovery in the magazine Nature.

Back To Calendar


 771 – Sunday Right action is better than knowledge; but in order to do what is right, we must know what is right……Charlemagne became the sole King of the Franks (as well as the Beans) after the death of his brother Carloman.  He then made it his goal to unite all Germanic peoples into one kingdom, and convert his subjects to Christianity. Charlemagne was a  skilled military strategist and he spent much of his reign merrilily engaged in warfare in order to accomplish his aims. In 800, Pope Leo III (750-816) crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Romans.His long reign changed the face of Europe politically and culturally, and he himself would remain, in the minds of people in the Middle Ages, as the ideal king. The Franks (before they became a favorite fast food at Coney Island) were a confederation formed in Western Germany of a  number of ancient barbarian tribes (Sour Krauts) who occupied the right shore of the Rhine from Mainz to the sea. Their name is first mentioned by Roman historians in connection with a battle fought against this people about the year 241.  They later moved into Belgaic Gaul (France).

1349  Friday    Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world…..…. Eric Hoffer …..  500 Jews of Nuremberg were massacred.  They back the wrong horse in the race. With the outbreak of the war between Charles IV. and Günther of Schwarzburg, in 1349, the Jews sided with the Günther and with  Charles IV. proving victorious, were punished by being expelled from the city (though their expulsion lasted only for three years, 1349-52); a number perished at the stake (Dec. 5, 1349; a list of them is given in Salfeld, "Martyrologium," pp. 219-230) –according to the Jewish Encyclopedia.  

1360 – Friday The best things in life are free
But you can keep 'em for the birds and bees;

Now give me money, (that's what I want) that's what I want,
(That's what I want) That's what I want (That's what I want) yeah,
That's what I want………
Barrett Strong …….MetroLyrics

 Frankly speaking and speaking  of Franks (see Charlemagne 771 above, on this day the French Franc (the basic unit of the monetary system) was created. The franc was introduced by King John II. Its name comes from the inscription reading Johannes Dei Gratia Francorum Rex (Jean by the grace of God King of the Franks). The hapless John aka “Jean Le Bon” had been captured by the English and was freed by  ransom.  This instilled confidence (??) and the coinage of silver and bullion was strengthened. This gold coin or denier (3.885 grammes of 24 carat gold), showing the king on horseback, was minted as payment the ransom for the King held prisoner by Edward III, King of England, after the defeat at Poitiers, on September, 19 1356.            Euro coins and notes replaced the franc entirely between 1 January and 17 February 2002.

1456    Friday  We learn Geology the morning after an earthquake….Ralph Waldo Emerson….. Earthquake struck Naples and 35,000 died…..Well that’s the Xeroxian Internet sentence replicated ad infinitum but…according to C. Meletti at the

Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia,During the night of 5 December 1456 a strong earthquake shook central and southern Italy, at that time part of the Naples kingdom, for more than 2 minutes; the estimates report that more than 13000 people died. This is still the biggest earthquake ever occurred and reported in the historical documents in the area and maybe the biggest one in the history of Italy. By comparison of dimension and characteristics with other destructive earthquakes occurred in the area, it is possible to suppose that not less than 3 considerable seismogenic sources did activate in a short time interval.

1443 –Tuesday Christians are the unstable, unlettered, superstitious masses….Julius II, cited in Diderot’s Encyclopedie….. Buon Compleano/Happy Birthday, Pope Julius II, Giuliano della Rovere,  born in Albisola, Republic of Genoa  The successor to the Borgia Pope, the remarkably corrupt, Alexander VI,  Julius was known as the “Warrior Pope” – he actually wore armor during an attack on Venice and spent a good deal of his reign attacking cities and fighting the French.  He was also a patron of the arts and was  responsible for Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s paintings in the Vatican apartments.

1484   Friday    Those fingers in my hair that sly come hither stare
That strips my conscience bare, it's witchcraft
And I've got no defense for it, the heat is too intense for it
What good would common sense for it do?
Cause it's witchcraft, wicked witchcraft
And although, I know, it's strictly taboo
…..Frank Sinatra……….Pope Innocent VIII issued a bull - Summis desiderantes - deploring the spread of witchcraft and heresy in Germany. He ordered that all cats belonging to witches scheduled to be burned, be also burned. German inquisitor Heinrich Kramer, a Dominican friars, had induced Innocent VIII to issue the Bull authorizing them to extirpate witchcraft in Germany. The is during what is known as “The Little Ice Age” and the horribly cold weather had to be blamed on someone. In 1486 Kramer actually wrote a treatise blaming witches for the bad weather.

1492 – Monday While going along more-or-less toward the east, I looked to the SE and saw land. It was a very great island, which I had already been informed of by the Indians with me. They call it Bohío and say it is inhabited. The people of Cuba (which I have named Juana), and those of all the other islands I have visited, are very much afraid of the people of Bohío. They believe that those of Bohío eat people…Journal….. Christopher Columbus, remember him from October?, became the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola. Columbus originally named it Espanola.  It is the second largest island of the West Indies, and located within the Greater is divided politically into the Republic of Haiti (west) and the Dominican Republic (east).


1496  Saturday  ….iniquitous act with deep and disastrous consequences'…..Portugal's President, Jorge Sampaio…..Dec. 5, 1996, at the opening of a synagogue.     Not a good day to be Jewish, see 1349 above,  Jews were expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I. The Jews were also order to convert to Christianity a year later.  This was a geopolitical, not a religious move.  Manuel saw a chance to rule the whole Iberian Peninsula by marrying Princess Isabella of Spain. Her parents, the fervent ''Catholic kings'' Ferdinand and Isabella, had already deported Spain's Jews four years earlier and would bless the marriage only if Manuel followed suit. In another wise move, Manuel also expelled the Muslims. Despite this, laws protected Jews and Muslims from murder or injury, the desecration of their sacred places and the observation of their religious festivals They even had their own places of worship, schools and cemeteries

1621        Sunday Wee haue by this Shipp and the Discouerie sent you diurs [divers] sortes of seedes, and fruit trees, as also Pidgeons, Connies, Peacockes Maistiues [Mastiffs], and Beehives, as you shall by the invoice pceiue [perceive]; the preservation & encrease whereof we respond vnto youA letter from the English office of the Virginia Company reported that European honeybees (Apis mellifera) were shipped to America. They arrived in Virginia in March 1622.  According to the site, Honeybees Across America, which cites the letter, Historical documentary sources tell us that from Jamestown the honey bees multiplied and spread out. It would be another 16 years before the next successful shipment of honey bees made it to North America.

1776     Thursday  How many fraternity brothers does it take to make chocolate chip cookies? Seventeen. One to do it and sixteen to shell the M&M's….. As the American Revolution raged, Phi Beta Kappa was organized as the first American college scholastic Greek letter fraternity, at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va. ….well actually it was in the Apollo Room of the Raleigh Tavern – yes students in a bar - Organized by 15 year old John Heath and 5 other undergraduates, Phi Beta Kappa was the nation's first Greek-letter society. Its name is formed from the initial letters of the Greek words for philosophia biou kubernetes, meaning "Philosophy, the Guide of Life." Members met regularly to write, debate, socialize, have toga parties, drink beer, and go on road trips as well as an oath of secrecy, a badge, mottoes in Greek and Latin, a code of laws, an elaborate form of initiation, a seal, and a special handshake.

1782- Thursday As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it………Happy Birthday Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the U.S, born in Kinderhook, New York. Van Buren was the  first President to be native born, meaning born after the Revolution, not running around in a loin cloth and fishing with spears, although the thought of Martin Van Buren in a loin cloth……………….. In 1812, he was elected a New York State Senator. He was then elected to the US Senate in 1821. He worked while Senator to support Andrew Jackson in the Election of 1828. Van Buren was briefly  New York Governor for only three months in 1829 before becoming Jackson's Secretary of State (1829-31). He was Jackson's Vice President during his second term (1833-37). Old Tippicanoe himself, William Henry Harrison defeated him in the election of 1840.  Van Buren wouldn’t take the hint and ran again to no avail in 1844 and 1848.

            1791 –Thursday  Stay with me to-night; you must see me die. I have long had the taste of death on my tongue, I smell death, and who will stand by my Constanze, if you do not stay?....Spoken on his deathbed to his sister-in-law, Sophie Weber…….Mozart kaput. Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna at age 35. The reason for his death has for a long time been one of the mysteries of musical history, and is likely to remain so. Many theories have been put forward, suggesting ailments such as typhoid fever and kidney failure, and even murder. Rheumatic fever seems most likely, died during an epidemic. Mozart had also suffered from the disease several times as a child, and was thus more likely to contract it as an adult. This time he seemed to get everything at once as he was struck suddenly by fever. Rashes and painful swellings followed, and he passed away 15 days later. In 2009 A report in Annals of Internal Medicine suggested the Austrian composer might have succumbed to something far more commonplace: a streptococcal infection — possibly strep throat — that led to kidney failure.  He is currently decomposing

1822-Thursday R-A-D-C-L-I-F-F-E
Oh, Radcliffe, thy girls assemble,
We'll always give thee homage true;
We are thy daughters loyal
In all thou wouldst have us do (rah, rah, rah).
We swing our banners proudly!
We hoist our emblems to the skies!
We cheer our alma mater,
We cheer our college great and wise!
………..Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz,  U.S. naturalist and educator born in Boston Ma.  She was the first president of Radcliffe College, Cambridge.  Cabot Agassiz married the Swiss naturalist, Louis Agassiz, in 1850. Louis made revolutionary contributions to the study of natural science with landmark work on glacier activity and extinct fishes. They traveled extensively together. When her husband went kaput in1873, Elizabeth became interested in the idea of college for women to be taught by the "Harvard Annex" in Cambridge. In 1894 the Annex became Radcliffe College

1832     Wednesday The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me. But I will kill it …..The Electoral college re-elected Andrew Jackson as President with Martin Van Buren, see 1782 above, as Vice President  Old Hickory became the 1st president to win an election in which the turnout exceeded 50%. It wasn’t close as Democrat Jackson received 219 votes, National-Republican Henry Clay 49 and minor candidates, Independent Democrat John Floyd and Ant-Mason,  William Wirt, 11 and 7 respectively.

1839 – Thursday (That famous day in history the men of the 7th Cavalry went riding on)
(And from the rear a voice was heard)
(A brave you man with a trembling word rang loud and clear)
What am I doin' here?

Please Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go
Hey, Mr. Custer, please don't make me go
I had a dream last night about the comin' fight
Somebody yelled "attack!"
And there I stood with a arrow in my back.
……Larry Verne……Happy Birthday, George Armstrong Custer –the day after Crazy Horse, see December 4, 1849 above), born in Rumley, Ohio.  Custer was a brevet Union General (brevet is a  commission promoting a military officer in rank without an increase in pay) who  graduated at the bottom of his class from West Point in 1861.  Custer’s troops killed  Confederate Cavalryman Jeb Stuart at Yellow Tavern in May 1864. After  the war, now Captain but later promoted to Lt. Colonel in the 7th Cavalry, Custer set about making a reputation as an Indian fighter by defeating a force of women, children and old men led by Black Kettle at the Battle of the Washita River. The over confident glory seeker then  met a gruesome end at the hands of the Oglala and Lakota Sioux led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull recklessly diving his forces and leading 2010 men to their deaths during “Custer’s Last Stand” at the Little Big Horn in June of 1876.

1847 – Sunday Never be haughty to the humble or humble to the haughty. Mexican War hero Jefferson Davis was appointed as a senator from Mississippi. The  seat had opened as a result of Senator Jesse Speight’s death. After serving the rest of Speight’s term, , Davis was re-elected for an additional term. As a senator, he advocated for slavery and states’ rights, and opposed the admission of California to the Union as a free state

1854- Tuesday I like that every chair should be a throne and hold a king….Ralph Waldo Emerson… Folding chairs have been around for a while.  They were used by the Egyptians (Images from the young King Tutankhamen’s tomb show him sitting on a folding stool), Etruscans, Greeks, Romans, during the middle ages and through the Renaissance. The next time you go to a show, a sporting event, or the movies, think of Aaron H. Allen of Boston, Mass. who was issued a patent (#12017)  for a folding chair as an "Improvement in Self-Adjusting Opera-Seat" for theatres or other public buildings. It wasn’t portable, but the notion of foldability, adjustability and flexibility of design was more important, The seat was constructed with weights or springs so it would assume and retain a vertical position when pressure upon it was relieved as the occupant got up from it. It’s basically the same principal and design as the folding seats you sit in now. Except yours have gum and many unknown sticky substances on and beneath them.

1868 Saturday Photons have mass? I didn’t even know they were Catholic….Woody Allen ……Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Arnold Sommerfeld, German physicist and academic born in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Sommerfeld was a physicist whose atomic model permitted the explanation of fine-structure spectral lines. His investigations of atomic spectra led him to suggest that, in the Bohr model of the atom, the electrons move in elliptical orbits as well as circular ones. From this idea he postulated the azimuthal quantum number. He later introduced the magnetic quantum number as well. Neither of these helped him win the lottery. Sommerfeld was also the first to solve a diffraction problem exactly, using the Maxwell equations to find the solution for radiation incident on a half-infinite infinitely thin conducting plane while quoting Groucho Marx, Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five.

1868-Saturday Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use……..Charles M. Schulz The first American bicycle – actually it was a velocipede riding school  was opened by the Pearsall Brothers at 932 Broadway in New York City. An 1869 poster proclaimed “The first gymnacyclidium for ladies and gentlemen : opening exhibition and hop at the grand velocipede academy, or gymnacyclidium, containing over 8,000 square feet for riding, with gallery and seats for about 1,500 people / by the Pearsall Brothers.

1873 Friday  Evil is unspectacular and always human And shares our bed and eats at our own table. W.H. Auden………The Boston Belfry Murderer killed his first victim.  Bridget Landregan was found bludgeoned and strangled in the snow.  The murderer  was scared away by a couple who said the killer looked "batlike," with a flowing black opera cloak. In 1874, another young girl was clubbed to death by a man with a cape. A third victim, Mary Tynanwas bludgeoned in 1875. She didn’t die but was unable to identify her assailant.  The fourth and final murder was that of a five-year-old girl named Mabel Hood Young in 1875. This time however, the killer, Thomas Piper, a sexton at the Church,  was caught when he was seen by several witnesses taking the little girl to the tower in the Warren Avenue Baptist Church, where the body was found.

1876 Tuesday The most tangible of all visible mysteries - fire. ……. Leigh Hunt……Over 1,000 people had come to see the popular actress Kate Claxton in The Two Orphans at the Brooklyn Theater at Washington and Johnson streets. Hundreds died  when the theater caught fire.  During the show's final act, stage hands discovered that a set piece backstage had caught fire. The actors onstage attempted gamely to stay in character, for fear of causing a panic, until fiery bits of wood and flaming parts of the set began raining down upon them.  Panic ensued. Within half an hour the structure collapsed, and it was not until the next day that firemen were able to dig through the debris and discover the total number of victims who had been trapped and killed. Up to 100 of the victims were burned beyond recognition and could not be identified. A mass grave was set up at the Green-Wood Cemetery.

 1876- Tuesday A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop……. Robert Hughes ………In a wrenching experience for all, D.C. Stillson  a steamboat fireman from Somerville, MA. Patented (184,993) his Stillson wrench. It is a large pipe wrench with L-shaped adjustable jaws that tighten as pressure on the handle is increased. Solymon Merrick patented the first wrench in 1835 and the wrench was invented by, yes, Charles Moncky. 

1879-–Friday *The first U.S. patent for an automatic telephone switching system was issued to Daniel Connolly of Philadelphia, Thomas A. Connolly of Washington, D.C., and Thomas J. McTighe of Pittsburgh. (US No. 222,458) The system consisted of a single-line wire, a battery of cells located at each telephone. and a dial switching mechanism for each line. Although this first system was  a bit crude in design and limited to a small number of subscribers, it introduced the general principle of later dial systems. The system, with eight stations connected, was exhibited at the Paris Exposition in 1881. * The Xeroxian world of the internet copy and pasticus infinitum, lists this as Dec. 5.  We know, as loyal Gnus readers that patents are issued on Tuesdays.  The Editorial Board of the Gnus looked up patent no. 222,458 and sure enough, it was issued on December, 9….A Tuesday.

1893        Tuesday , Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
cars…….Gary Numan…….The first electric car was built in Toronto. It could go 15 miles between charges. In 1899 and 1900, electrics outsold all other type of cars and the most popular electric was the   Columbia built by Colonel Albert Augustus Pope, owner of American Bicycle Company.  Funding came from Frederick  Featherstonhaugh, a patent attorney  interested in electricity and the design from William Still, a Feaherstonhaugh client who just happened to be an engineer.   The result was a 700 lb. two seater runabout built at John Dixon’s Carriage Works.  You’ll note below the item about the  French electric car 2000.  Why did gas power succeed and electric fail?  By the 1920s, America had a better system of roads that now connected cities, bringing with it the need for longer-range vehicles. The discovery of Texas crude oil (see Hillbillies, Beverly) reduced the price of gasoline so that it was affordable to the average consumer. Then came the invention of the electric starter by Charles Kettering in 1912 which eliminated the need for the hand crank. Finally, the initiation of mass production of internal combustion engine vehicles by Henry Ford made these vehicles widely available and affordable in the $500 to $1,000 price range, half the price of an electric car.

1896 Saturday Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl……Mike Adams ……..Vsechno nejlepsi k Tvym narozeninam/Happy Birthday, Carl Ferdinand Cori, Czech-American biochemist and pharmacologist born in Prague. With his wife, Gerty Theresa Cori, he identified the cyclical process that muscle cells use to make and store energy. Understanding this process of sugar metabolism—called the Cori cycle—is particularly important for treating diabetes, a condition where the cycle is disrupted. Their discoveries earned them (with Bernardo Houssay) the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1947.

1901- Thursday The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa …..We are certain we can say with certainty, Happy Birthday, Werner Heisenberg, German physicist and philosopher born on the same day as Walt Disney, but born in  Würzburg.   Heisenberg discovered a way to formulate quantum mechanics in terms of matrices in1925 and  was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for 1932. He is most famous, however for his indeterminacy, or uncertainty, principle published in 1927.. The uncertainty principle is the concept that precise, simultaneous measurement of some complementary variables -- such as the position and momentum of a subatomic particle -- is impossible. You can know where something (and electron) is but you cannot know its speed, conversely, you can know its speed but not where it is. Contrary to the principles of classical physics, the simultaneous measurement of such variables is inescapably flawed; the more precisely one is measured, the more flawed the measurement of the other will be. Got it? Or are you uncertain?

1901 –Thursday Girls bored me — they still do. I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I've ever known…………..Happy Birthday, Walt Disney, born on the same day – see above as physicist Werner Heisenberg, altlhough Heisenberg was born in Würzburg and Disney was born in Chicago.  We’re certain about that.   Disney was a  pioneer of animated cartoon films (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and Tom Cruise) and founder of the Disney theme parks, and countless merchandising ideas designed to separate people from their money. His first cartoon character was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit but Walt wasn’t as lucky as his distributer, Margaret Winkler and her husband, stole

1903 Saturday The Neutron walks into a bar. He was positive he had forgotten an Electron at home. ……….Buon compleano/Happy Birthday,  C. F.(Cecil Frank) Powell, English-Italian physicist born in Tonbridge, Kent, England (kaput in Italy). Powell won the he Nobel Prize for Physics in 1950 for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes which was photographing the action of high-speed subatomic particles and for the resulting discovery of the pion (pi-meson - π+), a heavy subatomic particle found in apple, lemon, blueberry and Boston cream pions. The pion is the heaviest meson – also discovered by Powell. And, of course, a meson is a subatomic particle that is intermediate in mass between an electron and a proton and transmits the strong interaction that binds nucleons together in the atomic nucleus.

1905 – Tuesday Does your chewing gum lose its flavor
On the bedpost overnight
If your mother says "Don’t chew it"
Do you swallow in spite
And you catch it on your tonsils
And you heave it left and right
Does your chewing gum lose
its flavor
On the bedpost overnight
……Lonnie Doneigan…….Chiclets gum – that lozenge-shaped, candy-coated gum -  was trademark registered.  Glass merchantThomas Adams had been trying to find a use for chicle from Mexican sapodilla trees. He had large amounts due to his friendship with General Santa Anna, yes that Santa Anna of Alamo fame, then in exile in Staten Island, New York in 1869.  Toys, bicycle tires, and rain boots didn’t work. Well why not chew it?  He did.  He added flavoring.   The Chicle Building (Cleveland) website notes that local confectioner and chewing gum pioneer, William J. White built the Chicle Building in 1888 to manufacture Chiclets chewing gum. Chiclets are the original candy coated chewing gum.

 1908 –Saturday And my number is Beechwood 4-5789
You can call me up and have a date any old time
…..The Marvelettes……Numbers were used for the first time on football uniforms worn by college football players. The University of Pittsburgh Panthers wore their new numbers in the big game with Washington and Jefferson. Well not all the Pittsters wore numbers.  It was just quarterback, fullback, and two halfbacks.  It was the idea of Karl Davis, the team’s publicity manager.  According to The History of American Football, cited in George Sullivan’s book, Any Number Can Play: The Numbers Athlete’s Wear, Davis had been given the right to print and sell programs for Pitt games.


1926     Sunday What are a few maggots? …. Richard Hough in his book, The Potemkin Mutiny…….. Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, had its premiere in New York City.  It had already opened in Moscow on Dec. 24, 1925.  We’d list the cast but since the star was Alexandr Antonov playing Grigory Vakulinchuk……….The film depicts the events of June 1905 when sailors on the Potemkin battleship, protested against the serving of rotten meat. Clearly they had never eaten a New York City school lunch.  The captain ordered that the ringleaders to be shot. The firing-squad refused to carry out the order and joined with the rest of the crew The captain, the doctor and several other officers were killed and the rest of the officers were shut away in one of the cabins. The sailors sailed into Odessa harbor but were unable to land. Fearing that the Potemkin would be attacked by other ships of the Russian fleet, the mutineers decided to leave Odessa. The crew sailed the Potemkin to Romania where they surrendered to the local authorities.  In the less successful, Potemkin 2, The New Breed, a replacement crew takes over and turns the battleship into a Caribbean Cruise liner.  Hilarity ensues.

1927 Monday A lady went to a pet shop.
"I'd like to buy two yellow canaries," she told the owner.
"We don't have any canaries, but we have these," the owner said, as he showed the lady some pale green parakeets.
"That's not what I'm looking for," the lady stated.
But the pet store owner refused to give up. He said, "Just think of them as yellow canaries that aren't quite ripe yet."
The People History site notes that for the first time in history, a Roller Canary Championship, open to the entire world took place in the west. Defeating all other warbling birds owner William Latimer, President of the Western Canada Roller Canary Club, had the canary who was the undefeated champion. The Manitoba Free Press explained, “Each bird was given five minutes in which to sing, after which the cage was closed and the next bird given his chance.” Yes, it was Canary Row. We also found reporting of the event on page 18 of the Winnipeg Tribune.

1928    Wednesday  War does not determine who is right - only who is left…….

Bertrand Russell………..The Chaco War began as Paraguay instigated a series of battles, which led to a full-scale war with Bolivia. Both counties moved more troops into the Chaco Boreal, a wilderness region north of the Pilcomayo River and west of the Paraguay River that forms part of the Gran Chaco. There was sporadic fighting until 1932 war was definitely under way.  Why?  Both landlocked countries sought an expansion of territory in an effort to gain better access to the River Paraguay. This river runs through a territory between Bolivia and Paraguay known as the Chaco Boreal. In 1932, Bolivia attempted to break out of its landlocked situation and gain access to the Atlantic Ocean through capture of the River Paraguay;which the Bolivians thought had large oil preserves. Paraguay  didn’t think this was such a good idea. The resultant war was disastrous for both sides: Bolivia and Paraguay lost more than 100,000 soldiers. In 1935, Paraguay would eventually claim victory over Bolivia, thus firmly establishing the Chaco Boreal as a part of Paraguay.

1932 – Monday  I happen to have discovered a direct relation between magnetism and light, also electricity and light, and the field it opens is so large and I think rich…Michael Faraday……. Happy Birthday Sheldon Lee Glashow,  American physicist born in New York City.  At graduate of the Bronx High School of Science Glashow shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg (also a Bronx Science alum)  for their contributions to electroweak theory. Electroweak theory was formed to unify the forces of electromagnetism and the weak nuclear forces that are associated with radioactivity. Glashow discovered a way to expand the theory to expand the theory to include other elementary particles by inventing a new property for quarks called 'charm'. Quarks are the the fundamental particles that constitute baryons and mesons. As we all know, Mesons are intermediate mass particles which are made up of a quark-antiquark pair. Three quark combinations are called baryons.

1933Tuesday Prohibition makes you want to cry into your beer and denies you the beer to cry into…:Don Marquis…..The 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.  This was the first time that an amendment repealed an amendment. Prohibition of alcohol was seen as an affront to personal liberty, pushed on the nation by religious moralists who have since been replaced by Nanny Statististers. Alcohol was also seen as a source of revenue for the local and national governments. In case you were wondering about the two that came between, the 19th Amendment was women’s right to vote and the 20th moved up the date of presidential inauguration and the new Congress to to January 19 and January 3  respectively.

