April 20, 2007 Friday
April 20th, 2007

Just one more excuse to post one of Dean Yeagle's terrific Mandy drawings. Check out his website http://www.cagedbeagle.com/home.htm

Had a fun evening at the Van Eaton Gallery last night signing copies of Drawing the Line. Nancy Beiman was in from New York signing, and Dean Yeagle, Jeff Snow, Nik Ranieri, Toby Bluth, Jerry Beck, Steve Silver and more were signing books. Thanks to Mike and Jeanine Van Eaton, and Tina Price of CTN for the wonderful party.

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Birthdays: Harold Lloyd, Juan Miro', Adolph Hitler, Tito Puente, Nina Foch, Gregroy Ratoff, Ryan O'Neal, Daniel Day Lewis, Jessica Lange, Luther Vandross, Crispin Glover, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, George Takei, Carmen Electra is 35, Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, Andy Serkis the Gollum, Animation Director Bob Kurtz

Happy Birthday Bob!

1814- Napoleon sent to Elba, a little island off the coast of France. He quoted the famous palindrome "Able was I ere I saw Elba." he had been learning English.

1859- " It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times..." Charles Dicken's novel "A Tale of Two Cities" began to be published in magazine form.

1909- Mary Pickford, the first Movie Star, goes in front of a camera for the first time.

1914- Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs opened. Commuters on the “El” could see how their cubbies were doing by looking for the W or L flag flying.

1925-The Warner Bros. Moving Picture company bought Vitagraph Studios from early animation pioneer James Stuart Blackton.

1935- Radio program “Your Hit Parade” premiered.

1938- On Hitler’s birthday was the Berlin premiere of Leni Reifenstahl’s film Olympia, about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

1939- RCA president David Sarnoff dedicates RCA pavilion at World's Fair. First U.S. news event filmed on television (the Nazis televised the Berlin Olympics in 1936) Sarnoff predicted that one day everyone would have a television in their home!

1942- The' Bataan Death March' ended at the prison camps at Butan and Palayu. Half the captive 16,000 Phillipino and 10,000 American troops died from exhaustion and starvation.(there was two animators there who I later worked with at Filmation- Don Schloat and Len Rogers..)

1968- Pierre Elliot Trudeau sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada. Trudeau became one of Canada’s more colorful leaders with his flower-child wife Margaret.

1974 - Paul McCartney and Wings releases "Band on the Run"

1976 - George Harrison sings the Lumberjack Song with the Monty Python comedy troop.

1977- Woody Allen and Diane Keaton starred in his award winning film “Annie Hall”.


April 19, 2007
April 19th, 2007


I hope you all can make the Book Look at Van Eaton Galleries tonight. Stuff begins at 6:00PM. I'll be signing Drawing the Line, Nancy Beiman is out from NY signing her new book Prepare to Board!, Jerry Beck, Nick Ranieri, Amid Amidi, Steve Gordon and Dean Yeagle will also be signing their works. Hope to see you there. 6:00pm-10:pm

Van Eaton Galleries
13613 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Ph: 818-788-2357
Fx: 818-788-2368

courtesy of Dean Yeagle
Dean Yeagle is an artist who for years was a wonderful animator of commercials, then he began a second career as a top cartoonist for Playboy. Dean's dexterity as an animator was put to great use in infusing his cheesecake girls with 3D sculpting and personality. Dean will be signing tonight at VanEaton's as well!

Birthdays: Paulo Verronese, Elliot Ness, Jayne Mansfield, Dudley Moore, Paloma Picasso, Ashley Judd, Kate Hudson is 28, Tim Curry is 61, Anna Porchicova is 20

Cerealia-ancient Roman agricultural festival. Ceres the mother of Porsephone was the Happy Goddess of Growing and Planting. To say “Fit for Ceres” was the Roman way of saying “Jolly Good! “ or “Dude, It’s the Bomb!”.