1935  Thursday  Bop bopa-a-lu a whop bam boo
Tutti frutti, au- rutti
Tutti frutti, au-rutti
Tutti frutti, au-rutti
Tutti frutti, au-rutti
Tutti frutti, au-rutti
A whop bop-a-lu a whop bam boom…
…..Happy Birthday, Richard Wayne Penniman, aka Little Richard, born in Macon, Georgia. Richard’s screaming vocals and over the top piano playing were true rock n roll.  Pat Boone’s treacly covers were not.  In 1957, in the midst of a sold-out tour,  Richard quit rock 'n' roll, after  a plane scare, to become a preacher in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He was back by 1962.  He was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 for hits such as Tutti Frutti, Good Golly Miss Molly, Long Tall Sally, Rip It Up, Jenny Jenny, and Keep a Knockin.  

1936 – Saturday I don't think up the stories. I'm convinced they're already written in the unconscious. My work is simply a day-to-day discovery. I never see more than two scenes around the corner and I don't know a book's ending until the last pages…..Happy Birthday, James Lee Burke, American author born in Houston, Texas….one of the favorite authors of the Editorial Board of the Gnus. His eligiac Dave Robicheaux and later Billie Bob Holland mystery novels are poetic.  The Robicheaux novels capture the essence of Cajun life through lavish descriptions and flawed characters.  We still read every new release but he has been writing the same book for about eight years now.  Start with Neon Rain (ignore that the movie version starred Alex Baldwin). 

1941        Friday Oh, you need timin'
A tick, a tick, a tick, good timin'
A tock, a tock, a tock, a tock
A timin' is the thing
It's true, good timin' brought me to you
……Jimmy Jones…..US aircraft carrier Lexington and 5 heavy cruisers, including the Minneapolis and Indianapolis,  sailed out of Pearl Harbor to reinforce Midway Island. The Lexington was the last of three carriers to leave port.  Remaining at Pearl were 96 other ships, including eight battleships.  On Sunday, the Japanese attacked. 

1941        Friday ,Patients receiving the Kenny treatment are more comfortable, have better general health and nutrition, are more receptive to muscle training, have a superior morale, require a shorter period of bed rest and hospital care, and seem to have less residual paralysis and deformity than patients treated by older conventional methods. The Kenny treatment is the method of choice for the acute stage of infantile paralysis. …. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated Australian born, Sister Elizabeth Kenny's new treatment for infantile paralysis, aka polio, was approved. In June 1940 she  had demonstrated her treatment at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Minneapolis General Hospital. The medical personnel at these institutions accepted Kenny's treatment method as an entirely new concept of infantile paralysis and the first American treatment center was opened at Minneapolis General Hospital. The treatment involved bed rest in a natural position, hot moist packs, passive motion, and muscle re-education and was  successful in relieving early symptoms. . The Sister Kenny Institute was built in Minneapolis in 1942 and other Kenny clinics were established

1945 Wednesday The Bermuda Triangle got tired of warm weather. It moved to Alaska. Now Santa Claus is missing…….Steven Wright………..The story of the "Lost Squadron" established the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, an area of the Atlantic Ocean where ships and aircraft are said to disappear without a trace, similar to becoming Vice President of the U.S. The Bermuda Triangle is located  from the southern U.S. coast across to Bermuda and down to the Atlantic coast of Cuba and Santo Domingo.  Five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers comprising Flight 19 left the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission – similar to Gilligan’s three-hour tour…. Flight 19 was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base. Flight 19's location was last given as 75 miles northeast of Cocoa, Florida. At that time the planes had slightly more than one hour's fuel supply. They may actually have been as much as 200 miles at sea. Meanwhile, weather and sea conditions got worse, as the evening wore on. Squalls on the surface, 40 mile winds at 1,000 feet, and full hurricane of 75 miles an hour at 8,000 feet, was recorded at 4:00pm They never returned.  No trace of the bodies or aircraft was ever found. From 1974-1974 more than 50 ships and 20 aircraft sailed into oblivion in the area.

1951 Wednesday Politics ain't worrying this country one-tenth as much as where to find a parking space ……..Will Rogers…..The first push button-controlled garage, the Park-O-Mat, was opened in Washington, DC by Parking Services Inc. The cost was $325,000. It had no ramps, no aisles, and no lanes and just one attendant (Manny).  A car could be parked or returned in 50 seconds.  The garage was an open building with 16 floors and 2 basement levels.   

  1952-Friday  Bud and Lou walk out onstage and a woman holds up a sign listing guest stars in front of Lou's face…..
Bud Abbott: What's a matter?
Lou Costello: She put the whole sign right in front of my puss.
Bud Abbott: Well, there's other people in the cast besides ourselves.
Lou Costello: She didn't put it in front of your face.
Bud Abbott: Well, what is the difference.
Lou Costello: What, are you a high-class guy or something? I mean, don't put in front of my face. I want to look at all the people out here.
Bud Abbott: They see enough of your face.

The premiere of the Bud Abbott and Lou  Costello television  show. They made only 52 episodes, but it  still appears in reruns. In this first episode, Lou gets a job in Sid Fields (played by Sid Fields) drug store.  Also on hand for the fun was Joe Besser, frequent foil and latter day (late 1950s) Three Stooge.

1952 Friday If they'd lower the taxes and get rid of the smog and clean up the traffic mess, I really believe I'd settle here until the next earthquake…..Groucho Marx….. A deathly fog aka "The Great Smog" or "The Big Smoke",  caused the kapution of thousands of Londoners. It would blanket the city December 9th. The weather in November and early December 1952 had been very cold, with heavy snowfalls across the region. To keep warm, the people of London were burning large quantities of coal in their homes. Smoke was pouring from the chimneys of their houses.  Not good… since an anticyclone was hanging over the region. This pushes air downwards, warming it as it descends. This creates an inversion, where air close to the ground is cooler than the air higher above it. So when the warm smoke comes out of the chimney, it is trapped. About 4,000 people (but probably more) were known to have died as a result of the fog. Due to the knowledge gained from this deadly occurrence there was a rethink of causes of air pollution and new regulations were put in place including the Clean Air Acts of 1956 and of 1968, and the City of London (Various Powers) Act of 1954.

1960: 1960  Billboard reported that five "answer records" to Elvis Presley's Are You Lonesome To-night?  (written in 1927) have been released -- four versions of Yes, I'm Lonesome Tonight – Dodie Stevens (who also did Tan Shoes and Pink Shoelaces) and one Oh, How I Miss You Tonight. Actually there were five versions according to  the Elvis History Blog.  In addition to Dodie, we had Linda Lee, Ricky Page, Thelma Carpenter,  and Jeanne Black. Jeanne did the Oh How I Miss You Tonight version. This of course got the Editorial Board of the Gnus thinking about other famous “answer songs”.   Among others, Damita Jo told the Drifters, I’ll Save the Last Dance for You.  Carol King wooed Neil Sedaka with Oh Neil, the response to Oh Carol.  Ketty Lester provided the distaff side with When a Woman Loves a Man to Percy Sledge’s When a Man Loves a Woman. The Boy Is Mine by Brandy and Monica was a response to The Girl Is Mine. by Michael Jackson featuring Paul McCartney and Big Girls Cry on Sia's 2014 album is an answer song to Fergie's hit Big Girls Don't Cry.

1964: Saturday  Replacing the Shangri La’s semi-rap, Leader of the Pack, Rap music pioneer, Lorne Greene's hip hop Western Ringo hit # 1 on the Billboard Charts. Lorne, Bonanza’s lama bewigged  Ben Cartwright, would in turn be knocked from the top spot by Bobby Vinton’s treacly, Mr. Lonely. Oooh wee, was the world ready for the rock revolution of 1965 or what! Lorne, his producers, and his P.R people all swore that the title had nothing to do with the drummer of the Beatles.  The Beatles had burst onto the American music scene in early 64.

1969 -Friday The ARPAnet was the first transcontinental, high-speed computer network…..Eric S. Raymond….In 1961 Leonard Kleinrock wrote about In 1961, he wrote about ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet, in a paper entitled “Information Flow in Large Communication Nets.” In 1969, the Defence Department’s  nacent ARPANET  - Advanced Research Projects Agency grew to four nodes when it was connected  by computer network nodes at four universities: the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, Calif., U.C. Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. Message Processors). This “network of networks” eventually evolved into what became known as the Internet of the mid-1980s

1978        Tuesday  Queen Yllana: I'm going to allow myself the exquisite pleasure of watching you while I obliterate the Earth…….The American space probe Pioneer Venus I, orbiting Venus, began beaming back its first information and picture of the planet to scientists in Mountain View, Calif.  The Pioneer Venus 1 (also known as the Pioneer Venus orbiter) was the first of a two-spacecraft orbiter-probe combination designed to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the atmosphere of Venus. The orbiter spacecraft was launched May 20, 1978. The spacecraft was a solar-powered cylinder about 8.3 feet (250 centimeters) in diameter.  They were amazed to discover that the planet was inhabited by beautiful women and their despotic queen as describe accurately in the 1958 documentary Queen of Outer Space when television’s Eric Fleming, direct from Rawhide, landed on the planet and had Zsa Zsa Gabor fall in love with him just in time to prevent Queen Yllana from destroying the Earth.

1985 – Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages…..Louis Pasteur ……..A bottle of 1787 Chateau Latour once owned by Thomas Jefferson (whose initials are on the bottle) went at auction to Malcolm Forbes for $157,500. Jefferson was also an avid oenophile. The wine is not drinkable, as it’s  unusual for even the best Bordeaux to last more than 50 years, and so 200 years is beyond any wine’s limit. The allure of these high-priced bottles of vinegar, and other wines of its ilk, is purely in the joy of collecting, not consuming. Chateau Latour is one of the first-growth Bordeaux standard-setters, and made in a style that leads to long life but not a Draculaesque one. It is now nestled in the Forbes Collection in New York.

1989        Tuesday , Driving that train, high on cocaine,
Casey Jones you better, watch your speed.
Trouble ahead, trouble behind,
And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

This old engine makes it on time,
Leaves Central Station 'bout a quarter to nine,
Hits River Junction at seventeen to,
At a quarter to ten you know it's travelin' again…
…Grateful Dead……. A French TGV train reached a world record speed of 482.4 kph.    The train, carrying no passengers, broke the record of 253 mph set in May 1988 by an Inter-City Experimental locomotive in West Germany. The record was set on a section of track in the wine-growing Loire Valley. The record-breaking TGV locomotive comprised two bullet-nosed engines pulling four cars, down from the usual 10 cars. The normal top speed for the TGV Atlantic is about 185 mph along specially constructed track that eliminates the click-click sound common to most rail systems. A specially tuned three car TGV (Train ŕ Grande Vitesse) with higher voltage and larger wheels, broke the world record in April 2007, reaching 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph). But speed records are made to be broken so as you read this……………

1996        Thursday  دين اسلام دين با نرمش روادار است  يك چنين The Iranian Parliament passed legislation that banned the use of foreign words and names in the country. Only Farsi language names would be allowed.  Musically, they would, however, be allowed to play Pink Floyd’s Farsi of the Moon.

1997         Friday , Here they come again, mmmm-mm-mm
Catch us if you can, mmmm-mm-mm
Time to get a move on, mmmm-mm-mm
We will yell with all of our might
…..Dave Clark Five………The space shuttle Columbia returned from a 16-day mission that had been marred by the bungled release of a satellite.  Controls aboard the satellite failed to activate after it was released. The crew then spent more than an hour attempting to retrieve the box-like SPARTAN using the shuttle's 50-foot robot arm while the satellite hilariously executed a slow-motion series of tumbling spins. But mission control in Houston finally ordered the shuttle to resume its orbit, leaving the satellite behind on Nov. 21.  Three days later a seven-hour, 43-minute spacewalk captured the SPARTAN by hand at 9:09 p.m. EST.

2001        Wednesday Q: Does the "wake-up" song actually wake you up? Yes - with these speakers, it sounds like the national anthem being played on an electric shaver. …….NASA launched space shuttle Endeavour to deliver a new 3-man crew to the Alpha space station. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Onufrienko flew to replace Doug Culbertson as skipper. Also on board were Commander Dominic L. Gorie, Pilot Mark E. Kelly, Mission Specialists Linda M. Godwin, Daniel M. Tani and Russian cosmonauts; Mikhail Tyurin and Vladimir N. Dezhurov. Also, aboard Endeavour were 6,000 small United States flags that would be distributed to heroes and families of the victims of the attacks after the shuttle returned to Earth; a U.S. flag that was found at the World Trade Center site after the attacks; a U.S. flag that had flown above the Pennsylvania state capitol; a U.S. Marine Corps Colors flag from the Pentagon; a New York Fire Department flag; and a poster that included photographs of firefighters lost in the attacks.

2002        Thursday Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!
....Robert Burns….To a Mouse……. The genetic code of the Black 6 mouse, the most common breed of laboratory mouse, was published in Nature. They  matched its traits with the recently decoded human genome.  Among the findings were that mice and human beings both carry about 30,000 genes. Differences within these individual genes -- the precise sequences of the four-letter DNA code -- spell out the obvious differences between the two mammalian species. On a letter-by-letter basis, the genes are 85 percent the same….pass the cheese please. The Black 6 is the most popular lab mouse because it can reproduce with a rabbit like propensity.  The mouse was created almost a century ago, when a mouse code-named C52 bonked one called C57 and deposited its semen in her reproductive tract with a waxy plug. Both were descended from a line of "fancy mice," sold as pets from a converted poultry farm in Granby, Mass

2004        Sunday Arab scientists have invented a time-travel device that can transport an entire country back to the 7th century. They're calling it 'Islam'. …..Thailand airdropped nearly 100 million Japanese-style origami cranes over the predominantly Muslim southern region in a psychological effort toward peace. Well that certainly worked well as a series of bomb attacks followed the next day.

            2006 – Tuesday Our prohibition on trans fats was one of many bold public health measures that faced fierce initial criticism, only to gain widespread acceptance and support, …New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg…. ……We know what’s best for you, you fat tub of goo… Your “Nanny State” at work as New York became the first city in the nation to ban artery-clogging trans fats at restaurants. Hydrogenation solidifies liquid oils and increases the shelf life and the flavor stability of oils and foods that contain them. Trans fat is found in vegetable shortenings and in some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods and other foods. Trans fats are also found in abundance in "french fries." Trans fats wreak havoc with the body's ability to regulate cholesterol.

2008      Friday I bought some instant water one time but I didn't know what to add to it…..Steven Wright…… Australia's driest state was forced to purchase water for the first time to ensure adequate supplies in the midst of a drought. Karlene Maywald, state water security minister, said South Australia  had to purchase 61 billion gallons (231 gigaliters), of water so that Adelaide, the state capital, would have enough water for 2009 .  South Australia receives the least rainfall of any Australian state. Adelaide, on the coast, averages 20.8 inches (528 millimeters) a year but much of the state gets less than 9.8 inches (250 millimeters).

2009  Saturday  The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits….Albert Einstein…..In yet another fire caused by the brilliant concept of indoor fireworks…..In Russia a blaze sparked by onstage pyrotechnics tore through the Lame Horse nightclub ceiling killing at least 136 people and critically injuring about 90 in the industrial city of Perm in the Ural Mountains.  Weeks later the death toll reached 152 with 74 people still hospitalized. In 2013 club owner Anatoly Zak was convicted of creating conditions that violate safety regulations. He was sentenced to nine years and 10 months in prison.

2011  Monday It is unnatural in a large field to have only one shaft of wheat, and in the infinite Universe only one living world……..Metrodorus of Chios ………NASA scientists reported that a planet named Kepler22b, first detected in 2009, exists in a habitable zone of a solar system 600 light-years away.  Kepler-22, which is located roughly 600 light-years from Earth. With a radius of about 2.4 times that of Earth, astronomers that the planet's temperatures about the same. If the greenhouse effect is the same as well, scientists estimated its surface temperature is a life-friendly 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Planet Kepler22b is the home world of the New York City Council, Celebutards, the Iranian Government, the Editorial Board of the New York Times, and Pee Wee Herman.

2012    Wednesday  We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. …..Immanuel Kant ……Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife Conservancy said that two male black rhinos and two female black rhinos were killed over the weekend. The four deaths brought Lewa's rhino population to 71. Kenya was down to about 600 rhinos in total. In 2013 Kenya began an ambitious plan to microchip every rhino in the country in a drive to combat a surge of poaching. Officials hoped the chips would enable live animals to be tracked and poached horns to be traced, improving the chances of poachers being prosecuted. This was an enormous comfort to the dead rhinos.

2014 – Friday -If it's a new planet, sign me up. I'm tired of driving around the block, boldly going where hundreds have gone before in orbit around earth—give me a place to go and I'll go………Neil deGrasse Tyson, ……… NASA marked a critical step on the journey to Mars with its Orion spacecraft during a  liftoff  at  dawn over eastern Florida aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket. Orion will be the first since Apollow to carry a spacecraft built for humans to deep space, The launch was the first time NASA's next-generation spacecraft would be  tested against the challenges of space, and the first operational test of a heat shield strong enough to protect against 4,000-degree temperatures.  Orion — built for NASA by Lockheed Martin, which is overseeing today's flight — looks somewhat like the capsules flown during NASA's Apollo moon landing program, which took humans to the moon for the first time.

Back To Calendar


1240 - Thursday,    Gengis Gengis he’s our mhan.  If he can’t do it Batu Khan…. Medieval version of high school/college cheer……..Mongols under Batu Khan occupied and destroyed Kiev.  In 1239 Mongolian army leader Möngke offered the city terms for surrender. However, Kiev refused and killed Mongol envoys.  Big mistake. One year later, the Mongol army under the rule of Batu Khan, stormed Kiev and burned down most of the city.  Out of 50,000 inhabitants before the invasion, about 2,000 survived. It was not to be until the 19th century, during the Industrial Revolution that the city was to thrive again. But, of course, Vladimir Putin will have something to say about that.

1421 –Thursday ….here I prophesy: this brawl today, Grown to this faction in the Temple garden, Shall send between the red rose and the white A thousand souls to death and deadly night………Act 2, scene 4, lines 124-7 The Earl of Warwick prophesizes to Richard Plantagenet the Wars of the Roses……Henry VI, Part 1……….Happy Birthday, King Henry VI of England born at Windsor Castle  Then only son of the great Henry V, this Henry was the “bud” if you will, in the Wars of the Roses. Only occasionally sane, Henry, a Lancaster, was eventually usurped by his cousin Edward of York who became Edward IV and then rendered kaput in 1471. Henry had an attack of mental illness that ran  in his mother's (Catherine of Valois) family in 1454 and Richard Duke of York (Edward’s dad) was made Protector of the Realm.  The House of York challenged Henry VI's right to the throne and England and before you could say grasping relative, the country was plunged into civil. With Henry addled, wife Margaret led the Lancastrian forces.  Henry was restored to the throne briefly in 1470. However, Henry's son, Edward, Prince of Wales was killed at the battle of Tewkesbury, one day before Henry was murdered in the Tower of London in 1471.

1534  - Thursday……Yo quito se dablo enchalada porquesa in quinto minute…..Neil Simon,  Rumors……Quito, aka, San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, was founded by Spanish conquistadors.  Two different expeditions of conquest came together at  Quito.  They were led by Francisco Pizarro's chief lieutenants Pedro de Alvarado and Sebastián de Benalcázar. Despite an Inca civil war over the succession to Huayna Capac , the people of Quito fought the Spanish tenaciously every step of the way, most notably at the Battle of Teocajas. Benalcázar arrived first only to find that Quito had been razed by Incan general Rumińahui. Benalcázar was one of 204 Spaniards to formally establish Quito as a Spanish city on December 6, 1534, a date which is still celebrated in Quito.

1586 –Saturday I've never owned a telescope, but it's something I'm thinking of looking into. …….George Carlin…….. Buon Compleano/Happy Birthday, Niccolo Zucchi,. Italian astronomer born in Parma. Zucchi designed one of the earliest reflecting telescopes in 1616. The telescope was invented by Hans Lippershey although Zucchi’s pre-dated the telescopes of  James Gregory and Sir Isaac Newton.  Zucchi  had become interested  in astronomy after a meeting with Johannes Kepler whom he met when he visited the court of Emperor Ferdinand II as part of a retinue on an emissary mission of the pope.. With his telescope Zucchi discovered the belts of the planet Jupiter in 1630 and the elastic waist-band of  Mars. Of course a vegetable was named after one of his body joints—the Zucchi Knee. Yes,we have no shame.

1598- Sunday There are two devices which can help the sculptor to judge his work: one is not to see it for a while. The other... is to look at his work through spectacles which will change its color and magnify or diminish it, so as to disguise it somehow to his eye, and make it look as though it were the work of another.. ……Buon Compleano/Happy Birthday, Giovanni Bernini (brother of Heart Bernini), Italian sculptor born in Naples.  Bernini was perhaps the greatest sculptor of the 17th century and also an outstanding architect – the piazza and colonnades at St. Peter’s in Rome.  Bernini created the Baroque style of sculpture.  If a sculpture fell off its pedestal and hit the ground it was “baroque”.  Visit the Villa Borghese in Rome and you’ll see his famous mythological groups of sculptures "Aeneas and Anchises", "Pluto and Persephone", "Apollo and Daphne" and "David" which he created under the sponsorship of Cardinal Scipione Borghese.

1631 – Saturday ….the planet Venus --- it passed across ---- the Sun --- across the face of the Sun …..Assyrian cuneiform tablet, 16th century B.C……The first predicted transit of Venus took place. It had been predicted by Johaness Kepler, but he died a year before the event. Kepler’s calculations of planetary motions (based largely on observations from Tycho Brahe) enabled him to accurately predict a transit of Mercury on November 7, 1631, and a transit of Venus just a month later, on December 6th.  French scientist Gassendi  looked for the predicted transit of Venus, but the transit had already ended before the Sun rose from his Paris location.

Sadly, no documentation exists of anyone in the world seeing the 1631 transit of Venus. If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it……. A transit of Venus occurs When Venus passes directly between earth and the sun, we see the distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the sun.  A  transit of Venus occurred June 5-6, 2012.  The next pair of Sun-Venus-Earth alignments will be December 2117 and 2125

1741 – Wednesday Kings may usurp thrones, republics may be established, but the town scarcely stirs. ….Emile Zola……………..Russian princess Elisabeth Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great  and her husband led a coup d’etat, deposing the infant Czar Ivan VI, had him imprisoned.  The fact that Elizabeth was about to be banished to a convent may have been an impetus.  She  reigned until her death in 1762.  Elizabeth’s father, Peter, had abolished the law of succession during his reign. Subsequently, the Supreme Council was given the right to choose Peter’s heir to the throne.

1768 –Tuesday Curiosity, people say
Killed the kitty cat one fine day
Well this may be true, but hear me
Here is what to do for curiosity
It’s the En cylopedia E N C Y C L O P E D I A….
  Jiminiy Cricket (Mickey Mouse Club)  we note that the Editorial Board of the Gnus still uses this song to help spell encyclopedia………..The first edition of the Encyclopćdia Britannica (Latin for “British Encyclopaedia”) , and important source for the Gnus, was published under the title “Encyclopedia Britannica, or, A dictionary of arts and sciences, compiled upon a new plan.” It would eventually become the oldest continuously published English-language encyclopedia. The first edition was published in one hundred installments, which would later be bound into three volumes. Each installment cos s sixpence or eight pence for an edition printed on finer paper and was delivered in weekly.  The three bound volumes will be sold for twelve pounds sterling apiece. The set had 2,391 pages and included 160 copperplate illustrations.  We note however, that one set of illustrations, a three page depiction of female pelvises and fetuses in the midwifery article had  be torn from every copy by order of loopy King George III.

 1778- Sunday We all teach ... the chemistry of Lavoisier and Gay-Lussac…..Marcellin Berthelot ……..Joyeaux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, French chemist born in St. Leonard.  His work was an extensive investigation of how the volume of various gases changes with temperature. The English scientist John Dalton was independently studying the same phenomenon. Both found that the volume V of all gases studied increased similarly with higher temperature T when pressure P was held constant ( VαT at constant P ). Each published his results around 1802, with Gay-Lussac's experimental work being both more thorough and more precise than that of Dalton. Did
Gay-Lussac get credit?  Did Dalton? Nah..It went to Jacques Charles who had made the discoveries 15 yers earlier but never published. Go figure.  In 1805, by exploding together given volumes of hydrogen and oxygen, Gay-Lussac discovered they combined in ratio 2:1 by volume to form water. Yup, H2O.


1790  -Monday  The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets…..Will Rogers…..Congress moved from New York City to Philadelphia.  Why? Slavery and economics.  Slave owning states did not want the nation’s capital to be located in a non-slave owning state.  Thomas Jefferson, slave owner, wanted the capital to be placed in Virginia.  A compromise was reached, by which Philadelphia would become the temporary capital for 10 years, while the permanent capital was under construction. This permanent capital, the District of Columbia, originally straddled the Potomac River, with some of it on land ceded by Maryland, and some on land ceded by Virginia. The compromise was worked out privately by Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton — Jefferson got the capital in his home state (where slavery was protected), and Hamilton got Jefferson's (and the Virginia delegation's) support in passing his national economic plan. Robert Morris entered the negotiations and convinced them to make Philadelphia the temporary capital. New York City tried to stop the move, but the backroom deal went through and NYC had to settle for the Knicks and the Jets.

1793 – Friday Encore un moment, monsieur le bourreau, un petit moment. ….to her executioner, Samson…..Marie Jeanne Becu, Comtesse du Barry, flamboyant mistress of Louis XV, (not the decapitated Louis XVI)  was guillotined in Paris. She did not go quietly into that good night.  Most reports have her shrieking in terror.

1802 –Monday Archaeology is like a jigsaw puzzle except you can’t cheat and look at the box and not all the pieces are there……Stephen Dean…….Joyeaux Anniversaire/Buon Comleano/Happy Birthday Paul-Emil Botta ( of the team of  Bread & Botta), French consul and archaeologist born in Piedmont, Italy.  Botta became famous for his search of the ancient city of Nineveh, although he did not succeed in uncovering the ruin himself. His most significant discovery was of the palace of the Assyrian King Sargon II. He unearthed not only beautiful artworks, which continue to be displayed in the Louvre, but also numerous cuneiform inscribed tablets, which reveal much about ancient times Sargon II, who ruled from 721 to 705 BC, believed in modest living, his palace was an entire city within walls a mile long with huge stone sculptures

1822 -Friday A horse may be coaxed to drink, but a pencil must be lead….Stan Laurel….. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday,  (John) Eberhard Faber born in Stein, Bavaria. Faber who  built the 1st large-scale pencil factory in US. From the NYC History site designation - The Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, originally the A. W. Faber Company, was founded by EberhardFaber (1822-1879) in 1861. Following a disastrous fire at the Manhattan plant in 1872, Faber moved the factory to Brooklyn, where it remained until 1956. The company is credited with bringing German lead pencil-making techniques to the United States and Faber grew to become one of Brooklyn’smost important factories, employing hundreds of workers, most of which were women. In addition to mass-producing low-cost pencils, the Brooklyn plant made pen holders and related stationary items.

  1833 –Friday  Awakening the General with a slap to the rear, Mosby asked "Do you know Mosby, General?" The General replied "Yes! Have you got the rascal?" "No," said Mosby. "He's got you!"…..capture of General Edwin H. Stoughton. inside  Union lines – 1863.  Happy Birthday, John Singleton Mosby, the “Gray Ghost”, American Confederate partisan leader born in Edgemont, Virginia.  1862, Mosby began scouting for Jeb Stuart and was responsible for the infamous ride around George McClellan’s army in June. In1863, Mosby was given permission to organize his Partisan Rangers. Mosby became an expert in guerrilla warfare tactics and his small unit of a hundred soldiers were very active during the Union Army during the Wilderness campaign. Mosby and his men undermined the enemy's transport system by destroying rail lines and bridges. In 1865 General Philip Sheridan sent out a hundred men to hunt down Mosby. Within a few months 98 of these men had been killed or wounded. Mosby's military successes earned him promotions to captain, major and finally colonel in December, 1864.  They never did get Mosby.  After the war he returned to practicing law and actually, gasp, became a Republican.   The Editorial Board of the Gnus recommends Gray Ghost: The Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby by James A. Ramage.

1848- Wednesday What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. …..Dave Barry……Wszystkiego Najlepszego!Happy Birthday, Johan Polisa, Silesian (Poland) astronomer who was a prolific discoverer of asteroids, 127 in all, beginning with Asteroid 136 in March of 1874, using a 6” refractor telescope  at the Austrian Naval Observatory in Pola, Istria.  n 1883, he joined the expedition of the French academy to observe the total solar eclipse on May 6 of that year.  During the eclipse, he searched for the proposed planet Vulcan, which was supposed to circle the sun within the orbit of Mercury.  Well that didn’t work out so well and it was back to asteroids with the last found being Asteroid 1073 Gellivara in 1923. All of Polisa’s discoveries were by visual observation, without the aid of photography. Cloudy nights with no observation opportunities were described as a “pain in the asteroid”.

1850-Friday  I'll be fine when you're gone
I'll just cry all night long
Say it isn't true
And don't it make my brown eyes blue
……..Crystal Gayle…..Hermann von Helmholtz announced his invention, the ophthalmoscope, to the Berlin Physical Society of which he was a member.  The ophthalmoscope, the most important invention for ophthalmologist clinicians, is an instrument that allows the ophthalmologist to look inside a person’s eye and see the details of the living retina. Ophthalmoscopes allow physicians to diagnose eye diseases and prevent blindness.  Helmholtz was not the first person to develop an ophthalmoscope, nor the first to examine the interior of the eye, his device was the first to be put to practical use.  Johannes Purkinje had made the discovery in 1823 and Charles Babbage had fashioned an ophthalmoscope similar to Helmholtz’s design in 1847. However, neither discovery was well known and Helmholtz created his ophthalmoscope without the benefit of their knowledge. Unlike his predecessors, Helmholtz publicized his findings and the ophthalmoscope began to be manufactured.

1863 – Sunday  I told some jokes about aluminum there was no reaction …..anonymous….Charles Martin Hall, American chemist and engineer born in Thompson, Ohio.  While attending Oberlin College, a remark by Professor F.F Jewett that whoever could develop an efficient method of producing aluminum would become rich had a profound effect on young  Hall.. Yes, a college student actually listening in class. Hall invented an inexpensive method for producing aluminum.  On February 23, 1886 in the woodshed behind his family's home, he  produced globules of aluminum metal by the electrolysis of aluminum oxide dissolved in a cryolite-aluminum fluoride . Hall was granted patent #400,655 for his process

1865 – Wednesday The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the Judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please….Thomas Jefferson………..Georgia – the 27th state to do so -  ratified the  13th Amendment to the Constitution, officially ending the institution of slavery..  It came 8 months after the Civil War ended in April and stated, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."  The 13th Amendment was proposed on January 31, 1865.  Mississippi ratified the amendment in 1995, but the state didn't officially notify the US Archivist until 2012, when the ratification finally became official. This amendment was specifically rejected by Delaware on Feb 8, 1865; by Kentucky on Feb 24, 1865; by New Jersey on Mar 16, 1865; and by Mississippi on Dec 4, 1865. Florida reaffirmed its ratification on Jun 9, 1868.


1866 –Thursday  …….Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground
……..Talking Heads…….Chicago’s water supply tunnel into Lake Michigan was completed.  They needed a tunnel because water intakes just offshore proved inadequate soon after their construction in the 1850s, as the river carried raw sewage into Lake Michigan. Engineer Ellis Chesbrough, who designed the city's sewer system, proposed a tunnel two miles long to a new water intake further out in the lake.   We note the commentary from the This Day in Water History site - The purity of the water from this tunnel was grossly overstated in this article and in the minds of Chicagoans in 1866. Cholera and typhoid fever continued to kill tens of thousands of people in Chicago because the city’s sewage was also discharged into the lake for many decades after 1866.

1868 – Sunday Frank, William and Simeon Reno, leaders of the infamous Reno gang that committed the world's first train robbery, at Seymour, October 6, 1866, were hanged by vigilantes in the New Albany jail December 12, 1868, and interred here December 15, 1868 ….Plaque in Seymour, Indiana cemetary……On this day, a guard shot in their latest robbery went kaput.  That set off the locals and………..The Renos had not done well lynch mobwise.  They are credited with pulling off the “world’s  first train robbery” in 1866.  Over the next two years, the Reno Gang pulled off three more train robberies, including one in Marshfield, Indiana said to have been worth $96,000.  Things didn’t go well after that as in 1868 a train carrying three members of the Reno Gang was stopped by a mob of vigilantes as it passed, ironically but not unexpectedly through Seymour, Indiana. The men were hung on the spot, and buried in Seymour.  But wait!  There’s more!  The Reno brothers themselves were captured later that year and sent to a highly secured prison in New Albany, Indiana, out of fear of another vigilante attack, which, of course, swiftly came. Nearly 100 vigilantes swarmed over the prison and, after attacking the sheriff and guards, broke into the Reno brothers' cell and lynched them immediately.

1876   - Wednesday Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters……..Abraham Lincoln ………The Florida canvassing board determined Rutherford B. Hayes won the state by a margin of 924 votes and  The Democratic candidate, Governor Samuel J. Tilden of New York, had carried a majority of the popular vote, and by the morning after the election he had 184 of the 185 electoral votes necessary for a majority.  Tilden’s Republican opponent, Governor Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, had at best 166 electoral votes (or 165 if the eligibility of one of Oregon’s three electors was successfully challenged). The nineteen votes from the three ex-Confederate states Republicans still controlled—Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina—were in dispute.  Miraculously, all three states eventually went to Hayes.

1876   Wednesday      And I'm burning, I'm burning, I'm burning for you
I'm burning, I'm burning, I'm burning for you
….Blue Oyster Cult ……. Scholars today quite generally agree that cremation probably began in any real sense during the early Stone Age -- around 3000 B.C. -- and most likely in Europe and the Near East. The first US crematorium, the LeMoyne, built by Dr. Julius LeMoyne,  began operation in Washington, Pennsylvania on this day.  LeMoyne built the crematory on his own land, then called, ironically,  Gallows Hill.  It cost $1500. The simple, 30- by 20-foot brick building had a reception room and a furnace room. LeMoyne, himself, designed the oven. Flames would never touch the bodies being cremated! The first cremation at LeMoyne's facility took place on December 6, 1876. A total of 42 cremations were done there, the last in 1901. LeMoyne, ironically, was the third person cremated in his own crematory. He died in 1879. Everything was plain, repulsively so…. Just a practical corpse incinerator, as unaesthetic as a bake-oven…. wrote one visitor to the crematory closely following its completion.

1876 – Wednesday Money may not buy happiness, but I'd rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus…..Françoise Sagan…..Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday,  Fred Duesenberg, German-American businessman, born in Kirchheide, Lippe, Germany. With brother, August, he  co-founded the Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Company .  They moved to Des Moines, Iowa,  circa 1903 and established a shop at 915 Grand Ave. They built their first car in 1904-05, the Marvel, and in 1906, produced a two-cylinder model, the Hill Climber.  They moved to Indianapolis and made race cars and later, from 1929-1937, luxury cars.

      1877 – Thursday-  I was going to record talking, and then have the machine talk back. … I then shouted ‘Mary had a little lamb,’ … the machine reproduced it perfectly. I was never so taken aback in my life. … I was always afraid of things that worked the first time … but here was something there was no doubt of…..Thomas Edison demonstrated the first sound recording on his tin foil machine, reciting Mary had a Little Lamb at his Menlo Park Laboratory, making the first surviving recording of the human voice. The hip hop version warbled by Mary J. Blige is now available for downloading from iTunes. He may have earlier recorded the word Hellooo in August of the same year. There is a recording made by Thomas A. Edison on August 12, 1927, at the Golden Jubilee of the Phonograph ceremony. In this recording Edison demonstrated how in 1877 he made the first record on his tinfoil phonograph. The original 1877 recording was not saved and no longer exists. 

1882-Wednesday  There are so many stars shining in the sky, so many beautiful things winking at you, but when Venus comes out, all the others are waned, they are pushed to the background.,,,,,Mehmet Murat ildan….from the play Galileo Galilei ……The transit of Venus across the sun (see 1631 above) was photographed on a series of glass plate negatives made by astronomer David Peck Todd. Transits of Venus – the planet passes across the face of the Sun and appears as a black dot- are among the rarest of planetary alignments. Only six such events have occurred since the invention of the telescope. Transits occur in pairs, 8 years apart - 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874 and 1882. The last transit of Venus occurred in 2012. Sky and Telescope notes that Todd took the photos from the summit of Mount Hamilton, where a solar photographic telescope made by the renowned optical firm Alvan Clark & Sons waited among the stacks of bricks and timbers from which Lick Observatory was rising. His 147 glass negatives were carefully stored in the mountain vault, but as astronomers turned to other techniques for determining the scale of the solar  the plates lay untouched and were eventually forgotten.

   1884 –Saturday Laus Deo ……inscription on aluminum cap on top of the Washington Monument. ….Thirty six years after the cornerstone was laid, during the administration of James K. Polk,  the Washington Monument was completed.  Workers placed a nine-inch aluminum pyramid atop the  white marble tower.  Built to honor  Revolutionary war hero and the first President, George Washington, the monument is made of  36,000 blocks of marble and granite stacked 555 feet in the air, the monument was the tallest structure in the world at the time. A city law passed in 1910 restricted the height of new buildings to ensure that the monument will remain the tallest structure in Washington, D.C. This remained so until the incredibly large egos of Bill and Hillary Clinton surpassed it during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  Those egos were then dwarfed again by Barack Obama. As for Laus Deo – Latin for Praise to God.

1886 – Monday

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
……..Happy Birthday, Joyce Kilmer, born in New Brunswick New Jersey, poet author of Trees. Kilmer enlisted in the army shortly after the U.S joined the war in 1917.  Before his departure, Kilmer had contracted with publishers to write a book about the war, deciding upon the title Here and There with the Fighting Sixty-Ninth. Kilmer wrote home, stating "I have not written anything in prose or verse since I got here - except statistics - but I've stored up a lot of memories to turn into copy when I get a chance."  A sergeant, he was killed in action by a sniper in France while leading a scouting party during the second Battle of the Marne WWI  on July 30, 1918. Kilmer was thirty one years old.


1888- Thursday I like invertebrates. I don’t mean worms particularly, although a worm can be almost anything, including the larva of a beautiful butterfly. But I do like the soft delicate ones, the jellyfishes and corals and the beautiful microscopic organisms……. Happy Birthday, Libby Henrietta Hyman, U.S. zoologist born in Des Moines Iowa.  Hyman, the daughter of Jewish immigrants, who wrote two laboratory manuals and a comprehensive six-volume reference work, The Invertebrates, -NOT  the story of many politicians - (1940-67) covering most phyla of its subject. Volume I covered Protozoa through Ctenophora) and on to  Volume 6, Mollusca (she could have titled it “Good Golly Miss Mollusk”).

1896   -Sunday The way you wear your hat,
The way you sip your tea,
The mem'ry of all that --
No, no! They can't take that away from me
…… Happy Birthday,  Ira Gershwin, older brother of George, lyricist, born on Manhattan’s lower east side.  The two of them worked on over 20 Broadway musicals and motion pictures. While working on the score for the Goldwyn Follies of 1938, George Gershwin died from an inoperable brain tumor. The score they were in the midst of produced such incredible standards as Love Walked In and Love Is Here To Stay. Ira collaborated with authors Moss Hart, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, Harry Warren and Harold Arlen to revive his brother’s work.  Ira was noted for his lyrical brilliance -'The Man I Love', 'S Wonderful', 'I Got Rhythm', 'Embraceable You', 'A Foggy Day' and 'Fascinating Rhythm' and  his his work on 'Porgy and Bess' , with such classics as 'Summertime', 'I Got Plenty o' Nuttin' and 'It Ain't Necessarily So'. He collected all the lyrics of his best-known songs and wrote commentaries on each in Lyrics on Several Occasions.


1898  - Tuesday All photographers have to do, is find and catch the story-telling moment. …….Happy Birthday, Alfred Eisenstaedt, photojournalist, born in Dirschau, West Prussia. In 1935 he immigrated to New York City, where he became one of the first four photographers hired by Life Magazine. He contributed more than 2,500 picture stories and 90 cover photos using his Leica camera, to the weekly. Yes he took that iconic photo of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square on V J Day in 1945. 

1902 –Saturday  The most interesting thing about a postage stamp is the persistence with which it sticks to its job…..Napoleon Hill… The first U.S. definitive or commemorative stamp to feature a woman was issued.  The 8˘ stamp honored Martha Washington, depicting her at age 65.  The first woman pictured on a United States postage stamp was Queen Isabella in 1893. However, the 5-cent stamp wasn't issued specifically in her honor. The postal service released the stamp, which also pictures Christopher Columbus, to commemorate Columbus Day.

1906   - Thursday Flight is the only truly new sensation than men have achieved in modern history. ….James Dickey ………Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge flew a powered, man-carrying kite, the Cygnet,  that carried him 168 feet in the air for seven minutes at Bras d’or Lake in Nova Scotia. The flight was in Alexander Graham Bell's huge tetrahedral kite, named Cygnet, made of 3,393 winged cells. Selfridge was towed behind a steamer on the lake, and the Cygnet with Selfridge aboard took flight to an altitude of 168 feet (51m). Selfridge flew in the Cygnet for over seven minutes until the large kite started to drift down due to decreasing breeze. The Cygnet  and Selfridge then sank into the water of the lake and before the tow rope could be cut, the kite was partially dragged under the water and Selfridge had to free himself from the device. He came to the surface in the frigid waters of the lake.

1907 – Friday I keep straining my ears to hear a sound.
Maybe someone is digging underground,
or have they given up and all gone home to bed,thinking those who once existed must be dead
……Bee Gees……. The worst mining disaster in American history occurred at the Fairmont Coal Company in Monongah, Marion County, West Virginia.  361 coal miners were killed. An unpublished report by Frank Haas of the Bureau of Mines in 1908 noted that The No. 6 and No. 8 Mines were slope openings about 1ź miles apart.  The mines were ventilated separately but were connected so that each mine could be ventilated from eith opening in case of necessity. The workings were wired for electricity, and the coal was undercut by electric cutting machines.  Black powder was used for blasting; the tamping composed largely of coal dust.  No shot firers were employed.  Open lights were used by all workmen. Traces of gas were found in the advance workings, and firebosses made daily examinations before the men entered.  The mines were dusty and haulways were dampened by water cars. On that Friday morning, 367 men were in the mine and work progressed as usual until 10:28 a.m. when the explosion killed nearly all the men, wrecked the ventilation system, smashed motors and cars, and destroyed the No. 8 openings, together with the boilerhouse and fan, but did little damage to the No. 6 slope.
Four men escaped through an outcrop opening and 1 man was rescued.  Many of the miners were young boys.  The cause of the disaster was never fully understood. Some speculated that a spark ignited methane gas, which in turn ignited highly flammable coal dust that spread fire throughout the mine system.


  1908 – Sunday I'm going to get those sons of bitches…….Baby Face Nelson marching straight into the fire from FBI agent Sam Cowley's shotgun, taking buckshot wounds in both legs.  He then killed Cowley……….Happy Birthday, Lester Gillis alias Baby Face Nelson, (he preferred being called Jimmy Williams) American bank robber, and psycho killer, born in Chicago. Jay Robert Nash in Bloodletters and Badmen  notes that “Where outlaws such as Pretty Boy Floyd and the Barkers would kill to protect themselves when cornered, the The 5’4” 130 lb. Nelson went out of his way to murder — he loved it, his angelic, pear-smooth face never betrayed his instant ability to kill." In 1932, while being returned to prison from a trial for another bank robbery, he escaped custody and fled to California, where he hooked up with a bootlegging gang. Nelson traveled among California, Indiana and Minnesota, becoming involved in several murders. By 1934 he returned to the Chicago area, where he hooked up in an all star gang led by John Dillinger. After Dillinger’s death at the Biograph Theater in  Chicago,t he FBI received a tip that Nelson had been seen driving a stolen car near Barrington, Illinois, and sent two agents to investigate. They spotted the car with Nelson, wife Helen and a fellow gang member, Paul Chase, and a running gun battle ensued. By the time the battle was over the two FBI agents had been killed and Nelson, mortally wounded, was driven away by his accomplice. He died that night. His body was left near a cemetery, where it was found the next morning.


1917- Thursday   Science is one thing, wisdom is another. Science is an edged tool, with which men play like children, and cut their own fingers. If you look at the results which science has brought in its train, you will find them to consist almost wholly in elements of mischief. See how much belongs to the word “Explosion” alone, of which the ancients knew nothing……Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington………The Mont Blanc, a French general cargo and munitions ship owned by Cie Generale Transatlantique., exploded 20 minutes after colliding with a Norwegian ship, the Imo,  in the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She had sailed on December 1, 1917, at 11:00pm, darkness from Gravesend Bay, New York and  was loaded with 2,300 tons of wet and dry picric acid, 200 tons of TNT, 10 tons of gun cotton and 35 tons of benzol: a highly explosive mixture. Other than that, it was fine.  The huge explosion came when the ship, already on fire,  had drifted towards shore and actually brushed against a dock as people cleverly came out came out to watch the fire (the ship’s cargo was a secret). It killed more than 1,800 people, injured another 9,000--including blinding 200--and destroyed almost the entire north end of the city of Halifax, including more than 1,600 homes. The shock wave shattered windows 50 miles away, and the sound of the explosion could be heard hundreds of miles away.

1918   - Friday …..Imagination sets in pretty soon I'm singin'
Doo doo doo lookin' out my back door
……..Creedence Clearwater Revival….Harold Horace Hopkins,  English inventor born in Leicester. His work included the design of the television camera zoom lens and the optics of the video disc, but his outstanding contribution to medicine was in fiber optics, flexible endoscopes and the rod-lens system.  An endescope is a slender, tubular optical instrument used as a viewing system for examining an inner part of the body and, with an attached instrument.

1920 – Monday Want to see an extremely fast chemical reaction?  Want to see it again?......extremely old joke…….Happy Birthday, George Porter, English chemist and academic born in Stainforth, Yorkshire.  It was for his work on flash photolysis in Cambridge won the Nobel Prize. Together with Ronald Norrish and Manfred Eigen, he shared the 1967 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, for their work on techniques for observing and studying extremely fast chemical reactions during the processes of combustion, explosion and chain reaction.

           1921 –Tuesday…. No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
……Rolling Stones………….The Irish Free State was declared ending a centuries long struggle for independence.  Now known as the Republic of Ireland, the new country – 4/5 of the island-  had been under British control since the rule of King Henry II in the 12th century.  Under the terms of the treaty with the same constitutional status as Canada and the other dominions in the British Commonwealth, came into existence on December 6, 1922. The Anglo-Irish Treaty (Article 12) also stated that the six counties of Northern Ireland could opt out of the Irish Free State (which they did) and provided for a commission to establish a permanent frontier.   The treaty of Dec. 6, 1921, was signed by  Michael Collins in the belief that it was the best that could be obtained for Ireland at the time.  Unfortunately,it partitioned the country, split the Republican Movement and deeply divided the Irish people.    

  1923 – Thursday So clearly was President Coolidge’s message broadcast by radio through half of the nation today that while he was speaking KSD, the radio station in St. Louis, telephoned to the Capitol and asked: ‘What’s that grating noise?’ and the transmission experts at the Capitol promptly replied: ‘That’s the rustling of the paper as he turns the pages of his message.’ ….Dec. 7, 1923 – New York Times report……. A presidential address was broadcast on radio for the first time as President Calvin Coolidge (aka Silent Cal) spoke to a joint session of Congress.  Coolidge's address was heard on 42 stations from coast to coast. Coolidge told some jokes, sang a few songs and did his Warren G. Harding impersonation.  He also Coolidge delivered what is now known as the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

1933 – Wednesday I've been accused of vulgarity. I say that's bullshit…….Mel Brooks…. James Joyce’ book,   Ulysses was ruled not obscene.  Judge John Woolsey presided over a trial that was held from November 25-26. Joyce had been warned that the book would run afoul of the thought police (still running amuck today) and sure enough in  1919 and 1920, when the Little Review serialized some of the book, the U.S. Post Office confiscated three issues of the magazine and burned them. The publishers were convicted of publishing obscene material, fined $50 each, and nearly sent to prison. So Ulysses was first published in 1922 in Paris and instantly became an object of smuggling pride and a valuable collector's item when successfully transported past British and American customs agents. By 1928, the U.S. Customs Court officially listed Ulysses among obscene. During the trial, One of the prosecuting attorneys turned to Morris Ernst. "The government can't win this case," he said. Ernst asked why. "The only way to win," said the prosecutor, "is to refer to the great number of vulgar four-letter words used by Joyce. But I can't do it." Why not, asked Ernst."Because there is a lady in the courtroom." "But that's my wife," said Ernst. "She's a schoolteacher. She's seen all these words on toilet walls or scribbled on sidewalks by kids who enjoy them because of their being taboo."   Judge Woolsey, after devoting almost a month of his time to reading the book, (it took the Editorial Board of the Gnus about two weeks to read it but we were recovering from a ruptured appendix)  ruled in an opinion which he filed in court that Ulysses not only was not obscene in a legal sense, but that it was a work of literary merit.Under the ruling the book would be published in unexpurgated form in Jan. 20 by Random House.

1939   -Wednesday If your ever in a jam, here I am

If your ever in a mess, SOS

If you ever feel so happy you land in jail, I'm your bail

It's friendship, friendship

Just a perfect blendship

When other friendships have been forgot, ours will still be hot……….146 years to the day after Madame Du Barry bit the dust via guillotine, the Cole Porter musical comedy Du Barry Was a Lady opened on Broadway at the at the 46th Street Theatre.  Directed by by Edgar MacGregor and choreographed by Robert Alton, the play starred Bert Lahr (who opened the same year as the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz),   Ethel Merman as Du Barry, Betty Grable, Benny Baker, and Charles Walker.  Most popular song was Friendship.

1941 Saturday  I address myself to Your Majesty at this moment in the fervent hope that Your Majesty may, as I am doing, give thought in this definite emergency to ways of dispelling the dark clouds. I am confident that both of us, for the sake of the peoples not only of our own great countries but for the sake of humanity in neighboring territories, have a sacred duty to restore traditional amity and prevent further death and destruction in the world. …..Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a message to  Japanese emperor Hirohito seeking to  "Prevent further death and destruction".  Well that certainly worked out well.


1948 –Monday  I'm proud of paying taxes. The only thing is--I could be just as proud for half the money……. A precursor to The Voice, America’s Got Talent, American Idol, and a dozen more,  Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts debuted on CBS-TV. It was inspired by the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts radio show which had already been on the air for 2 1/2 years. The two versions of the show aired simultaneously for eight years until the radio show finally ended its 14 year run on October 1, 1956. The TV series continued on for nearly another two years until its final episode on July 20, 1958. Alas, the Editorial Board of the Gnus could not find the names of the contestants for the first show, the program ran for almost 10 years and the redhead introduced such talent as Lenny Bruce, Pat Boone, Patsy Cline, The Chordettes, Carmel Quinn, The McGuire Sisters, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Connie Francis, Steve Lawrence and Al Martino.

1952 – Saturday  Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose…….Richard Dawkins………Happy Birthday, David L. Spector, American biologist born in New York City.  We got this blurb from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  Spector – “The immense amount of DNA, RNA and proteins that contribute to our genetic programs are precisely organized inside the cellšs nucleus.  My group studies how nuclear organization impacts gene regulation, and how misregulation of non-coding RNAs contributes to human diseases such as cancer.”

  1955- Tuesday  I'm on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
…….In the Xeroxian World of the Internet, from hundreds of sources, we learn that the Federal government standardized the size of license plates at
12 by 6 inches (300 mm by 150 mm) throughout the U.S. Who did it?  Why?  This was probably the Interstate Commerce Commission ( The Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Transportation did not exist back then).  Since this was the era of President Eisenhower’s massive interstate highway building program, standardizing license plate size made sense.  Previously, individual states had designed their own license plates, resulting in wide variations of size and style.  With President Eisenhower's signature on June 29, 1956, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 would launch the Interstate System

     1955 -Tuesday, ……she wanted to be on this show and she started studying about boxing and she made herself into a boxing expert and she did not come on it as a boxing expert. She invented herself as a boxing expert. And she came on, she came back and said I'm a boxing expert. I'm a psychologist who knows about boxing. And they tested her and she did, and they put her on. ……Sonny Fox, host……..NY psychologist Joyce Brothers (28) won the CBS $64,000 Question, by answering 7 questions on boxing……More Sonny Fox from the PBS American Experience website–“So at $32,000 they decided really to get rid of Joyce, and this time instead of asking her questions about boxers they asked her a question about referees, which they knew she didn't know anything about. But they underestimated Miss Brothers because she had been studying every week in-between and she knew about referees by the time they asked her about referees. And she got $32,064. And they said what the heck let her go. They went back to her strength and she hit. You know she hit $64,000 and she became quite famous as a result”

1955 – Tuesday  If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.……..Happy Birthday Steven Wright  stand-up comedian/philosopher with a dead-pan, monotone delivery born in New York City.  Wright is an important source for the introductory  quotes we use for each item……too bad he is a Boston Red Sox fan….yet, we forgive. 

1956 – Thursday What happened in Hungary in October 1956 was not a revolution but an insurrection. It was an uprising. When it began it was spontaneous and leaderless, and it was truly a movement of the masses bound by one common hatred of the old regime……..David Irving…….In Hungary civilians were shot dead during protests in Budapest. A communist party committee directly governed the leading body of a militia, the so called Military Council, responsible for the shooting. Party committee member Bela Biszku was named interior minister in 1957.  Hundreds of people were executed and tens of thousands were imprisoned after the revolution was crushed by Soviet tanks. In May, 2014 the now 92 year old Biszku was found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to five years in prison. 

     1957 – Friday I had a mother who taught me there is no such thing as failure. It is just a temporary postponement of success…..Buddy Ebsen ……..As millions watched on television, America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit was collosal failure when the Vanguard rocket carrying the carrying a tiny 3.25-pound, 6.4-inch diameter spherical tracking satellite made of aluminum disintegrated  at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Vanguard,  having risen about four feet –not quite enough to achieve orbit- into the air, suddenly sank. Falling against the firing structure, fuel tanks rupturing as it did so, the rocket toppled to the ground on the northeast or ocean side of the structure in a roaring, rolling, ball-shaped volcano of flame. Coming 2two  months after the U.S.S.R's successful launch of Sputnik, this was a national embarrassment for America.  

1969 – Saturday  Under my thumb
The girl who once had me down
Under my thumb
The girl who once pushed me around
It's down to me
The difference in the clothes she wears
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
……Flower power and hippiedom died at the Rolling Stones “free” Concert (or, the anti-Woodstock) at Altamont Speedway in California.  Hell’s Angels acting as security, now that was a clever idea,  
killed attendee Meredith Hunter culminating an ugly day of violence drug overdoses, and generally bad music.  During the Stones’ American tour in 1969, they faced repeated criticism from fans and journalists who accused the band of being mercenary, claiming that ticket prices were far too high. In response, the band decided to end the tour with a free concert in San Francisco. Oy vey.  The atmosphere was so menacing and violent that even the Grateful Dead refused to play. During the band’s performance of Under My Thumb 18-year-old Meredith Hunter tried to get onstage with a group of other fans, and having been punched and pushed back into the crowd by the Hells Angels, he reacted with violence. Hunter drew a long-barreled revolver from his jacket, apparently intending to aim it either at one of the Angels, or the band onstage. A Hells Angel member pushed the gun aside and stabbed Hunter repeatedly, killing him. The band played on, unaware of the homicide and hoping to avoid a full-on riot by completing their set.

1969- Saturday He'll never love you
The way that I love you
'Cause if he did, oh no, he wouldn't
Make you cry

He might be thrilling, baby, but my love's
So doggone willing so kiss him
(Wanna see you kiss him)
Go on and kiss him goodbye

Na na na na
Na na na na
Hey hey hey
……On the same day as the horrors of Altamont (see 1969 above), one-hit wonders Steam made their contribution to fraternity parties, sports fan chants and American jargon as their hit Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye rose to number 1 on the charts replacing the Beatles’ Come Together. Go ahead, start singing…”.na na na na na na na na hey hey hey goodbye…..” Yes, in answer to the question never asked but should have been….there are eight na s in the chorus.   O.K. O.K, O.K, it’s 1969, a great year in rock music history right?  Replacing Steam at # 1 was Peter Paul and Mary’s Leaving on a Jet Plane.

1970-Sunday They told me, if I could sit on the stage so nobody climbed over me, I could drink beer till the show was over. ....Hell’s Angel........ Mercenary schmercenary – see Altamont, 1969 above. The premiere of  The Rolling Stones tour documentary Gimme Shelter , featuring footage of the infamous Altamont concert, opened  in New York City. Originally planned as a tribute to sparking water, Gimme Seltzer, the band opted for the tour theme instead.

1971   - Monday Bangladesh, Bangladesh
Where so many people are dying fast
And it sure looks like a mess
I've never seen such distress
……George Harrison……Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan,  became independent from Pakistan following a 9-month war in a struggle led by Sheik Mujibar Rahman. Sheik Rahman was nominated as president on Dec 20 and released from prison on Dec 22; he returned to Bangladesh Jan 10.
Same day, bad ending.......
1971     Monday   Dec 6, India recognized the Democratic Republic of Bangladesh and Pakistan broke off diplomatic relations. Tensions were alleviated by the Shimla accord of 1972, and by Pakistan's recognition of Bangladesh in 1974.  Bangladesh is notable for frequent floods that kill thousand of people.

1973 –Thursday  Solar energy is not something that is going to come in overnight……….Following the resignation of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew – who introduced nolo contendre into the lexicon, Slap stick House Speaker Gerald Ford became the U.S.’s first appointed Vice President. Later, he became the nation’s first non-elected President upon the resignation of Richard Nixon.  Ford was the first vice president to move to the post under the 25th amendment, which provides for a president to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency and for that nominee to be confirmed by a majority vote of both houses of Congress. Only Ford and his own vice president, Nelson A. Rockefeller, have become vice president by that route.   Ford (never the brightest bulb in the chandelier) was still trying to remember how to spell resignation.

1976 –Monday  Deaf stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil set a  women's land-speed record.  If you watched television or went to the movies in the late 1970s, you saw Kitty O'Neil; she drove Burt Reynold’s car in Smokey and the Bandit II, and it was her, not Lynda Carter in  Wonder Woman's costume who lept 127 feet from the roof of a building-- a record in its day for any stunt man or woman. On this day, driving a rocket-powered dragster called the Motivator, O'Neil set a two-way record of 512 mph, and would have gone faster had she not run out of fuel.

1989  -Wednesday You're all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists! Marc Lépine, ….In Canada 14 women were shot to death  and 12 wounded at the at the École Polytechnique at the University of Montreal.   Lunatic shooter, 25-year-old Marc Lépine, was armed with a legally obtained Mini-14 rifle and a hunting knife.  He had earlier told a shopkeeper he was going after "small game". Lépine had previously been denied admission to the École Polytechnique, the school of engineering, and had been upset, it later transpired, about women working in positions traditionally occupied by men.

1990   - Thursday Any ballplayer that don't sign autographs for little kids ain't an American. He's a communist……Rogers Hornsby…..Shoeless Joe Jackson's signature was sold for $23,100.  The autograph is one of around six known signatures of the great baseball legend, an illiterate who is remembered best for his involvement in the infamous 1919 Black Sox scandal when the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series.  The Jackson signature is on a 4-by-1 1/2-inch piece of paper torn from a document dated April, 1936. While Jackson`s first name is quite legible, his surname seems to have taken more effort. Is it really Shoeless Joe’s signature?  There are many skeptics who point out that most of his documents were signed by his wife, Kagie. 

1992 Sunday    The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer  …..Albert Einstein……….. In religious tolerance news, In Uttar Pradesh, India, thousands of Hindu kar sevaks, soldiers of the Ram Temple movement, destroyed the Babri Mosque and 4 people were killed. This set off two months of Hindu-Muslim rioting that claimed at least 2,000 lives. Attackers set off 13 bomb blasts in Bombay that destroyed skyscrapers and killed 600 people. Hindus believe that the site was the birthplace of the god Ram and that Mogul invaders tore down a temple at the site to build the Babri Mosque. In 1998 the Congress Party apologized for the mosque destruction. In 2009 an inquiry into the destruction of the Babri Mosque concluded that senior members of the opposition Bharatatiya Janata Party (BJP) were complicit in the vandalism. But no one could bring back the dead people.

1994 – Tuesday Detective Tom Polhaus: [picks up the falcon] Heavy. What is it? Sam Spade: The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of. …… last lines, The Maltese Falcon……. Speaking of auctions – see Shoeless Joe autograph 1990 above.  According to the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt website, during the making of the classic Humphrey Bogart movie, The Maltese Falcon, several lead and resin falcon props were created for the film after Bogart accidentally dropped and dented the original, but no one is sure exactly how many were made.  The whereabouts of only four of the original Falcon props are now known: two lead ones, weighing nearly 50 pounds apiece, and either one or two much lighter resin ones, which were more likely to have been used in scenes where the Falcon was carried around.  On this day the authentic lead Falcon was auctioned $398,000. 

1996: -Friday So this is the world, and there are almost six billion people on it. When I was a kid, there were three. It's hard to keep up. …..opening line…….The premiere of Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, in New York City.  The story of an agent who develops a conscience, clearly a work of fiction, starred Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger        Renée Zellweger, and even had Glen Frey of the Eagles way down there in the cast list. 

1997  - Saturday This is the most dangerous one we've found so far. It scares me, it really does. An object this big hitting the Earth has the potential of killing many, many people…..Jack G. Hills.  An asteroid was discovered by Jim Scotti at the Univ. of Arizona. It was recognized as one of 108 potentially hazardous asteroids. It should pass just under 30,000 miles from Earth on October 26, 2028. The estimate, reassuringly, has a margin of error of more than 180,000 miles.

1998- Sunday Come together
Yeah come together
Yeah come together
Yeah come together
Yeah come together
Yeah come together
Yeah come together
Yeah oh
Come together
Yeah come together
…..The Beatles…….Aboard the space shuttle Endeavour,
a mating took place……no, no, no, it’s not what you think….it was the mating of the U.S.-built Node 1 station element to the Functional Cargo Block (FGB in Russian) already in orbit to create the international space station.  There were  also two spacewalks to connect power and data transmission cables between the Node and the FGB. The FGB, built by Boeing and the Russian Space Agency, had been  launched on a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in November 1998

2004   Monday Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem…Phil Donahue…..A Beijing newspaper, China Daily,  reported that 9 out of 10 Chinese calling into a suicide-prevention hotline in the capital were getting the busy signal. To make things better, the paper  added that nationwide four people were killing themselves every minute.things got better. The Executive Director of the Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Centre claimed a lack of funds and that many operators had committed suicide when they tried to call themselves and got a busy signal.

2005   Tuesday I went to fight the other night and a hockey game broke out…..Rodney Dangerfield……..As of the 2005-06 season, the NHL adopted the shootout to settle ties in regular season games. The shootout is used if the game remains tied after five minutes of overtime. The shootout is really horrid and on this day a low point was achieved as in Philadelphia,  the Philadelphia Flyers won the first NHL scoreless game that was decided by a shootout, beating the Calgary Flames 1-0. That’s a fully 60 minute game.  A 5 minute overtime and then the shootout circus.  People paid to see this.  Mike Richards scored the goal but shootout goals don’t count.  Capesce?

  2005  - Tuesday We showed the photos of the animal to locals who know the wildlife of the area, but nobody had ever seen this creature before……. Stephan Wulffraat…….

The World Wildlife Fund said a catlike creature photographed by camera traps on Borneo is likely to be a new species of carnivore. Possibilities  include Halle Berry, Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, and Eartha Kitt but probably not Gail Sondergaard.  The Borneo cat-dog-fox-monkey-lemur is a mammal slightly larger than a domestic cat with dark red fur and a long, bushy tail.

2006 Wednesday It’s a fixer-upper of a planet but we could make it work….. Elon Musk, SpaceX, regards Mars…………NASA revealed photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.  The Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor provided the new evidence of the deposits in images taken in 2004 and 2005. NASA cited the film “getting lost at the drug store when we took it in to be developed” as the reason for the delay in revealing the photos.  Indicators of water included Martians hosing down their lawns, Martians sitting on floating rafts sipping piŃa coladas, and the “Olympus Mons Splashdown Water Park”.

2008  - Saturday The Univ. of Hawaii activated the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (PS1) to search for dangerous asteroids.  See 1997 above.  In 2010 they found a nifty one that would pass within 4 million miles of Earth.  Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck were immediately dispatched to the dangerous thingy and planted a nuclear bomb deep inside.  There was a heavy toll on the cast as, Oscar's (Owen Wilson) faceplate on his helmet gets smashed while he's strapped into his chair. Noonan (Clark Heathcliff Brolly), munition specialist Halsey (Greg Collins) and the two pilots are killed, seemingly all getting sucked out the window of the ship when it gets smashed (though only the pilots are shown). A.J.(Ben Affleck), Bear (Michael Clarke Duncan), and Lev Andropov (Peter Stormare) survive. All of the crew on Freedom survive with the exception of Max (Ken Hudson Campbell) who dies when the Armadillo hits a gas pocket while drilling, destroying the vehicle and sending it floating into space with Max still inside. Munitions specialist Gruber (Grayson McCouch) gets killed during a violent meteor shower, and Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) voluntarily stays behind to self-detonate the nuke and destroys the asteroid.

2008 - Saturday  She was absolutely gorgeous. But she didn't have a brain in her head…..a friend………In 1982 cuddly teutonic husband Claus von Bulow was convicted of trying twice to kill his wife Martha “Sunny” von Bulow by injecting her with insulin at their estate in Newport, R.I. That verdict was thrown out on appeal, and he was acquitted at a second trial in 1985 largely thanks to publicity barnacle lawyer Alan Dershowitz . On this day, Martha  von Bulow, daughter of utilities tycoon George Crawford, died in New York. The heiress spent the last 28 years of her life in a coma after what prosecutors alleged in a pair of sensational trials were two murder attempts by her husband.

2011 – Tuesday Dr. Serizawa: The Oxygen destroyer must not be used!
Ogata: If we do not defend ourselves from Godzilla now, what will become of us?
Dr. Serizawa: And what will become of us if a weapon, such as I now have, falls into the wrong hands?
Ogata: Then you have a responsibility no man has ever faced. You have your fear which might become reality. And you have Godzilla, which *is* reality…….
The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it believed 150 liters (40 US gallons) of waste water including highly harmful strontium, linked with bone cancers, spread to the open ocean. The announcement came a day after TEPCO said it found 45 tons of waste water pooled, Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, and Gamera,  around the leaky water-treatment system at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. In the weeks after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami hit the plant, TEPCO dumped 10,000 tons of lower-level radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

2012  - Thursday Though amid all the smoking horror and diabolism of a sea-fight, sharks will be seen longingly gazing up to the ship's decks, like hungry dogs round a table where red meat is being carved, ready to bolt down every killed man that is tossed to them  . Herman Melville…….French Polynesia and the Cook Islands created adjacent shark sanctuaries spanning almost 4 million km2 of ocean in total. French Polynesia — a group of five major archipelagoes with more than 100 islands — designated an area of 2.5 million km2 of sea as shark sanctuary on Dec. 6. The Cook Islands designated its own, which is equal to the size of Mexico at 1.2 million km2, on Dec. 19. More than 20 shark species inhabiting these waters are now protected from overexploitation.  The critically endangered oceanic whitetip sharks, blue sharks, hammerhead sharks, and whale sharks would now be safeguarded. Swimming and surfing was encouraged by the World Amputationists Association.

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43 BC  Monday -  Always do the right thing... that which is legal... that which is honest, open and fair...keeping your word... telling the truth... and treating everyone alike. …..Cicero - Marcus Tullius Cicero - kaput. The great Roman orator/philopher/lawyer backed the wrong horse in the Julius Caesar assassination. Cicero went with Brutus and Cassius.  Big mistake.  He was proscribed by the victorious second triumvirate ( Octavian , Mark Antony , and Lentulus), was beheaded. Cicero had written mercilessy against Mark Antony in speeches described as Philippics and was assassinated on the orders of Antony.  Cicero, elected Consul in 63, had chosen to support Pompey over Caesar.  Plutarch describes it – “And Cicero, perceiving Herennius running in the walks, commanded his servants to set down the litter; and stroking his chin, as he used to do, with his left hand, he looked steadfastly upon his murderers, his person covered with dust, his beard and hair untrimmed, and his face worn with his troubles. So that the greatest part of those that stood by covered their faces whilst Herennius slew him. And thus was he murdered, stretching forth his neck out of the litter, being now in his sixty-fourth year. Herennius cut off his head, and, by Antony's command, his hands also, by which his Philippics were written; for so Cicero styled those orations he wrote against Antony, and so they are called to this day.”

521 – Sunday - May the Trinity protect me wherever I stay, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Bright angels walk with me dear presence-in every dealing…….Happy Birthday, Saint Columba, Irish Christian missionary to Scotland born in Gartan, County Donegal, Ireland.  Columba was forty six when he left Ireland and landed on the island of Iona (Iona College is the alma mater of Professor Sy Yentz) with twelve disciples. He spent the remainder of his life preaching Christianity in northern Scotland.

1545 –Friday If you're down and confused
And you don't remember who you're talking to
Concentration slips away
Because you're baby is so far away
Well there's a rose in a fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can't be with the one you love honey
Love the one you're with
………Stephen Stills………..Happy Birthday, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, English-Scottish husband (and 2nd cousin) of  the fatally stupid, Mary, Queen of Scots.  Darnley was married to her long enough to sire the future King James I of England.  Mary, who had bad taste in men but good taste in shoes, quickly discovered that Darnley was arrogant, indolent and a drunk.  Other than that, he was fine.  Darnley was an embarrassment to all. Fortuitously, while Mary was absent from their temporary residence, Kirk o’Field, near Edinburgh, the house was blown up. The body of Darnley, who had apparently been strangled for good measure, was found in a nearby garden. Three months later Mary married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, the instigator of the murder.

1631-Sunday  Freddie Mercury, Venus Williams, and Bruno Mars walk into a bar
 But they didn't planet that way
……………..The transit of Venus occurred as first predicted by astronomer Johannes  Kepler. He correctly predicted that a transit of Venus would occur in Dec 1631, but unfortunately, no one observed it - due to the fact that it occurred after sunset for most of Europe. Kepler himself had died in 1630. He not only predicted this particular transit but also worked out that transits of Venus involve a cyclical period of approximately 120 years.  See December 6, 1882 above.  And……..the next –and last for 120 years will be in June 2012.  There was one in 2004 and another in 2012 and another in Dec. 2017 and another in Dec. 2025…….but if you missed it………………………..sic transit Gloria…..or Venus as it were..

1761-Monday I took my mother-in-law to Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors, and one of the attendants said: 'Keep her moving sir; we're stock-taking.'……Les Dawson ......Joyeaux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Marie Gresholtz, better known as Madame Tussaud, French museum curator and creator of wax figures, born in Strasbourg, France. She founded the eponymous Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in 1834. Marie hadmastered her craft while imprisoned during the French Revolution when the heads of guillotine victims were brought to her for modeling.  In 1802, she took her collection of wax masks of guillotined aristocrats and relics of the French revolution on a tour of Britain. It was a big hit. In 1835, she established a base for the collection at the Baker Street bazaar in London.  Her sons moved the museum to its current location although Madame Tussaud’s is now the MacDonalds of wax museums with branches everywhere.  And as long as we’re waxing prosaic about Tussaud,  what is wax?  You were correct. It’s any of various natural, oily or greasy heat-sensitive substances, consisting of hydrocarbons or esters of fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents. 

    1787-Friday- The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same…….
Article VII, United States Constitution……….The Constitutional Convention had wrapped up its work on Sept. 17, 1787.  Today, in
Delaware, the U.S. Constitution was unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of our United States. Delaware is the second smallest state and the 30 people may have been most of the population at that time. And Pennsylvania was the second state, Rhode Island the 13th and last.            

1794 – Sunday A sign outside the chemistry hotel reads "Great Day Rates,  Even Better NO3-'s" ……..Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Eilhard Mitscherlich,

German chemist born in Neueden, Oldenburg. If you’ve ever wondered who proposed the theory of isomorphism……yup, it was Mitscherlich.  This theory states that chemical compounds that crystallize together have similar structure and composition. The Editorial Board of the Gnus researched Mitscherlich on the World of Chemicals Website and they inform us that he obtained selenic acid in 1827 and showed that its salts are isomorphous with the sulphates, while a few years later he proved that the same thing is true of the manganates and the sulfates, and of the permanganates and the perchlorates. In 1833 Mitscherlich made a series of careful determinations of the vapor densities of a large number of volatile substances. In 1833-34, Mitscherlich investigated the synthesis of diethyl ether from ethanol and sulfuric acid. He investigated the relation of benzene to benzoic acid and to other derivatives.  Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…..Groucho Marx.


   1810-Friday - The elementary parts of all tissues are formed of cells in an analogous, though very diversified manner, so that it may be asserted, that there is one universal principle of development for the elementary parts of organisms, however different, and that this principle is the formation of cells……… Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Theodore Schwann (who tripped one day and originated the Schwann Dive), German physiologist born in Neuss, Prussia.  Schwann discovered pepsin -a digestive enzyme found in gastric juice in the stomach that catalyzes the breakdown of protein to peptides-, and coiner of the word metabolism.           Yes, he “never met a bolism” he didn’t like.  In 1839 Schwann identified the common features of all cells - plants and animals, and he illustrated many different cell types. He should have stopped there because, although Schwann did change the definition of cell by stressing the internal cellular components, he believed incorrectly that cells could arise from assembly of cellular fluids.

1823 Sunday  God made the natural numbers(integers); all else is the work of man….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Leopold Kronecker, German mathematician born in Liegnitz, Prussia.  That’s three Germans in a row-see 1794 and 1810 above, including back to back Prussians.  Hewas primarily an arithmetician and algebraist. His major contributions were in elliptic functions but noted also for getting into major mathematical kerfuffles with anyone who disagreed with him. Of course the Editorial Board of the Gnus looked up elliptic function and here it is according to the Free Dictionary - An inverse function of an elliptic integral; alternatively, a doubly periodic, meromorphic function of a complex variable.

            1842 -Wednesday Do you like good music
That sweet soul music
Just as long as it's swingin'
Oh yeah, oh
yeah…..Arthur Conley…..The New York Philharmonic gave its first concert.  The New York Philharmonic is by far the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. The Philharmonic was founded on April 2,  1842 by a group of local musicians led by American-born Ureli Corelli Hill.  Highlights of the first concert included Inna Gadda Da Vida, Stand By Your Man, You Light Up My Life, and Satisfaction. This fiirst concert by the New York Philharmonic was conducted by Ureli Corelli Hill, H.C. Timm, and Denis Etienne in the  Apollo Rooms on lower Broadway before an audience of 600. A philharmonic is an orchestra and/or the group that supports it.

            1857 Monday-Hello Dollo, ......well, hello, Dollo
It's so nice to have you back where you belong
You're lookin' swell, Dollo.......I can tell, Dollo
You're still glowin''re still crowin''re still goin' strong
…..Louis Armstrong….Joyeaux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday/  Louis Antoine Marie Joseph Dollo French vertebrate paleontologist born in Lille.  Eponymously, he  stated Dollo's Law of Irreversibility whereby in evolution an organism never returns exactly to its former state such that complex structures, once lost, are not regained in their original form. This means that Cher or other serial facelift engagers will only get more silly looking.  This also means that politically correct terms such as gender reassignment will never be reassigned. Dollo devoted much  of his life studying Iguanodon -  a  30 ft. long,plant-eating dinosaur that had a conical spike on each thumb. That lived during the early Cretaceous period, about 135 to 125 million years ago - working out its structure, and speculating on its living habits.

1873-Sunday The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young…….Happy Birthday, Willa Cather, author born in Winchester, Va. Cather's family moved to Red Cloud, Nebraska when she was nine years old. Her books like O Pioneers and My Antonia celebrated the spirit of the American Great Plains.  One of Ours won the Pulitzer Prize. In all, Cather a Cather had published twelve novels, fifty-eight short stories, and several collections of essays. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Prix Femina Americain, and a National Institute of Arts and Letters gold medal.

1888        Friday It is the tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn't know -- and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything.  Happy Birthda, Joyce Cary, Irish novelist born in Derry. Gary developed developed a trilogy form in which each volume is narrated by one of three protagonists.  We’re not very familiar with his work, The Horse's Mouth, may be the most famous, but then introductory  quote alone merits his inclusion in the Gnus.

1889 –Thursday I had to stop driving my car for a while... the tires got dizzy………Steven Wright ………John Boyd Dunlop, a Scottish inventor, was issued a British patent (he would later secure a U.S patent) for his pneumatic tire. Two years earlier his 9-yr-old son complained of the rough ride and sore tush he experienced on his tricycle over the cobble stone streets of Belfast, Ireland.  Dunlop devised and fitted rubber air tubes held on to a wooden ring by tacking a linen covering fixed around the wheels. Dunlop’s tires were for bicycles.   In 1895, André Michelin was the first person to use pneumatic tires on an automobile, however, not successfully.  In 1911, Philip Strauss invented the first successful tire, but we’re tired to talking about it now although none of it would be possible without The solid rubber tire being developed soon after American Charles Goodyear, who, quite by accident, discovered vulcanization in 1839.

            1905 -Thursday   Kuiper was one of the first scientists to focus almost exclusively on exploring the properties of planets. His work laid the foundation for the spacecraft missions of the late 20th and early 21st centuries …… Dr. Richard Binzel, ……Hartelijk gefeliciteerd!/Happy Birthday, Gerard P. Kuiper, Dutch-born American astronomer born in Harenkarspel.  Kuiper w discovered the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan, (the atmosphere was “singles bar moderne with kitchy lights, overly made up women in too small dresses, and men three day old stubble who pursed their lips)   Miranda, a moon of Uranus, and Nereid, a moon of  Neptune. He is most famous for predicting the existence of what is now known as the Kuiper Belt, and area of  thousands of comets, dwarf planets, and asteroids traveling outside the orbit of Neptune. He also measured the diameter of the now downgraded, former planet Pluto. Pluto (thanks to the party poopers at the IAU and we know who you are Mike Brown and Neil DeGrasse Tyson) is now member of the Kuiper Belt in addition to its classification as a "dwarf planet". Many today regard Kuiper as the father of modern planetary science.

         1907-Saturday Put this stamp with message bright
On every Christmas letter;
Help the tuberculosis fight,
And make the New Year better.
These stamps do not carry any kind of mail
but any kind of mail will carry them…
..message written on envelopes in which Christmas Seals were place for sale………..Christmas seals went on sale for the first time, at the Wilmington, Delaware post office. The proceeds went to fight tuberculosis.  The idea came from American journalist and social worker, Jacob Riis. In an article, Riis referred to a successful sale of Christmas seals in 1904 in Denmark that raised $20,000 in the fight against TB. Emily Bissell of the Red Cross agreed with Riis’s suggestion that America do the same. She borrowed money from friends to print the first 50,000 seals, got permission from the Wilmington postmaster to sell them in the post office lobby, and sold the first Christmas Seal on December 7, 1907.  On her first day, Bissell raised $25. Later attempts at having Christmas walruses, Christmas sea lions, and Christmas narwhals were less successful.

1907 – Saturday - ..when I say "break", I want a clean the event of a knock-down, you will be directed to go to a neutral corner. "Are there any questions"?.."You are both professionals so I expect a good, clean fight"! ,"Protect yourself at all times"!.. "Okay, touch gloves and come out at the bell"! …..basic referee instructions…………Eugene Corri became first referee in a boxing ring at the fight between Gunner Moir and Tommy Burns  - we see this fight listed as December 2 in the Boxing Record. So the  Xeroxian World of the Internet is wrong on this one.  Corri was a British referee – The Boxing Record which lists him as officiating at fights, mostly in London, between 1899 and 1931 has biography for the fellow. Eugene Corri is listed as an actor, known for The Last Challenge (1916) and The Ring (1927). Same guy? We spent a lot of time on this so we’re not taking it out.  The Editorial Board of the Gnus discovered that on December 2, 1896 famed lawman, Wyatt Earp refereed a fight between underdog, "Sailor" Tom Sharkey and Australian heavyweight Bob Fitzsimmons, "the Freckled Wonder". Fitzsimmons knocked Sharkey cold in the eighth -- but referee Earp called a foul and awarded the victory to Sharkey, lying unconscious on the canvas!

1909        Tuesday . I call it Bakalite (sic) and it is obtained by heating A or B or C in closed vessels ….Dr. Leo H. Baekeland of Yonkers (Yonkis to the natives) patented Bakelite, the 1st completely synthetic plastic thermosetting plastic. The patent for “an improvement in methods of making insoluble condensation products of phenol-formaldehyde” coveredthe creation of what Baekeland dubbed Bakelite. This was the genesis  of the plastics industry. "Plastic" is from the Greek "plastikos," meaning moldable.  Bakelite is a nonflammable material cheaper and more versatile than other known plastics. It is used in a wide variety of application, from inexpensive jewelry to sophisticated electronics. Baekeland made the first public announcement of his invention on February 8, 1909, in a lecture before the New York section of the American Chemical Society.

            1910-Wednesday- A neutron walked into a bar and said "I'd like a beer, please."After the bartender gave him one, he said "How much will that be?""For you? No charge…………….Happy Birthday Richard Brooke Roberts, American biophysicist born in Titusville, Pennsylvania.  Roberts named the ribosome, A structure composed of RNA and protein, present in large numbers in the cytoplasm of living cells and serving as the site for assembly of polypeptides encoded by messenger RNA. He also contributed to the discovery of "delayed neutrons" - that uranium fission does not release all the neutrons it produces at one time, but some come off at measurably later times….sort of “time release neutrons” similar to a  time release antacid. Yes, there are also prompt neutrons too.

            1915 –Tuesday Calvera: [dying - to Chris] You came back - for a place like this. Why? A man like you. Why? ……..The Magnificent Seven….Happy Birthday, American actor Eli Wallach.  In the opinion of The Editorial Board of the Gnus, Wallach was the greatest movie Mexican bandit ever.  See, The Magnificent Seven 1960 and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly- 1965. Take note of the scene in which Eli as Tuco is taking a bubble bath.  A villain storms in and threatens him with a gun.  Eli shoots him from beneath the bubbles and then says “Eef you goan ta shoot….shoot….. doan talk”.  

1925 –Monday -I never lost a freestyle race. Never. Not even in the YMCA……Johnny Weissmuller………Tarzan – then swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 150-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 25 and 2/5 seconds -- in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Johnny, who was being chased by four crocodiles, a school of piranha and two Kardashians at the time, went on to win fifty-two US National Championships and set sixty-seven world records. Weissmuller was actually the sixth actor to play Tarzan.  There have been twenty three in all. Johnny’s Tarzans in reverse order  included; Tarzan and the Mermaids, 1948,   Tarzan and the Huntress,  Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, Tarzan and the Amazons, Tarzan's Desert Myster, Tarzan Triumphs Tarzan's New York,  Adventure, Tarzan's Secret Treasure, Tarzan Finds a Son!, Tarzan Escapes,  Tarzan and His Mate,  and the first, made in 1932,  Tarzan the Ape Man.  He then went on to play Jungle Jim.

1934    Friday   I cut the emergency switch just in time to keep 'Winnie Mae' from making an exhibition of herself by standing on her nose. That would have been fatal to our hopes……. Pilot Wiley Post discovered the jet stream.  He had already  made the first around-the- world solo flight in the Winnie Mae in seven days, 18 hours and 49 ˝ minutes in 1931.  Post was interested in making flights in the stratosphere andconceived and helped design and test the first fully pressurized flying suit and helmet.

That suit enabled him to reach an altitude of 50,000 feet in the super charged Winnie Mae  he found he could be wooshed along in jet streams. This opened the door, not literally, to high speed, high altitude travel. The jet streams are strong, generally westerly winds concentrated in a relatively narrow and shallow stream in the upper troposphere of the Earth.

            1941-  Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking Congress to declare war (Dec. 8, 1941).”……… At 7:55 a.m on a Sunday morning,  Japanese naval and air forces launched a surprise attack on  the U.S Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii resulting in thousands of lives lost, major destruction of the U.S Pacific Fleet (fortunately, the U.S aircraft carriers – which would change the tide of the war- were out at sea and avoided damage).  The attack resulted in a declaration of war against Japan and, also, Germany. Incredibly, even though diplomatic relations were breaking down and the imperialist Japanese government and its armed forces presented an imminent threat, President Franklin Roosevelt had done virtually nothing to increase security at Pearl Harbor, the country’s most important Pacific naval base. Among the 18 U.S. ships destroyed, sunk, or capsized were the battleships, Arizona, Virginia, California, Nevada, and West Virginia. More than 180 planes were destroyed on the ground and another 150 were damaged (leaving but 43 operational). American casualties totaled more than 3,400, with more than 2,400 killed (1,000 on the Arizona alone). The Japanese lost fewer than 100 men.

1941 -Sunday A man walks into a bar and asks for a pint of Adenosine Triphosphate. The bartender says ‘That’ll be ATP please!!!’……English biochemist, John Ernest Walker was born in Halifax, Yorkshire.  . Walker is an English shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Paul Boyer and , Jens C. Skou for describing the enzymatic synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - the central energy-producing molecule in most life-forms.. He also determined the three dimensional structure of ATP and determined its amino acid sequence.

1942        Monday      There is little to compare to the hellish brutality of a sea battle. Men are entrapped in a tight steel box, a warship. They are beyond sight of land, floating in untold fathoms of sea-water. Separated by miles of roiling ocean, combating warships throw tons of high explosives at each other. It seems an unreal fantasy. Eventually, like a thunderbolt, a shell pierces the ship. A deafening explosion sends lethal particles of shrapnel and flying debris ricocheting off the ship's interior panels. Unfortunate men are cut down instantly in death or mutilation. Fire, fumes, and flooding in darkened confined spaces summon terror to the survivors. …...Joseph Gilbey ……The U.S. Navy launched the  Iowa Class battleship, USS New Jersey, (BB62) at the Philadelphia shipyards. The  New Jersey earned more battle stars for combat actions than the other three completed Iowa-class battleships, and was the only US battleship providing gunfire support during the Vietnam War. She was donated to the Home Port Alliance in Camden, New Jersey, just across the and began her career as a museum ship 15 October 2001.  There were four Iowa Class battleships – 58,000 tons, 888 ft. long  - The Missouri, the New Jersey, The Wisconsin, and yes, the Iowa. A fifth, the Kentucky, was never completed.

1945 -Friday Dr. Edelman: What are you doing here? Who are you? Count Dracula: I am Baron Latos. I have come to you for help. Dr. Edelman: It's five o'clock in the morning. Count Dracula: I must apologize for the intrusion. But travel is very difficult for me, and I've come a long way. Dr. Edelman: I don't understand. Count Dracula: Perhaps you will, after you've led me to the basement room of this castle. …… Universal Pictures released the horror film House of Dracula, directed by Erle C. Kenton and starring Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Martha O’Driscoll, and Lionel Atwill, to U.S. theaters. An early all star monster movie, thing Freddy vs. Jason, Predator vs. Alien, Paris Hilton vs. Lindsay Lohan…… It was a sequel to House of Frankenstein and features Universal’s three most popular monsters: Count Dracula (no Bela Lugosi?), Frankenstein’s monster, and The Wolf Man. John Carradine was Dracula and Glen Strange, Frankenstein’s monster.  He also played the monster in Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein. The plot?  Who cares.

1946 – Saturday  A spark neglected makes a mighty fire. ….Robert Herrick…. 119 people died in a fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history. In 1913, the "absolutely fireproof" Winecoff Hotel was designed and built without sprinklers, fire escapes, or even an alarm system.  At 15 stories, the Winecoff was the tallest building in Atlanta at the time and was considered Atlanta’s most luxurious hotel. Eighty percent of all fatalities involved guests whose rooms were located above the eighth floor. Fire service ladders could only reach the seventh floor.  Why did it start? Best theory is that a mattress, left in the hall on the 3rd floor may have been ignited by a cigarette.

1947-  Sunday Nobody left to run with anymore
Nobody wants to do the crazy things
We used to do before
Nobody left to run with anymore
…….Happy Birthday, singer Gregg Allman born in Nashville, Tennessee. One of the great rock n roll voices, with brother Duane on guitar, Greg on organ, Forrest Dickey Betts on guitar; Berry Oakley on bass; and Butch Trucks and Jaimoe (aka Jai Johanny Johanson, on drums they formed  the Allman Brothers Band.  Being a typical rock n roll band, members died, they broke up, they feuded, they reuninted, they broke up, they feuded…..we’ve lost count.  Greg also enjoyed a successful solo career, he had to do something in between the breakups…good blues stuff and gritty country too. So what if he was briefly married to Cher, she was only one of his six wives.

1949  Wednesday , War is not only a matter of equipment, artillery, group troops or air force; it is largely a matter of spirit, or morale……Chiang Kai-shek Chiang Kai-shek and eventually  approximately two million followers escaped to Formosa (now called Taiwan), where they maintained the Republic of China’s government escaped to Formosa. Through incompetence, corruption and communist sympathizers in the U.S, they had lost the civil war to “agrarian reformer” and subsequent mass murderer, Mao Tse Tung. 

1956 Wednesday   Arabella: [sipping shakes at the malt shoppe] Is Tommy taking you to the school prom? Dori Graham: He - hasn't asked me, yet. Arabella: He will. I sure hope I find someone as nice as Tommy. Dori Graham: Oh, you'll meet him someday. Arabella: Well, I hope it's before the prom. Are you in love with Tommy? Dori Graham: Well... …………Alan Freed  saluted  Eratosthenes, James Hutton, Mary Aning,  Friedrich Mohs, Alfred Wegener, Louis Agassiz, William Smith, Walter Alvarez, and Charles Lyell, in his movie, Rock, Rock, Rock . The epic starred Chuck Berry, The Flamingos, The Moonglows, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Lavern Baker, and the Johnny Burnette Trio.  It premiered in New York City. The movie also had Tuesday Weld (in her film debut – pre Dobie Gillis) lip synching to the voice of Connie Francis. Also on hand for the fun were less memorable acts such as Cirino and the Bow Ties and Jimmy Cavallo and His House Rockers.  The plot involved young Tuesday trying to save enough money to go to the High School rock n roll dance. 

           1957 –Saturday-  April love is for the very young
Every star's a wishing star that shines for you
April love is all the seven wonders
One little kiss can tell you this is true
………..Syrupy  white buck shoe wearing singer Pat Boone, a tool and symbol (his music was bland ersatz rock and the image was clean cut….the anti Elvis and very not Black)  for the evil forces trying to destroy rock n roll during the 1950’s  was at number one on the Billboard chart with the saccharine April Love. His other number one hits included an awful cover of Fats Domino’s Ain’t That a Shame, Don’t Forbid Me and Love Letters in the Sand. Sandwiching Pat on the charts were Sam Cooke’s You Send Me (before) and the great Danny and the Juniors At the Hop (after)     

1960 Wednesday Alan Bernard: People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad. …….The premiere of  Village of the Damned, directed by Wolf Rilla and starring George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Martin Stephens, and Michael Gwynn, to U.S. theaters. Considering the usual butchery that filmdom performs on novels, this  is a fairly faithful adaptation of the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. It was produced on a budget of US$200,000. Leon Wolders on IMDb sums it up - In the small English village of Midwich everybody and everything falls into a deep, mysterious sleep for several hours in the middle of the day. Some months later every woman capable of child-bearing is pregnant and the children that are born out of these pregnancies seem to grow very fast and they all have the same blond hair and strange, penetrating eyes that make people do things they don't want to do.  …or as the poster stated “Beware the stare that will paralyze the world!” Naturally, being filmdom, a remake had to be made in 1995. Sadly, it was John Carpenter, who should have known better.

1962 –Saturday- Kiss me quick, while we still have this feeling
Hold me close and never let me go
'Cause tomorrows can be so uncertain
Love can fly and leave just hurting
Kiss me quick because I love you so
……The Beatles appeared on the English TV show Juke Box Jury. Originally an American show, Jukebox Jury was inflicted on Britain in 1959 but didn't really make it big until 1960. The show was based different celebrities deciding whether new music releases would be a 'hit' or a 'miss' it often featured big name guests.  The Beatles, demonstrating that their talent for song writing and musicianship far outweighed their judgment in American music,  proudly declared that  Elvis Presley's new record, Kiss Me Quick.  would be a "hit". Sure enough, it went to # 1 on the British charts…..remember, pre Beatles, British taste in music was as bad as their cooking. 

1963        Saturday   (Instant replay)
I've got to have it
(Instant replay)
Ooh woh ooh-ooh
(Instant replay)
Got to have your love again
(Ah, ah, ah, ah)
….Dan Hartman….. During the Army-Navy game, videotaped instant replay was used for the first time in a live sports telecast as CBS re-showed a one-yard touchdown run by Army quarterback Rollie Stichweh with 6:19 left in the game. Navy beat Army, 21-15. The idea was director Tony Verna’s.  He was looking for  something to fill in between plays.  Note, this was before close ups of fans with their shirts off in 10 degree weather or close ups of them mugging for the camera.  It was one of the greatest technological advancement to the games and how we watch them

1966 Wednesday Luck be lady tonight
Luck be lady tonight
Luck if you've been a lady to begin with
Luck be a lady tonight
…..Talented singer, dancer, boot model, Nancy Sinatra guest-starred on the CBS TV special Frank Sinatra: A Man & His Music, Part II – Nepotism

1968-Saturday Top 10 FORBIDDEN Library Titles For Children

    Gerbil merry-go round, and other great microwave games.

    Fifty new places to poke a pencil.

    The little girl who died from eating all her vegetables

    Why washing clothes causes childhood allergies.

    Children's guide to hitch-hiking.

    Flying lessons for kittens.

    Toys that your neighbours are getting.

    Where mothers hide treats.

    Advanced screaming, crying and whinging.

How to avoid washing daddy's car……. Check your overdue library books. Richard Dodd,  great grandson of a Mr. M. Dodd, who had borrowed Medical Reports of the Effects of Water, Cold & Warm, Remedy in Fever & Febrile Diseases, Whether Applied to the Body or Used Internally by James Currie, printed in London in 1805. from the University of Cincinnati Medical Library in 1823, was assessed the largest library fine ever -- $2,646. The great grandson was sentenced to memorizing the Dewey Decimal System and two hours of shushing indulgent mothers with loud, obnoxious children. The University of Cincinnati website denies that he was fined and states that he was just thank for his consideration.

      1972 –Thursday Everyone wants to be first.  But I will tell you the next best thing to being first is doing what I did, commanding the last flight, being the last man to leave his footprints. I think they both stand side by side. The beginning and the end of the beginning.".......Eugene Cernan…..Apollo 17, the sixth and last U.S. moon mission, blasted off from Cape Canaveral. Flight Commander, Eugene Cernan, would b the last man on the moon. With him on the voyage of the command module America and the lunar module Challenger were Ronald Evans (command module pilot) and Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt (lunar module pilot). They would arrive at the Moon on the 11th. Cernan and Schmitt actually landed while Evans orbited the Moon, joining Michael Collins, Dick Gordon, Stuart Roosa, Al Worden, and Ken Mattingly for the dubious honor of getting to the Moon but not walking on it.

1972 -Thursday   Yes, he was a sinister-looking fellow. I believe he was the evil spirit behind the scenes, but I have no personal knowledge of his activities. Bormann was Hess's successor. He was really the deputy leader, though he was not called that. He was the head of the party secretariat. Bormann was the first man in the party after Hitler…….    Paul O. Schmidt ……..As World War II came to a close, MartinBormann held out with Hitler in the Führerbunker in Berlin. After the suicides of Hitler and Josef Goebbels,  Germany's new Chancellor-for-a-Day, Martin Bormann and a group of Hitler's senior colleagues made a final breakout attempt from the Führerbunker late on May 1.  Then he disappeared.  Rumors of his survival continued for decades until this day.  Construction workers uncovered human remains near the Lehrter Bahnhof in West Berlin.  Dental records — reconstructed from memory in 1945 by Dr. Hugo Blaschke — identified the skeleton as Bormann's, and damage to the collarbone was consistent with injuries Bormann's sons reported he had sustained in a riding accident in 1939. The forensic identification was validated by Dr. Reidar F. Sognnaes, a leading Scandinavian dental pathologist and an expert in such matters.  The other body was Ludwig Stumpfegger, one of  Hitler’s doctors and his personal surgeon. The Russians knew all the time.  They had killed him and taken his diary off the body. 

1974 – Saturday Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting
Those kicks were fast as lightning
In fact, it was a little bit frightening
But they fought with expert timing
There was funky China men from funky Chinatown
They were chopping them up
They were chopping them down
……..Carl Douglas Kung Fu Fighting kicked and grunted its way to the Billboard #1 spot after kneeing Billy Swan’s I Can Help in the groin. Douglas was knocked out the following week by Harry Chapin’s treacly Cats in the Cradle.

         1982-Tuesday Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do and no where to go-o-oh I wanna be sedated
…..The Ramones….. Texas had the honor as the first person executed by lethal injection in the U.S. was Charles Brooks.  Brooks, with an accomplice, kidnapped a car mechanic, bound him to a chair with coat hangers, gagged him with tape and then shot him once in the head.  This earned him “the needle”.  In this mode of execution, the condemned person is usually bound to a gurney, attached to heart monitors and two needles (one is a back-up) are then inserted into suitable veins.  The lethal injection method was put “on hold” during the early 21st century as courts decided if it was “cruel and unusual punishment”.  The most popular form of execution became the forcing of prisoners to watch real housewife reality shows for 24 hours at a time resulting in insanity followed by suicide.

1987        Monday It's kind of ironical, isn't it? I asked for leniency for my family, remember? Well, I got none, and now you'll get none. …note from David Burke on airsickness bag……….A Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner crashed in California after a gunman apparently opened fire on a fellow passenger and the two pilots. Flight 1771, bound for San Francisco, crashed and killed all 43 people onboard. The FBI later said David Burke, a fired USAir worker, shot his former supervisor and the pilots in cockpit. Two weeks prior, Burke had been placed on unpaid leave, awaiting the outcome of an investigation into whether he had stolen $68.00 from a drink fund set up by Flight Attendants.  This was to be the day of his hearing. Burke's pleas for his job went unheard, and he was summarily dismissed by his supervisor. He left the office and purchased a ticket on flight 1771.

1988-Wednesday A bad earthquake at once destroys the oldest associations: the world, the very emblem of all that is solid, has moved beneath our feet like a crust over a fluid; one second of time has conveyed to the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would never have created……Charles Darwin….. In northwest  Armenia, an earthquake of a 6.9 magnitude on the Richter scale hit, affecting an area 50 miles in diameter. The initial earthquake was followed four minutes later by a powerful 5.8 magnitude aftershock. More than 20 towns and 342 villages were affected, and 58 of them were heavily damaged. Spitak, a major population center, was almost completely destroyed. The earthquake occurred along a fairly small thrust fault running northwest-southeast, apparently right under Spitak. During the earthquake, the Spitak section to the northeast of the fault actually rode up (!!!!) over the southwest side.  60,000 people died and over a million buildings were destroyed.

1993  -Tuesday Without a psychiatric defense, Ferguson has no defense. There was no doubt that he was there, that he fired the weapon, that he would have fired it more if he had not been wrestled to the ground. There is no doubt that Colin Ferguson, if sane, was guilty…..Ferguson’s attorney after Ferguson decided to defend himself. December 7 – wackadoodles in the air (see 1987) and now one on a commuter train.  Racist gunman Colin Fergueson,  opened fire on people going home from work with a Ruger P-89 9mm pistol on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train, killing six and wounding 17. During the trial, William M. Kunstler and Ronald L. Kuby attempted to argue that Ferguson was driven to mental illness through years of living in an oppressive and racist society. He was found guilty and sentenced to 200 years in prison.

   1995-Thursday  The Galileo spacecraft arrived at Jupiter and entered orbit after  six years of travel including a flyby of Venus and two asteroids, Gaspra and Ida. The orbiter had also carried an atmospheric probe with scientific instruments, which it had released from the main spacecraft in July,1995, five months before reaching Jupiter.  Galileo then spent a further  eightyears examining Jupiter and its moons Io and Europa. Finally, its mission completed, the craft was sent crashing into the surface of Jupiter. Scientists were concerned that bacteria from Earth might end up contaminating a Jovian moon.  And actually this provided the plot for the hit Jovian movie version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, seen in theaters all over the Great Red Spot in which microbes from Earth take over Jovian beings and cause them to worship Henny Youngman.

1996        Saturday  We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
'cause girl, there's a better life for me and you
…..The Animals…..The space shuttle Columbia landed at the Kennedy Space Center, ending a nearly 18-day mission marred by a jammed hatch that prevented two planned spacewalks. The length of the science mission, was 17 days, 15 hours and 54 minutes. The shuttle traveled seven million miles….in circles. The flight set yet another record for Dr. Story Musgrave, 61, who became the oldest person in space (pre John Glenn) when Columbia was launched on Nov. 19. He was  the first astronaut to fly six times on space shuttles and the first to ride in all five shuttles.

1997 - Sunday  I know a place where we gotta go
Baby, come on, come on, hurry up, let's go

No more grind in the daily gruel
Draining the life out of me
No more work and no more rules
Only one place to be
On the beach
On the beach
On the beach
….Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes……Bad day for the animal kingdom, as it was reported that some 19 sperm whales washed up along the Danish and German North Sea coasts over the previous several weeks.  Humans have observed marine mammals stranding themselves on land since at least the first century A.D, when the ancient Romans and Greeks recorded beaching incidents. Modern marine biologists are only able to determine the cause of a beaching about 50 percent of the time, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the reasons they find are varied.  These whales evidently discovered major winter discount rates at Upstalsboom Strandhotel Gerken, the Comfort Hotel Bremerhaven, and Nordseehotel Freese. 

1999        Tuesday  We have your satellite if you want it back send 20 billion in Martian money. No funny business or you will never see it again…..Reportedly seen on a wall in a hall at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, after losing contact with the Mars Polar Lander…...Daniel S. Goldin, NASA administrator, acknowledged the failure of the Mars Polar Lander and planned to appoint an independent committee of experts to examine the Mars program. In 2000 it was determined that a computer signal was misread and caused breaking to stop at 130 feet above the surface.  Apparently it occurred when the lander thought the jolt of its landing leg deployment was touchdown - and shut its engines off.  Oy vey. Moments later it crashed into Mars at freeway speed.  Not good.

2001        Friday , Alice: The boy. Is he dead, too?
Tierney: Who?
Alice: The boy. Jason.
Tierney: Jason?
Alice In the lake, the one - the one who attacked me - the one who pulled me underneath the water.
Tierney: Ma'am, we didn't find any boy.
Alice: But - then he's still out there.
…………..Jason-1, a satellite for tracking rising sea levels, was launched as a joint US and French effort. Jason was covered by a hockey mask and chopped and stabbed any satellite in its path. NASA described it as an oceanography mission to monitor global ocean circulation, improve global climate predictions, and monitor events such as El Nino conditions and ocean eddies. Eddies?  Really? The Jason 1 satellite, its altimeter instrument and a position-tracking antenna were built in France, hence the focus on escargot.  Its useful life ended in 2013.

2004        Tuesday She was the dominant female of the group, the peacekeeper, the disciplinarian, the one who kept things in a harmonious state…….Pruitt Jones, Keeper….In Illinois after Babs the gorilla went kaput at age 30, keepers at Brookfield Zoo, decided to allow surviving gorillas to mourn the most influential female in their social family. One by one, the gorillas filed into the Tropic World building where Babs' body lay, arms outstretched. According to reports, Babs' 9-year-old daughter, Bana, was the first to approach the body, followed by Babs' mother, Alpha, 43. Bana sat down, held Babs' hand with one of her own and stroked her mother's stomach. Then she sat down and laid her head on Babs' arm. Curator Melinda Pruett Jones called it a "gorilla wake.".  Afterwards they all went back to the chimpanzee house for banana sandwiches and the music of Miriam Makeba, Youssou N’dour, Hugh Masakela, and Baaba Maal.

2005        Wednesday This Kafka-esque farce started from the premise that Chris Ward was guilty and worked backwards, rather than commencing with the evidence and working forwards.  The mere fact he was a Catholic and charged with this offence was enough to seal his guilt in the eyes of some people……Niall Murphy, attorney…….In Northern Ireland  24 year old Chris Ward a Northern Bank supervisor who claimed he aided a gang of robbers under the threat of death, was charged as a willing participant in the record Dec 20, 2004, $50 million crime in Belfast.  Religion raised its head as part of Ward’s defense involved his Catholicism in a Protestant prosecution. The IRA and/or Sein Fein were suspected. He was later acquitted at trial.

2006 -Thursday  Lieutenant Dave: [runs into the theater with a shotgun; after firing three shots, retreats as Jim prepares to go in] Don't go in, Jim! This won't do any good! It's the most horrible thing I've ever seen in my life. Come on, we've got to clear this area! Scientists at MIT reported the development of a strain of baker’s yeast that could  speed ethanol production by about 50%. The people of Cambridge refused to listen to some teenagers, led by Steve McQueen, who had witnessed the blob's destructive power. In the meantime, the blob just kept on getting bigger.

2006 Thursday This seems to confirm the unanimous and undisputed tradition that these are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul, ……Benedict XVI……Vatican archaeologists unearthed a sarcophagus that might have contained  the remains of the Apostle Paul.  It had been buried beneath Rome's basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.  The sarcophagus, which dated back to at least 390 A.D., had been part of the excavation that began in 2002. The sarcophagus was buried beneath the main altar, under a marble tombstone bearing the Latin words "Paulo Apostolo Mart.," meaning "Apostle Paul, Martyr. ".  In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI said scientific tests confirmed shards found in the underground chamber in the still unopened sarchophogus (they drilled a tiny hole and explored the interior and tested bone fragments) were from the apostle.  It took three years for archeologists to subject the remains to the first ever scientific tests and establish that they belonged to Saint Paul, a Jewish Roman citizen from Tarsus, in what is now Turkey.  Our objective was to bring the remains of the tomb back to light for devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible," said Giorgio Filippi, the Vatican archaeologist who headed the project.

2009        Monday  I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on….. Beryl Pfizer…..Paper has been around for about 2,000 years. On this day, scientists at Stanford University in California reported that they have successfully turned paper coated with ink made of silver and carbon nanomaterials into a "paper battery" that holds promise for new types of lightweight, high-performance energy storage.  The result was a highly conductive sheet that can carry a charge and be easily incorporated into a flexible battery. Because of paper's low cost, that could help lower the price of batteries used in electric vehicles, wind farms, and other renewable sources.  The AAAS website notes that The paper batteries can store up to 7.5 Watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), the team reported online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That's not quite up to the level of lead acid batteries, which store roughly 30 Wh/kg. But because the cost of nanotubes is coming down, and because paper is cheap and durable, it could open the door to cheaper batteries for large-scale energy storage.

2010    Tuesday A-well-a, everybody's heard about the bird
Bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, well, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, well, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
…..The Trashmen…….John James Audubon's  book Birds of America, a rare blend of art, natural history and craftsmanship, sold for more than $10.27 million at a Sotheby’s London auction, making it, temporarily, the world's most expensive book.  The winning bid of $10,270,000 went to an anonymous collector bidding by telephone although other reports have it purchased by Micahel Tollemache, a London art dealer who was present in the room. The 3 1/2-foot-tall books feature hand-colored prints of all the species (435) known to Audubon in early 19th-century North America. Audubon insisted on the book’s large format — printed on the largest handmade sheets available at the time — because of his desire to portray the birds in their actual size and natural habitat.  There may be different categories for “expensive” books but Bill Gates seems to hold the honor with his $49 million purchase of Leonardo’s Codex.

2014- Sunday This is a watershed event that signals the end of New Horizons crossing of a vast ocean of space to the very frontier of our solar system, and the beginning of the mission’s primary objective: the exploration of Pluto and its many moons …..Alan Stern, Principal Investigator……..After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles —the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came out of hibernation ts long-awaited 2015 encounter with the former planet Pluto and its system. Pluto was still a planet when New Horizons was launched in January 2006 but a poorly attended meeting of the International Astronomy Union later in the year demoted the poor thing to a Snow Whiteian sounding Dwarf Planet

 Moving at light speed, the radio signal from New Horizons – currently more than 2.9 billion miles from Earth, and just over 162 million miles from Pluto – needed four hours and 26 minutes to reach NASA’s Deep Space Network station in Canberra, Australia. 

New Horizons spent 1,873 days — about two-thirds of its flight time — in hibernation. Its 18 separate hibernation periods, from mid-2007 to late 2014, ranged from 36 days to 202 days in length. The team used hibernation to save wear and tear on spacecraft components and reduce the risk of system failures and allow Sigourney Weaver plenty of rest before battling aliens in her underwear……… an alien got into her underwear, I’ll never know…thanks Groucho. 

Back To Calendar


65 BC  Tuesday Drop the question what tomorrow may bring, and count as profit every day that Fate allows you……… Fortuna dies natalis!Happy Birthday, according to his Horacescope, Quintus “Horace” Horatius Flaccus  Roman poet and satirist best known for his three books “Odes,” was born in Venusia, Italy. Epodes, in 23 B.C, was the first of the “Odes”.  The Odes often celebrate common events such as proposing a drink or wishing a friend a safe journey.  As Alexander Pope said of his work it was what oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed.

1542 –Tuesday- In my end is my beginning ….Happy Birthday, over romanticized monarchial dim bulb, Mary, Queen of Scots, born in Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, Scotland.  She was the only surviving child of her father, King James V. Mary ascended to the Scottish throne when the king went kaput at age 30 at the Battle of Solway Moss (another list of losses making the post Robert the Bruce Scots, the 1962 New York Mets of British history)  just six days after her birth (James V had become king at age seventeen months). The king had prophesied, , "It came with a lass (Marjorie Bruce), it will pass with a lass." Her son would become King James VI of Scotland and upon the death of  Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, become James I, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Married at 15 to the sickly Francis, King of France. That only lasted 2 years and then  she married the odious Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.  After Darnley was killed in an explosion, Mary was conveniently out for the evening and Darnley managed to get strangled before he was blown out the the window, she married James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, who probably was the murderer of Darnley.  Mary was not the sharpest knife in the monarchial drawer and her horrible taste in men was only exceeded by her inept attempts at usurping her cousin Elizabeth. She was be-headed for treason in 1587.

1596   Sunday   NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four* *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again. ……Monty Python………..(the Jewish Encyclopedia has it as February *) Luis de Carabajal, the first  Jewish author in America, was rendered kaput  in Mexico. A convert to Catholicisam, he  was accused by the Inquisition of relapsing into Judaism. He was put on the rack from 9:30 A.M. till 2 P.M., and then denounced no less than 121 persons including his mother. After the rack, the now, much taller Carabajal afterward repudiated his confession. He threw himself out of a window to escape further tortureThey were eventually strangled with iron collars and burned to death.. A 1997 opera by Myron Fink was composed based on his story.  Carabajal composed hymns and dirges for  Jewish fasts. One of them, a kind of "widdui" (confession of sin) in sonnet form, (Shakespeare was composing sonnets at the same time in England) is the El Libro Rojo.

1626 -  Tuesday Fools are more to be feared than the wicked. Dignity is like a perfume; those who use it are scarcely conscious of it ……Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen/Happy Birthday, Christina Queen of Sweden born. She help to negotiate  the Peace of Westphalia (1648), ending the Thirty Years' War.  A major supporter of the arts, the philosopher Rene Descartes went kaput via the flu in her court – he stopped thinking so he stopped being- Christina was a bit strange…..or is that redundant with 17th century monarchs?  She abdicated in 1654 after 10 years of rule, at age 27, opting to become a Catholic in her Lutheran country. She went to Rome and decided to dress like a man for the rest of her life.

1660 Wednesday    My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty.
To you I am bound for life and education.
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you. You are the lord of my duty,
I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband,
   ….Act 1, scene 3…..The first female actor appeared on an English public stage. Prior to 1660, due to religious morality against the theatre, it was actually illegal for woman to appear on the stage. All of Shakespeare’s female characters were played by boys or convincingly effeminate men. This, however, all changed with King Charles II shortly after returning to England and being restored to the throne after his years of exile in France. While in exile in France the Chuckster II  developed a liking of theatre, and in France women were already allowed on the stage The play was Shakespeare’s Othello and it was either Margaret Hughes or Anne Marshall ….could have been Jayne Mansfield…who played the lead female role of Desdemona.

            1730 – Friday I want my words to illuminate like the sun, as I give my daily lecture on photosynthesis to my houseplants …Jarod Kintz……Hartelijk gefeliciteerd!Happy Birthday, Jan Inhenhousz, Dutch-born British physician and scientist born in Breda.   Inhenhousz is best known for his articulation of the theory of   photosynthesis, the process by which sunlit green plants take in carbon dioxide, fix the carbon, and 'restore' the air (oxygen) required by animals for respiration. Joseph Priestley had earlier shown that plants could restore the ability of the air in the jar to support a flame or keep animals alive, but it was Ingenhousz who observed that plants only had this effect when exposed to light. He also demonstrated  that only the green parts of the plants carry out photosynthesis.  Ingenhousz also became a leading proponent of variolation, an early method of smallpox vaccination that involved inoculating patients with smallpox virus taken from patients with a mild form of the disease. Later,  Edward Jenner developed his safer vaccine based on cowpox virus.

1730 Friday  Some moss took a lichen to a tree. ………Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!Happy Birthday Johan Hedwig and the angry inch  German botanist  born in Kronstadt, Transylvania which is now Romania.  Despite being born in Transylvania, Hedwig was more interested in mosses than blood.  He kept the mosses short, Hedwig and the angry inch.  He did more than any other scientist to advance the knowledge of mosses, affectionately known as Bryology. Hedwig was the first to recognize the true organs of reproduction in mosses. He demonstrated the close relationship between mosses and liverworts, noting their secret passwords, handshakes, and moonlight rituals.

1765-Sunday- When I was a little pretty baby
My mama would rock me in the cradle,
In them old cotton fields back home;
It was down in Louisiana,
Just about a mile from Texarkana,
In them old cotton fields back home.
Oh, when them cotton bolls get rotten
You can't pick very much cotton,
In them old cotton fields back home…
…Leadbelly…..Happy Birthday, Eli Whitney American inventor and mechanical engineer born in Westboro, Massachusetts. Whitney invented the cotton gin ( gin which tasted fuzzy, was hard to swallow and stuck to ice) and developed the idea and methods for mass-production of interchangeable parts. The cotton gin is a machine that separates cotton fiber from the seeds. The device, patented in 1793, greatly stimulated cotton growing in the south, not good news for slaves, by making land owners more dependent on slave labor.  Unfortunately, Whitney’s skills did not translate to the business world and while his invention brought riches to many,  the unwillingness of the planters to pay for its use and the ease with which the gin could be copied by others put Whitney's company out of business by 1797.

 1786 –Friday Soft as the earth is mankind and both need to be altered……. W.H. Auden………. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag /Happy Birthday, Johann von Charpentier, pioneer Swiss glaciologist born in Freiberg, Saxony. In 1834, Charpentier was one of the first to propose the idea of the extensive movement of glaciers as geologic forces that moved huge boulders (called erratics) and even land bodies (such as Rosie O’Donnell or William Howard Taft).  The good news is that an early supporter of his theory was famed geologist Louis Agassiz.  The bad news is tha Agassiz  later took credit for the idea as his own and went on to fame and fortune.

1795 –Tuesday  Hey Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
……Beatles…..Tillykke med fodselsdagen! Peter Andreas Hansen, Danish astronomer (later converted to German) and mathematician born in Tondern. Hansen’s work, in addition to recording Mmmbop, involved the improvement of the theories and tables of the orbits of the principal bodies in the solar system.

1865  Friday Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them, they translate it into their own language, and forthwith it means something entirely different. ……Johan Wolfgang Goethe……….  Joyeaux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Jacques-Salomon Hadamard French mathematician born in Versailles. To the vast relief of humanity,  Hadamard  proved the prime-number theorem (as n approaches infinity, the limit of the ratio of (n) and n/ln n is 1, where (n) is the number of positive prime numbers not greater than n). Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five……Groucho Marx. The Editorial Board of the Gnus couldn’t understand it either so we took it directly from Today in Science History.  

1866- Saturday- Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin'
Like the stillness in the wind
'Fore the hurricane begins
The hours when the ship comes
……Bob Dylan……….The Celestial Empire (later re-named
China), became the first transpacific side-wheeler steamship to be launched in New York Harbor.  Owned by the Pacific Mail Company, she had a capacity for 1,300 passengers. Celestial Empire first “sailed” in July, 1867 for Panama and then San Francisco.  It must have gone around the tip of South America since there was no Panama Canal in those days.

1881 Thursday We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it……. Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore……. Vienna’s Ringtheater at Schottenring 7, across from the Old Stock Exchange, burned.  The fire broke out on the stage shortly before a performance of Les Contes d’Hoffmann. It  gutted the building within a few hours killing 620-850 people in the process.  At about 6:45 p.m. a stagehand took a long-arm igniter to light the row of gas lights above the stage. Bad move.  He inadvertently also lit some prop clouds that were hanging over the stage.  But wait, it gets worse.  The theater's iron fire curtain, used to restrict fire, was not lowered, nor were available water hoses used immediately. Worse, the stage managers panicked and shut off the gas totally, cutting off light in the theater.

1894 Saturday  Don't get it right, just get it written. ……..Happy Birthday, writer/cartoonist, James Thurber born in Columbus, Ohio.  His best-known story is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the tale of a henpecked husband who escapes into heroic daydreams.  Thurber was famous for his New Yorker essays and cartoons.  His fourth collection of stories, published in 1933 and titled My Life and Hard Times -- that would become recognized as  Thurber's  masterpiece as he  reached back into his childhood and with wit and humor told tales of "outlandish events and disastrous misunderstandings."

1886  Wednesday    Did you know that Union people built the pyramids? It was originally designed as a cube. Each shift did a little less till the last said 'throw a rock on top and lets go home'. ……anonymous…….   The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded at a convention of union leaders in Columbus, Ohio, by some 25 labor groups representing about 150,000 members. The meeting was delayed several times as work rules at the meeting had to be approved. Seating was by seniority and if a seat was vacated it went to bid.  The first president of the American Federation of Labor was Samuel Gompers, who had reorganized the Cigarmakers Union and participated in the founding of the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in 1881. An example of union cutting off nose to spite face syndrome would occur on this day in New York City – 1962.  

1896- Tuesday - Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
…..Peter, Paul & Mary…..In a world oozing for news of  a better way to squeeze lemons, a patent for an improvement in a lemon squeezer (patent #572,849) was issued to African-American inventor John Thomas “J.T.” White of New York. It made squeezing lemons and straining the juice easy and also kept hands clean while juicing. So it produced Juice but what about Protestants or Catholics?


1903 -   Tuesday I'm flying
(Flying, flying, flying)
Look at me way up high,
Suddenly here am I
I'm flying
……….Peter Pan……..Samuel P. Langley’s man-carrying Great Aerodrome “A”collapsed right after takeoff from a houseboat on the Potomac River. The Flying Machines website notes that as early as  1887, Langley was Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and he was building rubber band powered model "rubber-pull aerodromes". He and  his assistants managed to secure flights of from 6 to 8 seconds and distances of between 80 and 100 feet. He would then attempt a manned flight.  Took 10 years.  On this day, piloted by Charles Manley, plunged into the Potomac River on the second launching attempt and was completely wrecked. Wright bros. flight date?

  1909-Wednesday- He rocks in the tree-top all a day long
Hoppin' and a-boppin' and a-singin' the song
All the little birds on J-Bird St.
Love to hear the robin goin' tweet tweet twee
Rockin' robin (tweet tweet tweet)
Rockin' robin (tweet tweet tweet)
Oh rockin' robin well you really gonna rock tonight
Every little swallow, every chickadee
Every little bird in the tall oak tree
The wise old owl, the big black crow
Flapping them wings sayin' go bird go
….Bobby Day.  Formation of the American Bird Banding Association.  Quite appropriately,  the first  music the bird band played was Lullabye of Bird Land. Dr. Paul Bartsch of the Smithsonian Institution started bird banding in 1902. In its simplest form, it involves putting a metal or plastic band around the leg of a wild bird and then releasing the bird back into the wild. If the bird is recovered, either dead or alive, at a future time, the information is sent to the original bander. Original attempts using lead and  boulders were successful because the birds couldn’t walk very far…..much less fly…thus making it easier to keep track of them. It did put a crimp in their migration patterns though.


1914  Tuesday  If a ship has been sunk, I can’t bring it up. If it is going to be sunk, I can’t stop it. I can use my time much better working on tomorrow’s problem than by fretting about yesterday’s. Besides, if I let those things get me, I wouldn’t last long……..

Ernest J King …..The German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, and Liepzig were sunk by a British force led by the battle cruisers, Invincible and Inflexible, under Vice Admiral  Sturdee in the Battle of the Falkland Islands. 1,800 German sailors were killed including Admiral Von Spee and his two sons. Over 2,500 lives were lost in a single day.  Ten British sailors died.  Scharnhorst, Gneisenau were reincarnated for WWII – the Scharnhorst was sunk in 1943 and Gneisenau, bombed in 1941 was never fully repaired and eventually scuttled in 1945,   and the German battle cruiser, Graf Spee (scuttled in Montevideo Harbor) was named after the afore mentioned loser of the Battle of the Falkland Islands.

 1922 –Friday Always trust a microbiologist because they have the best chance of predicting when the world will end……. Teddie O. Rahub……. A big day for RNA (also see Thomas Cech, 1947 below). Happy Birthday, John Derek Smith,  English microbiologist born at Southampton.  Smith was a pioneer in the field of nucleic acid research. He helped to establish the structure of RNA  and make connections to DNA – and what, you may ask is RNA? An RNA molecule is a linear polymer in which the monomers (nucleotides) are linked together by means of  bonds and to discover the methylation (a group)  of the bases in bacterial DNA. The RNA structure information was crucial to the discovery of the double-stranded model of DNA proposed by Watson and Crick (borrowing from the work of Franklin and Wilkins). ……whew!


1925  Tuesday You got it easy. I'm a short, ugly, one-eyed, black Jew. What do you think it's like for me? …..Happy Birthday Sammy Davis Jr, singer, dancer and actor born in Harlem. Occasionally lost in a sea of shtick, (The Candy Man) Davis was a talented dancer and powerful singer, a great entertainer. He was a member of Member of the "Rat Pack" with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford (JFK’s pimp) and Joey Bishop. All appeared in Ocean's 11, Sargeant’s 3 and Robin and the 7 Hoods. Some of his biggest hit records included; Somethings Gotta Give, the anthemic I've Gotta Be Me , That Old Black Magic, Hey There , also anthemic,), What Kind Of Fool Am I and  The Shelter Of Your Arms.

1931 –Tuesday-  The  coaxial cable was issued a U.S. patent for the first time in the U.S. It was described as a "concentric conducting system". The inventors were Lloyd Espenschied of Kew Gardens, Queens, N.Y. and Herman A. Affel of Ridgewood, N.J. The patent was assigned to the American Telegraph and Telephone Co. of New York City. The cable was to be used for the recently invented television. Coaxial cable reduced frequency losses and provided freedom from outside interference. In November 1936, the first voice transmission was made over coaxial cable installed between New York and Philadelphia.  It was the bombastic wails of Mariah Carey.

1933 Friday  All horsepower corrupts…….Armed with a rucksack, a volume of Horace and a few blank notebooks, 18 year old Patrick Leigh Fermor, a London-born student lacking busfare, set off to walk the length of Europe from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople, as he called it. He was later widely regarded as Britain’s greatest travel writer with books such as  A Time of Gifts, and  Between the Woods and the Water.

1938  Thursday , Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up……Chinese proverb……..The Graf Zeppelin, Germany's only aircraft carrier during World War II, was launched. It never actually took part in the war as first a shortage of anti-aircraft guns kept her in the shipyard.  Then the RAF organized a squadron of Lancaster bombers to strike at the Zeppelin. Things continued downhill as the Nazis began running out of resources and Hitler ordered it to be mothballed so that money could be spent on submarines. It was taken over by Russia after the war and last seen in 1947. In 2006 a Polish oil company found the wreckage on the sea floor about 38 miles north of the northern port city of Gdansk.

1940-Sunday- Find out what the other team wants to do. Then take it away from them……George Halas……..The Chicago Bears, led by Columbia graduate quarterback Sid Luckman, just barely edged out  the Washington Redskins, led by Sammy Baugh,  73-0, in the National Football League Championship Game.  This is the most lopsided game in NFL history. Earlier in the season, Washington had defeated Chicago, 7-3, in a regular season game three weeks earlier. After the contest, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall classily told reporters that the Bears, coached by George Halas,  were crybabies and quitters when the going got tough.

1941 –Monday-  Mr. Vice President, and Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan…………. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire. ….Franklin D. Roosevelt…..On the day after the sneak attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the United States declared war on Japan. President Roosevelt made his speech to congress at 9:30 a.m. Twenty-one minutes after President Roosevelt spoke, the U.S. Senate voted (82 for and 0 against) to declare war. The U.S. House of Representatives concurred 12 minutes later by a vote of 388 for and 1 against. Representative Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), a Republican from Montana, cast the lone dissenting vote. Rankin had voted against declaring war during World War I.

1941- Monday We are ready. We have had plenty of warning and our preparations are made and tested ……British commander in chief of the Far East, Air Chief Marshal Robert Brooke-Popham ……….The  Japanese invaded the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita earned the name “Tiger of Malaya” for his masterful capture of Singapore and the whole Malay Peninsula from the British, who had a superior number of troops but were focused on a sea attack and failed to defend the land behind them. .  Yamashita’s forces landed on the northern Malay Peninsula and southern Thailand and moved rapidly southward toward Singapore, which surrendered on February 15, 1942. Later in the war, while defending the Philippines from Gen. MacArthur‘s return, Yamashita's troops wantonly slaughtered more than 100,000 Filipinos in Manila. He was later tried and executed for war crimes.

 1943 –Wednesday People are strange when you're a stranger
Faces look ugly when you're alone
Women seem wicked when you're unwanted
Streets are uneven when you're down
…..Jim Morrison……..Happy Birthday, Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors –Light My Fire, L.A Woman, 20th Century Fox, and The End born in Melbourne, Florida.  Morrison went kaput in Paris1971. Cause was listed as heart failure but since there was no autopsy, the cause of death remains a mystery.  Morrison, dying at age 27 became a member of what came to be called “The 27 Club” consisting of rock starts who died at that age.  Other members were, .  Other members include , Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Kurt Kobain, Blues originator, Robert Johnson, 50’s singer, Jesse Belvin, and Amy Winehouse.   

1946 -Sunday A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water……  Carl Reiner……The first test in the U.S. of American inventor Francis J. Farrell’s (May 27, 1890) invention for an "Apparatus for melting snow"-  Patent NO. 428,670  -  was made fifty six years later in New York City. The department store, Best & Co., founded in 1879, by Albert Best and located on Fifth Ave. and 51st street,  installed 15 coils made up from 4,530 feet of pipe. A mixture of about 67% water with 33% Zerex (yes, the anti-freeze) was circulated, and proved effective to prevent freezing to as low as -5 F. Evidently, it was a successful trial and it  was first put to use a few weeks later during a blizzard.

1947 – Monday A couple of biologists had twins. They named one Jessica and the other Control………….A good day for RNA (also see John Smith 1924 above).  Happy Birthday, Thomas Cech, American biochemist and molecular biologist born in Chicago.  Along  with Sidney Altman, Cech was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discoveries concerning RNA (ribonucleic acid - A nucleic acid molecule similar to DNA but containing ribose, a sugar, rather than deoxyribose, another kind of sugar…and that’s as far as we’ll go). Cech showed that RNA, heretofore considered just a passive messenger,  could have an independent  active, catalytic function, a "ribozyme", aiding a chemical reaction without being consumed or changed. 

1947-  Monday Nobody left to run with anymore
Nobody wants to do the crazy things
We used to do before
Nobody left to run with anymore
…….Happy Birthday, singer Gregg Allman born in Nashville, Tennessee. One of the great rock n roll voices, with brother Duane on guitar, Greg on organ, Forrest Dickey Betts on guitar; Berry Oakley on bass; and Butch Trucks and Jaimoe (aka Jai Johanny Johanson, on drums they formed  the Allman Brothers Band.  Being a typical rock n roll band, members died, they broke up, they feuded, they reuninted, they broke up, they feuded…..we’ve lost count.  Greg also enjoyed a successful solo career, he had to do something in between the breakups…good blues stuff and gritty country too. So what if he was briefly married to Cher, she was only one of his six wives.

1949  - Thursday A kiss on the hand
May be quite continental,
But diamonds are a girl's best friend
…… Jule Styne's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes  opened at the NYC Ziegfeld Theater for 740 performances.  Based on the novel written by Anita Loos, this was a musical version of the 1926 stage play. Choreography by Agnes DeMille with music by Jule Styne, and featuring the song, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, the show made a star of Carol Channing. Marilyn Monroe?  She starred in the 1953 movie.

1951 – Saturday - Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result -- eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly -- in you……A Short History of Nearly Everything ……..Happy Birthday, Bill Bryson, American author born in Des Moines.  He lived most of his adult life in Great Britain where he wrote – A Walk in the Woods, In a Sunburned Country, A Brief History of Nearly Everything (one of Professor Sy Yentz’ favorite sources) and travel, language, science and history books.  He has even written a biography of William Shakespeare.  The Editorial Board of the Gnus has read them all.  Notes from a Small Island was chosen by Radio 4 as the best book ever written about the British Isles.

1953 Tuesday  Anyone who thinks we can continue to have world wars but make them nice polite affairs by outlawing this weapon or that should meditate upon the outlawing of the cross-bow by Papal authority. Setting up the machinery for international law and order must surely precede disarmament. The Wild West did not abandon its shooting irons till after sheriffs and courts were established. ……. Joel H. Hildebrand…… President Dwight Eisenhower gave what would become to be known as the “Atoms for Peace” speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations. Atoms for war had done quite well….continues to do quite well so Ike  proposed the establishment of an International Atomic Energy Agency.  Eisenhower noted; The United States would seek more than the mere reduction or elimination of atomic materials for military purposes. It is not enough to take this weapon out of the hands of the soldiers. It must be put into the hands of those who will know how to strip its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace………well that certainly worked out well.  Following the speech, the U.S. Congress would pass the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 which institutes widespread use of atomic energy for commercial applications.

1954 –Wednesday   Radioactivity is shown to be accompanied by chemical changes in which new types of matter are being continually produced. .... The conclusion is drawn that these chemical changes must be sub-atomic in character……Ernest Rutherford…….. A year after the Atoms for Peace speech (see above) and not about the story of mutated goat that attacked Tokyo,  the science fiction film The Atomic Kid, directed by Leslie H. Martinson and starring Mickey Rooney and Robert Strauss, to U.S. theaters.  The plot concerens a uranium prospector eating a peanut butter sandwich in the desert. Suddenly,  an atom bomb test takes place.  Don’t you hate when that happens? Mickey becomes radioactive. Afterword, he works with the FBI to break up an enemy spy ring. Also co-starring is the ubiquitous Whit Bissell who was cast in every single movie made during the 50’s, 60’s and much of the 70’s.  Probably the 40’s and 80’s too. Also, cast as an FBI agent was Hal March who would go on to hosting the scandal scarred $64,000 Question.

1960 –Thursday  Gonna get a 1,000 kicks/ Gonna kiss a thousand chicks/So turn me loose ……..More publicity for talentless Dick Clark creation fabricated Teen idol Fabian as the warbler of Turn Me Lose, visited Elvis Presley at his Graceland mansion in Memphis. According to Fabian, Elvis ripped his pants while demonstrating his karate moves, and Fabian loaned him his pair. Not sure what Fabian put on.

1962  -Saturday This was an absolutely foolish strike.  There was a stubborn union leadership that was not going to give in, no matter what……Tom Wolfe, then a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune…..On the same day as the American Federation of Labor was formed in 1886, came the beginning of   a 114-day newspaper strike New York City.  The strike by the Bertram Powers and his Printers Union killed four of the seven newspapers.  So much for saving or creating jobs.  The root cause of the strike was technology.  The union printers believed that  computerized typesetting systems that would revolutionize the newspaper composing room, costing jobs. Adieu New York World Telegram & Sun, New York Herald Tribune, New York Daily Mirror, and the New York Journal-American.  The New York Post (which brokered a separate deal), the New York Times, and the New York Daily News would survive.

1962-  Saturday  What they call payola in the disc jockey business, they call lobbying in Washington……attributed to Alan Freed……….. In 1959 the U.S. House Oversight Committee, at the urging of ASCAP, began to look into deejays who took gifts from record companies in return for playing their records on their shows. On this day, one of the founders of Rock n Roll, disc jockey  and promoter Alan Freed appeared at his payola trial in New York City. Freed admitted  receiving money from labels, including $2,000 from Cognat Distributers in 1958, to play their records on the air. He was found guilty, fined $300, and given six months probation, but his career went down the tubes.  Drugs and alcohol didn’t help much either. No one got to read about his testimony (at least in New York) thanks to the newspaper strike (see above).  At the same time, Dick Clark escaped unscathed.

1963 –Sunday It scares the living daylights out of you! You think you are going to die!......Faisal Khan…….. Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707,  was struck by lightning and crashes near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 81 people on board.  Scientific American notes that t is estimated that on average, each airplane in the U.S. commercial fleet is struck lightly by lightning more than once each year. In fact, aircraft often trigger lightning when flying through a heavily charged region of a cloud. In these instances, the lightning flash originates at the airplane. The last confirmed commercial plane crash in the U.S. directly attributed to lightning occurred in 1967, when lightning caused a catastrophic fuel tank explosion. Since then, much has been learned about how lightning can affect airplanes. As a result, protection techniques have improved. Today, airplanes receive a rigorous set of lightning certification tests to verify the safety of their designs. So now you can just worry about long lines, delays, cancelled flights, screaming babies and smelly people.

1967-Friday …Today he joins the brave and heroic men and women who have been similarly honored by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation -- men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country and in the cause of science,……..Dr. Barbara E. Lawrence when Major Lawrence was honored at Space Mirror Memorial at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The NASA memorial, completed in 1991, honors U.S. astronauts who died while in training………Major Robert Lawrence, now recognized as the first black astronaut in the nation’s space program, was killed in a crash of his F-104 jet fighter plane.  By NASA  standards, anyone going into astronaut training is an astronaut.  In the 1960’s Air Force standards required flying over fifty miles in altitude. Lawrence’s family struggled for many years to have him recognized as an astronaut.  The crash on this day was a particularly horrific one as Lawrence and Major Harvey Royer, the pilot flying the plane, hit the runway too soon. Royer ejected and escaped with serious injuries. Lawrence ejected as well, but too low for his parachute to open and his body, still strapped into his ejector seat, landed 75 feet away from the wreck. He died instantly at the age of 31. Sixteen years later, Guion Bluford became black astronaut to travel in space.

1969 – Monday No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now……..Richard M. Nixon…….President Nixon declared that  Vietnam War was ending.  Well that certainly turned out well. The new program would be called “Vietnamization”. Too bad  it was North Vietnamization.

1979 - Saturday Babe, I'm leaving, I must be on my way
The time is drawing near
My train is going, I see it in your eyes
The love, the need, your tears
But I'll be lonely without you
And I'll need your love to see me through
Please believe me, my heart is in your hands
And I'll be missing you…..
Styx’ turgid and insipid Babe landed at #1 on the Billboard Charts..  Anyone who calls their sweetie “babe” should be sentenced to watch the Hallmark Channel in perpetuity. Babe replaced Donna Summers/Barbra Streisand (always trying to remain relevant) treacly, Enough is Enough. One week later, Babe would be put out to pasture by Rupert Holmes’ Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

1980 – Monday For everyone who cherished the sustaining myth of the Beatles, the murder was something else. It was an assassination, a ritual slaying of something that could hardly be named. Hope, perhaps; or idealism. Or time. Not only lost, but suddenly dislocated, fractured……Jay Cocks….Beatle, John Lennon, one of rock's most influential musicians, was murdered by a lunatic “fan” Mark David Chapman in front of the Dakota, Lennon's New York apartment building on West 72nd Street.  Chapman, clearly a wackadoodles claimed he was fighting with demons in his head that wanted him to kill Lennon  (as opposed to Styx for releasing Babe – see above).  The demons won and when Lennon and parasitic wife Yoko Ono returned to the Dakota at 10.50 pmChapman shot Lennon four times in the back, in front of his wife, on the steps to the building’s main entrance. By 11.15 pm Lennon had died of exsanguination, while being taken to Roosevelt Hospital.

1982 – Wednesday  SS officer: You may keep one of your children. Sophie: I beg your pardon? SS officer: You may keep one of your children. The other must go away. Sophie: You mean, I have to choose? SS officer: You are a Polack, not a Yid. That gives you a privilege, a choice. Sophie: I can't choose. I can't choose! ……..Sophie’s Choice premiered for a limited engagement in New York City.  Meryl Streep starred in Sophie's Choice, based on William Styron’s novel of the survivor of a Nazi concentration camp who was forced to choose which would live, her son or her daughter. Directed by Alan Pakula, the movie also stars Kevin Kline, and Peter MacNicol. Streep would win the Academy Award as Best Actress.

1990- Saturday Will it go round in circles
Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky
…….Billy Preston……Whoops, not so fast as the spacecraft Galileo swung past Earth and was held briefly by gravity until it gained enough energy, like swinging something above your head on a string, from Earth's rotational force to enable it to reach Jupiter. See December 7, 1995 above. The Galileo mission consisted of two spacecraft: an orbiter and an atmospheric probe. It was launched during the STS 34 flight of the Atlantis orbiter, the two spacecraft were kicked out of Earth orbit by an inertial upper stage (IUS) rocket, sending them merrily through the inner solar system. The trajectory which the spacecraft followed was called a VEEGA (Venus-Earth-Earth Gravity Assist) as a VEEGAN it was fueled only by organic vegetables while traveling first in toward the Sun for a gravity assist from Venus before encountering the Earth two times (spaced two years apart).


1993-Wednesday I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day
……Johnny Nash……The astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavor installed corrective lenses in the Hubble Space Telescope. The lenses, soft contact lenses, give it lovely violet eyes. Despite gazillions of dollars, research, and the collective thinking of hundreds of committees, Hubble's primary mirror was incorrectly shaped, the telescope could not focus all the light from an object to a single sharp point. Instead, it saw a fuzzy halo around objects it observed. Once the astronauts from the space shuttle caught up with the orbiting telescope, they hauled it into the shuttle's cargo bay and spent five days tuning it up…..first covering one eye and reading the bottom row of the chart and then the other eye and then putting on those goggles that ophthalmologists use where they turn dials until things come into focus. While this was an egregious error with the lens, the Hubble is service periodically for tune-ups.   



1993 –Wednesday Yeah, I've been searchin'
A-a searchin'
Oh, yeah, searchin' every which a-way
Yeah, yeah
Oh, yeah, searchin'
I'm searchin'
Searchin' every which a-way
Yeah, yeah
……….The Coasters…..Meanwhile back on Earth, sort of, as the astronauts were wrangling with Hubble, the United States Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin,  wrote to Transportation Secretary Frederico Pina and announced that the Global Positioning System (GPS), which consists of twenty-four satellites operating in their assigned orbits and provides coordinates accurate to within one hundred meters, had reached “Initial Operational Capability” and would  be made available for civilian use at the catchily named, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) levels.  After further testing for military use, the U.S. Air Force Space Command declared “full operational capability” on April 27, 1995.


1994 – Thursday  Scientists tell us that the fastest animal on earth, with a top speed of 120 feet per second, is a cow that has been dropped out of a helicopter. ….Dave Barry……Want to see a fast element?  Want to see it again?  Lasting for about four-thousandths of a second before decaying, element 111 was discovered (?) in Germany. Its atom has 111 protons and 161 neutrons in its nucleus, giving it a mass number of 272. As a new element it was named unununium, (Un (one) un (one) un (one) ium), symbol Uuu, according to an internationally adopted system for naming new elements. Only three atoms of the element were made by accelerating nickel atoms to high speed and bombarding them into bismuth – and one should always mind one’s own bismuth-. Unununium has no know uses.  It was later renamed Roentgenium after Wilhelm Roentgen, discoverer of x-rays.


1995   -Friday   White folks was in caves while we were building empires…. We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and those Greek homos ever got around to it.  ….Another benchmark in racial politics barnacle and professional gasbag, Al Sharpton’s (Tawanna Brawley hoax, Crown Heights Brooklyn race riot attacks on Jews, FBI tape discussing cocaine deal, shady tax practices), trail of destruction and ruined lives , In New York, an arsonist killed seven workers and himself at a Harlem clothing store that had been the target of a racially charged lease dispute. Sharpton had been bellowing about “white interlopers” in Harlem.


1995 – Friday the remaining members of the band met yesterday and came to the conclusion that the 'long strange trip' of the uniquely wonderful beast known as the Grateful Dead is over. Four months after the death of founding member Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead - Bob Weir / Phil Lesh / Bill Kreutzmann/ Mickey Hart / Vince Welnick,

officially announced their breakup. Somehow they managed to overcome their grief in 2015 for a series of “final shows”. 


1998 – Tuesday You made me love you
I didn't want to do it
I didn't want to do it
You made me want you
And all the time you knew it.
I guess you always knew it.
….Judy Garland…..The White House opened its defense against the impeachment of Presidential stud muffin Bill Clinton. A 184-page defense, written by White House lawyers, held that Clinton’s actions were “immoral” and “misleading” but did not amount to impeachable offenses.


2000 — Friday Go up to the free throw line knowing you’re going to make it, not knowing you won’t miss…….. Hilary Ashmead…….. A simple, 15 foot shot that is completely uncontested and worth a point to your team should be a “gimme.”it’s a free throw….. Every player should be capable of making one with a little bit of time and practice invested.   Shaquille O’Neal set an NBA record for futility by going 0-for-11 from the foul line in the Lakers’ 103-95 loss to the SuperSonics (note they lost by 8 points). He broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 0-for-10 for Philadelphia against Detroit on Nov. 4, 1960. O’Neal had 26 points and 16 rebounds. He would miss 5,317 free throws during his career.  Another horrid free throw shooter, Chris Dudly missed five consecutive free throws after his opponents committed three lane violations during a 1989 game.

2000 – Friday  Jen Yu: (while slicing and dicing customers at a local restaurant]) You want to know who I am? I am... I am the Invincible Sword Goddess, armed with the Green Destiny that knows no equal! Be you Li or Southern Crane, bow your head and ask for mercy! I am the dragon from the desert! Who comes from nowhere and leaves no trace! Today I fly over Eu-Mei. Tomorrow... I topple Mount Wudan! ….People running up walls, sword fights in slow motion mid-air for the premier of Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon starring  Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle  and Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang John Saxon…oh, wait, no, he was in Enter the Dragon….. The plot involves some guy’s daughter looking for a sword and beating people up and stabbing them.  'WOOOOOOO-ooooOOOO-WAHHHHHHHH!

2003  Monday  Lovely spam, wonderful spam
Lovely spam, wonderful spam
Lovely spam
Lovely spam
Lovely spam
Spam, spam, spam, spam
…….Monty Python…….Congress approved legislation to stem the flood of unwanted junk e-mail known as "spam."  Well that certainly worked out well.

2004  Wednesday  Rape, murder!
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
…….Rolling Stones…..In Columbus, Ohio, 25 year old wackadoodles, Nathan Gale (charged on stage and opened fire on the heavy metal band, Damageplan at a crowded bar, killing former Pantera heavy metal guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and 3 others and wounding two before being killed by police. Gale became agitated when the band launched into the Debby Boone version of  You Light Up My Life. Later reports indicated Gale was angry that Pantera had broken up and blamed the ill-fated  Dimebag for  the conscious uncoupling

2005 – Thursday How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the waggly tail
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale
…..Patti Page……..An international team, led by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard published the complete DNA sequence for dogs in the journal Nature.  It was based on a boxer named Tasha. The gene count was estimated at 19,300, most of which resemble human genes. The boxer was chosen as a representative of the average purebred dog to produce what has become a reference sequence for the dog genome community. Using the sequence information as a genetic "compass," they navigated the genomes of 10 different dog breeds and other related canine species, including the gray wolf and coyote. In this sampling, they pinpointed tiny spots of genetic variation, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which serve as recognizable signposts that can be used to locate the causes of genetic disease.

2009  -Tuesday  If you have to be in a soap opera try not to get the worst role……Judy Garland…..A sad day for bad acting as after  54 seasons, 13,858 (1956-75: half-hour, 1976-2010: hour) episodes, CBS canceled As the World Turns, putting the company that coined the phrase "soap operas" out of the business of making daytime dramas for the first time in 76 years.  The last show would run on Sept. 17, 2010.  We didn’t see the final episode (or any of the previous 13,857 for that matter) but we presume that the shooter of Pantera guitarist, Dimebag – see 2004 above- ran on the set and shot all the characters.

2010 Wednesday Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so wonderful
Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so good
No one could be, so gentle and so lovable
Oh, my pa-pa, he always understood…
….Eddie Fisher…..ScienceDaily noted that American  scientists published a study of stem cell technology used to create mice from two fathers, an advance that they say could help preserve endangered species and even help same-sex couples have their own genetic children one day.  Here’s the recipe; the  team manipulated fibroblasts from a male (XY) mouse fetus to produce an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell line. About one percent of iPS cell colonies grown from this XY cell line spontaneously lost the Y chromosome, resulting in XO cells. The XO iPS cells were injected into blastocysts from donor female mice. The treated blastocysts were transplanted into surrogate mothers, which gave birth to female XO/XX chimeras having one X chromosome from the original male mouse fibroblast.  Why a five year old child could understand this.  Someone fetch a five year old child………..Groucho Marx.

2010    Wednesday Queen Yllana: I'm going to allow myself the exquisite pleasure of watching you while I obliterate the Earth. …….Queen of Outer Space…….Japan’s space agency said its Akatsuki  space probe has sailed  past Venus after failing to enter the planet's orbit as planned.  Whistling in the dark, the agency voiced hope for a successful rendezvous six years from now.  We know that won’t happen because the actual cause of the failure can be found in the 1958 documentary, Queen of Outer Space.  Starring beloved thespian Zsa Zsa Gabor and Eric Fleming (Clint Eastwood’s boss on Rawhide).  The Akatsuki was sent astray by Queen Yllana’s beta disintegrator as a precursor to her attack on Earth to destroy all the men.


1165     Thursday Dude looks like a lady
Dude looks like a lady
……Aerosmith………Malcom IV, age 24, king of Scotland  from 1153-65, went kaput.  Malcolm, aka “Malcolm the Maiden”, was the grandson of King David I.  He would be succeeded by his brother, “William the Lion”.

1571 – Thursday, Astronomy's much more fun when you're not an astronomer………
Brian May……Hartelijk gefeliciteerd!/Happy Birthday,  Adriaan Adriaanszoon, aka Metius, Dutch mathematician and astronomer born in Alkmarr. Too bad they don’t allow proper nouns in Scrabble.   He was briefly a student of Tyho Brahe (we don’t know if it was before or after Brahe’s nose was cut off),

1594  -  Thursday The Lord God is my Armor!...........Gustavus Adolphus, refusing the steel body armour offered by his aides at the Battle of Lützen…….Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen/Happy Birthday, Gustavus Adolphus,  Sweden’s greatest king, born in Stockholm.   While keeping his country contiuously involved in wars – notably on the Protestant side during the abattoir known as the Thirty Years War, he was responsible for the domestic reforms that established Sweden as a major nation-state during the 17th century. He was a brilliant military tactician who, unfortunately, decided to forego wearing his armor (it irritated old wounds) during the Battle of Lützen.  The Swedes won the battle but Gustavus bit the dust.

1608 –Tuesday – The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n. ……..Happy Birthday, John Milton, English poet author born in London.  Milton wrote  the epic poems Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Paradise by the Dashboard Light.  Milton supported the Protestants and Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War.  Things went badly when Charles II regained the throne and he was imprisoned and some of his books were burned.  A general pardon set him free and Paradise Lost, was published in 1667.  It was  inspired by the Bible story of the Creation, the fall of Adam and Eve, the rebellion of Satan against God, and Satan being cast out from heaven. Paradise Lost is generally regarded as the greatest epic poem in the English language. In 1671 its sequel, Paradise Regained, appeared in one volume with Samson Agonistes. The central theme of Regained is that the true hero conquers not by force but by humility and faith in God. Samson Agonistes deals with the theme of temptation, dramatizing how the Hebrew hero yielded to a hot babe and seeming self-interest.

1652 –Monday - Botany is the science in which plants are known by their aliases. …..Anonymous…….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, German biologist, Augustus Quirinus Rivinus also known as August Bachmann born in Leipzig. Rivinus focused on developing botanical taxonomy.  He introduced several important innovations which were later used by other botanists, notably Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and Carolus Linnaeus. Rivinus e classified the plants according to the structure of the flower. He used dichotomous keys which led first to the higher groups, which he called higher genera (genus summum) of plant orders (ordo), and then to the lower genera.  Among his notable classifications were:  “the one that gave me a rash”; “the one that smells like a used sweat sock”; and “the one that tastes like chicken”.

1742 –Sunday- To explain new phenomena, that is my task; and how happy is the scientist when he finds what he so diligently sought, a pleasure that gladdens the heart…….. Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen /Happy Birthday, Carl (Karl) W. Scheele, Swedish pharmacist and chemist born in Stralsund. According to Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, without advanced apparatus he discovered: Chlorine, fluorine, manganese, barium, molybdenum, tungsten, nitrogen and oxygen. He also discovered compounds such as ammonia, glycerine, and tannic acid. Unfortunately, he could not get his discoveries published in a timely manner and credit went elsewhere to others (Priestly, for oxygen) who were working on it about the same time. Unfortunately, again the skills of cause and effect, predicting and lab safety were sadly lacking in Scheele’s methodology. He liked to taste everything he worked with, including mercury, prussic acid and hydrocyanic acid.. In 1786 at age 43 he was found dead at his workbench surrounded by an array of toxic chemicals as Bill Bryson says “ any of which could have accounted for the stunned and terminal look on his face”.

1793 -Monday It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper……..Jerry Seinfeld……… New York City's first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, was established by Noah Webster, yes that Noah Webster.  The Federalist daily was meant to curb the propagation of French (think revolution and guillotines) thought in the United States. The paper's name was changed to the Commercial Advertiser in 1797, and Webster remained editor until 1803. The Commercial Advertiser merged with the New York Globe in 1904 and was called the Globe and Commercial Advertiser until the New York Sun purchased it in 1923. It then merged with the New York World, and The New York Telegram and became the World Telegram and Sun. It went kaput during the printer’s union self-destructive newspaper strike of 1962.

            1845 – Tuesday Zippity doo dah, Zippity aye,
My oh my what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine coming my way,
Zippity doo dah, Zippity aye.
Mister blue bird's on my shoulder,,
it's the truth,
it's actual,
everything's satisfactual!
Zippity doo dah,
zippity aye,
zippity doo dah,
zippity aye!
….. written by Allie Wrubel, the lyrics by Ray Gilbert….our favorite version is by Bobb B. Soxx and the Bluejeans.  Happy Birthday, author Joel Chandler Harris born in Eatonton, Georgia.  Harris was famous for writing children's stories told in dialect by Uncle Remus, a slave who entertained a young white boy with American folktales. In 1880 he published Uncle Remus, His Songs and Sayings and in 1883, Nights with Uncle Remus featuring Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and other “critters” from the Briar Patch.. His tales of Uncle Remus were made into the no longer politically correct Disney movie, Song of the South in 1948. It has been unofficially banned by the Thought Police but you can get copies in Europe.   In 1888 Harris was named a charter member, with Mark Twain, of the American Folklore Society.

1851 – Tuesday - Young man, there's no need to feel down.
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy.
Young man, there's a place you can go.
I said, young man, when you're short on your dough.
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.
………The first YMCA in North America was established in Montreal.  The Young Men's Christian Association ("YMCA" or "the Y") was founded on June 6, 1844 in London, England, by George Williams. The Village People entertained at all openings. The first YMCA in the United States opened just about three weeks later on December 29, 1851, in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1851 by Captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan

1854 –Saturday Half a league, half a league, half a league onward.  All in the valley of death road the six hundred. ……..The Examiner newspaper printed Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem The Charge of the Light Brigade, which commemorated the courage (but not the monumental stupidity of the British officers who ordered it)  of 600 British soldiers charging a heavily defended position during the Battle of Balaklava, in the Crimea, just six weeks earlier.

1868 – Wednesday Chemistry... is like the maid occupied with daily civilisation; she is busy with fertilisers, medicines, glass, insecticides ... for she dispenses the recipes…….Jean Jacques……….Wszystkiego Najlepszego!/ Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Fritz Haber, Polish-German chemist and academic born in Breslau. Good news Haber was the winner of the 1918 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his successful work on nitrogen fixation. The Haber-Bosch process, as it was called, combined nitrogen and hydrogen to form ammonia in industrial quantities for production of fertilizer and munitions. Bad News - Haber is also infamous for his supervision of the German poison gas program during World War I.  

1879-–Tuesday We're the phone company. We don't care; we don't have to…….Lily Tomlin…………….The first U.S. patent ( # 222,458) for an automatic telephone switching system was issued to Daniel Connolly of Philadelphia, Thomas A. Connolly of Washington, D.C., and Thomas J. McTighe of Pittsburgh. The system consisted of a single-line wire, a battery of cells located at each telephone. and a dial switching mechanism as well as tapes that told you how important you were and all lines were busy but your wait would be 5 minutes or less, for each line. Although this first system was  a bit crude in design and limited to a small number of subscribers, it introduced the general principle of later dial systems. The system, with eight stations connected, would be exhibited at the Paris Exposition in 1881. * The Xeroxian world of the internet copy and pasticus infinitum, lists this as Dec. 5.  We know, as loyal Gnus readers that patents are issued on Tuesdays.  The Editorial Board of the Gnus looked up patent no. 222,458 and sure enough, it was issued on December, 9….A Tuesday.

            1884- Tuesday- Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd
Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd
Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd
But you can be happy if you've a mind to  -
Roger Miller…………The first U.S. patent for ball-bearing roller skates was issued to Levant M. Richardson of the Richardson Skate Company, Chicago, Illinois. Roller skates had first appeared in 1760 when London instrument maker and inventor, Joseph Merlin, attended a masquerade party wearing one of his new inventions, metal-wheeled boots. Joseph decided to make a grand entrance with the added the pizzazz of rolling in while playing the violin. Lining the huge ballroom was a very expensive wall-length mirror. Unfortunately, Merlin had not invented brakes nor figured out how to stop and so the fiddling skater stood no chance and Merlin crashed solidly into the mirrored wall, as his roller skates crashed into society. Richardson’s contribution increased the reliability and speed of skating by reducing friction.

1886 –Thursday-  The principal called to announce that he was expelling my son from school after a disturbance in the cafeteria.
"That's a bit harsh isn't it?" I pleaded. "It sounds like it was only a food fight for God's sake."
"Tell that to the parents of the three pupils that are in the hospital.  Who the hell brings a frozen leg of lamb to school anyway?"
……Happy Birthday, Clarence Birdseye, American inventor of the deep freezing food (frozen foods for you microwave fans out there) method and co-founder of General Foods Corp, born in Brooklyn, NY.  Birdseye took  Arctic trips as a field naturalist for the United States government, and
after observing the people of the Arctic preserving fresh fish and meat in barrels of sea water quickly frozen by the arctic temperatures, he hypothesized that it was the rapid freezing in the extremely low temperatures that made food retain freshness when thawed and cooked months later. Birdseye learned, too, that the fish, when thawed and eaten, still had all the characteristics of fresh fish except they don’t jump around in your mouth or stomach. He then determined that quickly freezing certain items kept large crystals from forming, preventing damage to their cellular structure. Freezing food has a long chilly history. The first to freeze foods beyond the winter months were the Chinese, who used ice cellars as early as 1000 B.C. for their Pu Pu Platters, Wonton soup, General Tso’s Chicken, and Sweet and Sour Pork. The Greeks and Romans stored compressed snow in insulated cellars, and the Egyptians and Indians discovered that rapid evaporation through the porous walls of clay vessels produced ice crystals in the water inside the vessels.

1902 Tuesday I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!......Happy Birthday, Margaret Hamilton, character actress,  born in Cleveland, Ohio. She became best known as the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz.

1903 - Wednesday This comes of James teaching me to think for myself, and never to hold back out of fear of what other people may think of me. ……Candida……..The American premiere of George Bernard Shaw's drama Candida, written in 1894, starring Dorothy Donnelly and Arnold Daly at the Princess Theatre after several successful trial performances. In the play Candida, the heroine (Candida) does not let herself get bullied into 'choosing' between her husband and her poetic lover. She takes the situation under her control and chooses to live with the weaker of the two …..husband….who had to be weaker…..the wuss took her back.

1906- Sunday, I had a running compiler and nobody would touch it. … they carefully told me, computers could only do arithmetic; they could not do programs…… Happy Birthday, Grace Murray Hopper, mathematician and computer pioneer, born in New York City.  She was one of Harvard Mark I computer’s first programmers and was also responsible for developing the first ever compiler used for computer programming language. That wasn’t enough she was the driving force behind COBOL which is one of the first few modern programming languages.  Finding she still had time on her hands she rose to United States Navy Rear Admiral. Because of her achievements and contributions in the field of computer science as well as the navy, she was sometimes fondly called “Amazing Grace.”

1909 -Thursday There is an art . . . to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss…..Douglas Adams…………… The 1st US monoplane – an airplane with a single pair of wings - was flown by dentist Henry W. Walden at Hempstead, Long Island, NY.  It was also Walden’s first solo flight.

1917-Sunday Never trust an atom.  They make up everything…….tee shirt….Happy Birthday, (Leo) James Rainwater American physicist born in Council, Idaho.  Rainwater won a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1975 for his part in determining the asymmetrical shapes of certain atomic nuclei. Basically, Rainwater reconciled two opposing theories of the atom — the "shell" model with its independent particles, and the "liquid drop" model that proposed collective motion. Rainwater's explanation, published in 1950, showed that atomic nuclei are not always spherical, as had been generally believed, and explained both the individual motions of nuclear particles and how these factors affect the collective behavior and sometimes asymmetrical shape of the nucleus. So we have nothing to sphere but sphere itself.  The theory was tested experimentally and confirmed by Danish physicists Aage N. Bohr (son of Neils Bohr)  and Ben R. Mottelson. For their work the three scientists were awarded jointly the Nobel Prize.

1919 Tuesday- If your position is everywhere, your momentum is zero. …….Happy Birthday, William Nunn Lipscomb American physical chemist born in Cleveland, Ohio.  Lipscomb won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1976 for his research on the structure of boranes - complex compounds of boron and hydrogen.  This answered general questions about chemical bonding, namely did they have to go through ordeals together, were they friends throughout school, did they share musical tastes?  Lipscomb's theory of three-centered bonds explained the borane structures. It also predicted the possibility of new compounds, which later allowed chemists to create many new molecules.

1921- Friday- I told the waitress I wanted some coffee. She asked if I wanted leaded of unleaded, so I had to leave the restaurant, because I quit drinking gasoline years ago. Jarod Kintz…………One of the worst inventions of the 20th century, 1921, tetraethyl lead was first given a laboratory test as an anti-knock additive to gasoline fuel. The “knocking” sound  in the one-cylinder laboratory engine was completely silenced. This invention of Thomas Midgley, Jr.,  (who later would give a us chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) ) of  General Motors was first put on public sale as ethyl gasoline in the same city on  Feb. 2  1923. This would pollute the atmosphere until the Clean Air Act of 1970.  By 1980 With the phase-out of lead underway, blood-lead levels in human beings drop 50 percent .

1926 –Thursday -  For five hundred dollars, I'll name a subatomic particle after you. Some of my satisfied customers include Arthur C. Quark and George Meson……Scott Adams…….. Happy Birthday, Henry Way Kendall, American nuclear physicist born in Boston, Mass.  Kendall shared the 1990 Nobel Prize for Physics with Jerome Isaac Friedman and Richard E. Taylor for obtaining experimental evidence for the existence of the subatomic particles we know as quarks. He also found that quarks are bound together by massless particles known as gluons. They used a particle accelerator to direct a beam of high-energy electrons at target protons and neutrons. The way in which the electrons scattered from the targets indicated that the protons and neutrons were not the solid, uniformly dense bodies to be expected if they were truly fundamental particles, but were instead composed of still smaller particles. Quarks were first named by Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig in 1964. Everyone who works with quarks has their quirks. Gell-Mann chose the name "quarks," pronounced "kworks," for these three particles, a nonsense word used by James Joyce in the novel Finnegan's Wake:  "Three quarks for Muster Mark!"

1930 - Tuesday Iceberg lettuce was served on the Titanic.  Among the beverages was Sanka……..J. Cafarella…………..A dancer from Hollywood, Billie Stockton, fashioned herself a dress from an entire head of lettuce and played the part of Eve in the garden of Eden. Material for her dress  was donated by the Chamber of Commerce. El Centro, which is famous for, yes, it’s lettuce.  We’re not sure what Adam wore but perhaps it was tomatoes so they could make a salad together.  So off we went to the Food Fashion website and found that PETA clothed then 82 year old Cloris Leachman in a gown made of leafy green lettuce and red cabbage in 2008. Then there was the 100% solid chocolate,  bustier bubble dress was “carefully” worn by German model Alena Gerber for an annual show in Munich in January 2010 the same year that minor talent/publicity barnacle Lady Gaga wore a dress made of raw beef to the MTV Video Music Awards.

1935 – Monday It wasn’t really a big deal when I got it.  No one at school said anything to me about winning it other than a few congratulations. I was more excited about the trip than the trophy because it was my first flight. ….Jay Berwanger……The Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later renamed the Heisman Trophy a year later, was awarded for the first time. The winner was halfback Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago. Berwanger never played pro football.  He was the first player chosen for the National Football League during its first-ever draft in 1936. After the Philadelphia Eagles signed him, Coach George Halas of the Chicago Bears acquired the signing rights. But when Berwanger asked for $25,000 over two years, Halas decided that was too much money, so Berwanger took a job as a foam-rubber salesman.

1949 –Friday- If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead……Erma Bombeck …….The National Football League absorbed the  Cleveland Browns,  San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Colts from All American Football Conference, a short lived four year old league.  The Cleveland Browns won the AAFC Championship each year of the league’s existence; 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1949. Now follow the bouncing franchise ball….The Cleveland Browns would move to Baltimore in 1995 and became the Baltimore Ravens. In 1999, an expansion team would be called the Cleveland Browns and get the team history (back to 1946). The Baltimore Colts would fail after one year and go kaput. However, when a Dallas team (the Texans) bit the dust after 1952, the NFL re-started the Colts in 1953. They would happily flourish until the odious owner Robert Irsay, moved the franchise, literally in the middle of the night in February 1984 to Indianapolis. So in today’s NFL, the Browns are the Ravens, Baltimore is Indianapolis, and the Browns are the newest of the four original AAFC teams.  Got it?


1960   Wednesday There was life before "Coronation Street", but it didn't add up to much…. Russell Harty …..The first episode of Coronation Street, the longest running TV soap opera in the world, was broadcast by Granada.  The Correpedia website notes that Coronation Street began its life with a cast of twenty-one actors and actresses. Reportedly,  creator, Tony Warren had visited local cemeteries and copied down the name on the headstones to use for the characters. Many of the characters Warren had created were written with specific actors in mind, and were written to be representative of the type of people one would find in a street like Coronation Street, with the crises they face reflecting those of their real world counterparts.

1960- Wednesday Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Mata ah-oo hima de
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Himitsu wo shiri tai
…..Styx………..The first electronic computer to employ thin-film memory was announced when Sperry Rand Corporation, of St. Paul, Minn., unveiled a new computer, known as Univac 1107. A thin film (4 millionths of an inch thick) of iron-nickel alloy was deposited on small glass plates. This provided very fast access times in the range of 0.67 microseconds, but was very expensive to produce. The Univac 1107, intended for the civilian marketplace, used thin film memory only for its 128-word general register stack. Military computers, where money was, surprise,  less of a concern, used larger amounts of thin film memory.

  1961 – Saturday- If we would have killed 10.3 million Jews, then I would be satisfied and would say, good, we annihilated an enemy. … I wasn't only issued orders, in this case I'd have been a moron, but I rather anticipated, I was an idealist……..The trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Israel ended with verdicts of guilty on 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization.  Eichmann headed Gestapo Department IV B4 for Jewish Affairs, serving as a self-proclaimed 'Jewish specialist' and was the man responsible for keeping the trains rolling from all over Europe to death camps during the Final Solution.

1963 -Monday  I want a guy to love me
One who will love me completely
Not like the last, who's in the past
Who broke my heart and made me cry
….. The release of the first Supremes album, Meet the Supremes. The cover has them sitting on stools with little white gloves to match their white shoes. No single – I Want a Guy - from the album would make the top 40 chart. The next album Where Did Our Love Go was the biggie. That was during the Diana Ross goo goo saucer eyes period. Of note is that this album followed the October release of When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes which  was the Supremes' first Top 40 pop hit since signing with Motown in 1961…... Eventually reaching number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100…..and it wasn’t on the album.          

1965  -Thursday,Charlie Brown: I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.  …………A Charlie Brown Christmas, premiered.  Unhappy with commercialism, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.  Sales of Peanuts action figures, the original cast album, Peanuts apparel, Peanuts books, and Peanut butter soared. The vocal cast was uncredited but Peter Robbins was Charlie Brown and Bill Melendez was Snoopy. It was an instant hit.  That week it was number two in the ratings, after Bonanza.  This was the first of nearly 50 Peanuts television movies, A Charlie Brown Christmas is the longest-running cartoon special in history, airing every year since its debut

1965 – Thursday Would you believe me if I told you there was something inside of that rock we found tonight? Something that could wipe out this whole town? …..Steve McQueen…..The Blob…….On the same night as the showing of a Charlie Brown Christmas,in what is known as the Kecksburg UFO incident, a fireball was seen from Michigan to Pennsylvania. Then witnesses reported something crashing in the woods near Pittsburgh. All the witnesses interviewed said that the object in question was large, metallic, acorn-shaped, with hieroglyphic markings, and partially buried in the ground. Soon after the object fell, the military was on the scene and cordoned off the area, forbidding access to everyone. Later, Steve McQueen saved the town when the Blob attacked a movie theater.  In 2003, a NASA official told a Sci Fi channel documentary team that the object could not have been a satellite -- then, in 2005, NASA announced that the object was in fact a satellite. Science Gnus has recently ascertained that it was in fact the space ship that brought a creature that would be known as Harry Reid to this planet.

            1968-Wednesday- Hey, do the mouse, yeah
Hey, you can do it in your house, yeah
Haul the rug around the wall
If you folks get bugged
Do it in the hall
Do the mouse, yeah
Let's do the mouse
Come one and do the mouse with me
….Soupy Sales………… The first demonstration of the use of a computer mouse was given at the American Federation of Information Processing Societies' Fall Joint Computer Conference at Stanford University, California. Douglas Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute invented the computer mouse, a handheld pointing device for computers. One of several experimental pointing devices developed by Engelbart for his ON-Line System (NLS), it was also called the "bug," but "mouse" became more popular because the cord on early models resembled a rodent's tail. If you’re reading this on-line, your hand is probably on the mouse right now.

1972-Saturday I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again……..
Reedy voiced Helen Reddy's treacly anthem,  I Am Woman landed at  #1on the Billboard Charts, replacing The Temptations’ Papa Was a Rolling Stone. I Am Woman was then knocked from the top spot by Billy Paul’s Me and Mrs. Jones thus completing a nice 3 week story line:  Papa Was a Rolling Stone to I Am Woman to Me and Mrs. Jones.

1974 – Monday Ding dong, ding dong
Ding dong, ding dong

Ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring out the false, ring in the true
Ring out the old, ring in the new………..
George Harrison released his first album on his Dark Horse label cleverly entitled Dark Horse.  We dare you to name one song from the album.

1974 Monday What is that unforgettable line?.......Samuel Beckett……In another example of hubris, Peter Ustinov and George S. Irving played the just-assassinated leaders of the Soviet Union and the U.S.A., in Ustinov's oddball afterlife comedy, Who's Who in Hell,.  The show closed on December 14 at the  Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway. . Also featured in this stinker were Olympia Dukakis, Josef Sommer and Beau Bridges.

1983 –  Friday - Tony Montana: I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.

Tony Montana: I kill a communist for fun, but for a green card, I gonna carve him up real nice.The premiere of the re-make of Scarface directed by Brian de Palma and starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana a Cuban criminal imported to the U.S by the hopeless Jimmy Carter.  Also starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, F. Murray Abraham (Salieri in Amadeus), Michael Moran as “Nick the Pig”,  and Robert Loggia (fondly remembered by the Gnus as Elfego Baca in Disney’s late 50’s western The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca. The original Scarface, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Paul Muni (as Tony Carmonte)  and George Raft was released in 1932

1992 –Wednesday- You know why divorces are so expensive? Because they’re worth it. …..Henny Youngman………Tragic news as the chronically dull Prince Charles of Britain and his wife, the fatuous publicity hound, Princess Diana announced their separation. Married in July of 1981, Charles would now go on to romance his friend’s wife, the beauty challenged Camilla Parker Bowles, Diana  would continue as a tabloid favorite featuring several tawdry affairs and ending in drunken chauffeur car crash escaping paparazzi in Paris.

1993 -Monday   I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five………Steven Wright…….Astronauts Story Musgrave and Jeff Hofman made the longest space walk of the 11-day mission on board the Endeavor, spending seven hours and 21 minutes on their final task to unravel the 40 ft (12 metre) solar panels completing the repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope. In one of the great “oops” of technology, the mission was the result of a tiny mistake in the manufacture of the $1.55 billion telescope, which made the mirror flatter than it should be by just one-fiftieth of the width of a human hair.

1993 –Monday  I would like nuclear fusion to become a practical power source. It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy, without pollution or global warming….Stephen Hawking…….Meanwhile back on Earth, at 11:08 a.m., scientists the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory produced a controlled fusion reaction equivalent to 3 million watts. If the power had been in the form of constant electrical current it would have been enough to meet the needs of a small city As it was seven second burst of energy resulted in the creation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For those of us confusioned by fusion, it is the joining together of the nuclei of hydrogen atoms, each of which contains one proton. The fused nucleus resulting from this reaction is that of helium, which contains two protons. This process is the opposite of fission, the process that powers conventional nuclear reactors; fission involves breaking apart heavy nuclei, like those of plutonium atoms….or fission involves sticking a worm on a hook at the end of a line attached to a fission rod.

            1994 –Tuesday- Are you Master of your Domain?"
    "I am King of the County. You?"
"Lord of the Manor."
    "I'm Queen of the castle!"
…Jerry, George and Elaine……Seinfeld, The Contest……..Presidential stud muffin Bill Clinton dismissed the seemingly deranged Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders after the media reported that she had told a conference that masturbation should be discussed in school as a part of human sexuality. Clinton told her to go play with herself.

1998 -  Wednesday Scientists in Japan cloned several calves ( two thighs and a quad) from an adult cow. It was the 3rd mammal duplicated after mice and sheep. Curing disease? Nah!  It was part of  the intense effort under way in Japan to build a tastier steak. Here is the process as described by Dennis Normile on the AAAS website - Setting out to replicate the British researchers who cloned the sheep Dolly, a team at Kinki University used cells taken from the oviducts and cumulus, the tissue that surrounds the oocytes, or egg cells, of a single adult cow. The scientists starved the cells into quiescence, then transferred their DNA-carrying nuclei into egg cells stripped of their own nuclei. After reactivating the cells with an electric shock, the group grew several oocytes in culture to the blastocyst stage. They then selected 10 blastocysts and implanted them in five hosts. All became pregnant.

1999 -Thursday You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off of you
You'd be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
…..Frankie Valli…………In a corneacopea, Scientists reported that nearly complete human cornea cells were grown in a laboratory petri dish.  The dish would need corrective lenses for reading but had no trouble with the big E at the top of the chart.

2001-Sunday  If your ever in a jam, here I am
If your ever in a mess, SOS
If you ever feel so happy you land in jail, I'm your bail
It's friendship, friendship
Just a perfect blendship
When other friendships have been forgot, ours will still be hot
Lah-dle, ah-dle, ah-dle, dig, dig,
dig….Cole Porter……..The Friendship Bridge linking Afghanistan and Uzbekistan was opened for aid transport.  Well that certainly worked out well.

2002 Monday  Bill: I'm forty-seven. Forty-seven years old. You know how I stayed alive this long? All these years? Fear. The spectacle of fearsome acts. Somebody steals from me, I cut off his hands. He offends me, I cut out his tongue. He rises against me, I cut off his head, stick it on a pike, raise it high up so all on the streets can see. That's what preserves the order of things. Fear. …….The premiere of  Gangs of New York as Daniel Day Lewis, as Bill the Butcher, stole the movie leaving Leonardo DiCaprio in the dust.  The Martin Scorsese movie garnered 10 Academy Award nominations and didn’t win a single one. Gangs lost to the geographic movie battle to Chicago. Two films,  1985’s The Color Purple and 1977’s The Turning Point received 11 Oscar nominations (including nods for Best Picture) and went the night without a win.

2006 -  Saturday Anyone who sits on top of the largest hydrogen-oxygen fueled system in the world; knowing they're going to light the bottom—and doesn't get a little worried—does not fully understand the situation……John Young…….In a night launch, the Space Shuttle Discovery was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, with 7 international crew members, including Christer Fuglesang, Sweden’s first astronaut,  aboard on an 12 day mission to the International Space Station.  A long way down from moon landings, the U.S space program was now the FedEx of astronomy, as it delivered elivering 4,292 pounds of supplies and equipment.  Yeesh!  This was Discovery’s 33rd flight, more than any other shuttle.

2006-Saturday Water always leaks out of my house phone for some reason.  I think its been tapped……..Lake Victoria, the greatest of Africa's Great Lakes and the biggest freshwater body after Lake Superior, has dropped fast, at least six feet in the past three years. The Uganda government cited the outflow through two hydroelectric dams at Jinja as part of the problem along with drought and rising temperatures, leaky faucets several chronically running toilets and too many people leaving the water running while they brushed their teeth. . At 27,000 square miles the lake matched size of Ireland.

2009-  Wednesday Guided missiles, aim at my heart
Down to destroy me, tear me apart
Guided missiles, none of them true
Now I know the enemy is you
……The Cufflinks……….They probably tried to build these without spying on and stealing American technology so  Russia's error-prone Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile, launched from a submarine, suffered 7th failure in 17 tests

2009  - Wednesday

    They come from another world!


    There was nothing to hold onto — except each other.

    Incredible! Invisible! Insatiable! Taglines, Invasion of the Body Snatchers……The Norwegian Metrological Institute  received hundreds of calls from confused observers regarding weird lights in the sky.  Some experts have speculated that the phenomenon might have been caused by a Russian rocket launch, although the Russian embassy has insisted such claims were completely unfounded. And they would never lie, would they?  Meteorologists, astronomers, or the armed forces all failed to offer a solution to the matter. The light was captured by amateur photographer while he was on his way to work at a salmon factory.  Thinking something was fishy, he reported that  “The light appeared for two or three minutes. I could not believe my eyes, and got the shivers and was quite shaken by it.,” Another observer, no fish were involved this time, who saw the light phenomena from Sortland in northern Norway, noted 'A large ring appeared, and then spread out, sending a green beam down to earth.'  Shortly afterwards, mysterious pods appeared on the Norwegian tundra.

2010  -  Thursday I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay.
I sleep all night and I work all day.