1775- LEXINGTON AND CONCORD- The American Revolution begins.
For years after the French and Indian War the British government tried to save money by getting the North American colonies to defend themselves. The local committees that organized the American colony's militia had slowly been taken over by radical political groups like the "Sons of Liberty". To the British these Minutemen seemed to be training to fight them instead of Indians.
In 1774 a General, Sir Thomas "Old Tom" Gage was appointed Royal Governor of Massachusetts to show the colonists that Mother England was not going to tolerate any more foolishness. Gage pulled his troops out of frontier patrols and concentrated them in Boston harbor. This annoyed citizens further, thinking the only reason they pay taxes now is to have troops watching them instead of protecting them. In early 1775 Gage warned London that the situation was deteriorating fast. Ironically Gage liked America and had a good friend named George Washington. Finally Gage received permission to send out a force to seize a stockpile of illegal weapons and arrest some ringleaders. After awakened by Paul Revere some 70 farmers spent all night at Buckman's Tavern drinking and trying to decide whether to fight or run away. By 4:00 a.m. John Hancock talked them into staying to fight. Then Hancock ran away. The redcoat column was met on Lexington green by the minutemen. "Stand aside, ye dammed Rebels!" Captain Pitcairn shouted. Pitcarin in July was killed at Bunker Hill. " Stand fast boys, if they want a war, let it start here!" was Captain Parker's reply. The regular troops open fire and easily dispersed that group. But by the time the British reached Concord bridge hordes of farmers were shooting at them from bushes and rooftops until they were forced to withdraw to Boston. Lord Percy complained that even 'American women were pointing muskets out of their kitchen windows and firing at us!" One 80 year old man shot down three Englishmen down from his front porch before he was bayoneted. He lived 7 more years. And most of the Yankee muskets were British government-issue Brown Besses.
Americans call Lexington “The Shot Heard Around the World”, but the British Crown regarded this situation at first as little more than mob violence. It barely made the back pages of the London newspapers. But by Bunker Hill they realized they had a real trans-ocean war on their hands. As late as December elements in the Colonial Congress in Philadelphia kept asking London if we could still be friends and talk it over.

1910- The Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet.

1927- Mae West found guilty of indecent behavior in writing, producing and starring in a Broadway musical entitled “SEX”.

1956-Movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco.

1970- XEROX PARC – The Xerox Company announced the set up of a research group in Palo Alto Cal. All but ignored by the main company for years this group pioneered the development of the personal computer. They invented the mouse, point and click windows, graphic interface and multi-tasking . Yet Xerox didn’t know what to do with them, they were in the copier business. They launched a personal workstation called the Alto that cost $16,500 each, but the idea bombed. One day in 1979 a group from Apple visited led by Steve Jobs. The group was stunned and inspired by their progress and they went back to Apple and put what they learned into the development of the Mackintosh Computer.



This week I received word that the short film I directed in Taipei last year, ADVENTURES IN THE NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM, will be screened at the CANNES FILM FESTIVAL as part of the official submission from Taiwan. The film was comissioned by the NPM Museum to highlight their collection to coincide with a major rennovation of their museum facility. My congratulations to all my friends and co-workers at the Digimax Studio. They did very beautiful work and it was a joy to work there. Congrats to Helen, Jeff, Chris, Scotty, Dragon, Lucky, Lulu, Coke, Likewind and especially Teddy for all their hard work! Best of luck at the festival. The Dao Yen (that me) will see you at Siggraph in San Diego this summer!

Teddy Yang at the premiere

Digimax CEO Helen at the PM premiere


April 18, 2007 weds
April 18th, 2007

Birthdays: Lucretzia Borgia, Franz Von Suppe’, Haley Mills, Leopold Stokowski, Miklos Rosza, Herb Sorell, Wahoo Sam Crawford, Conan O’Brien, James Woods is 61, Eric Roberts, Rick Moranis is 54

1775- PAUL REVERE'S RIDE- "One if by land and two if by sea, etc." Informers in Gen. Gage's office learn the British planned to send troops to seize an illegal arms cache in Lexington and arrest two radical leaders named John Hancock and Sam Adams. So silversmith Paul Revere, Thomas Dawes and a country doctor out on a date named Dr.Prescott were sent to warn them and raise the minutemen on the way, after getting the two lantern signal in the old North Church. Dr. Prescott actually completed the mission. Revere was arrested by a British patrol soon after warning Adams & Hancock and sent home without his horse. At one point they threatened Revere with their pistols if he didn’t give them directions. Any of you who’ve ever gotten lost in the suburbs of Boston can well understand their frustration. At daybreak Paul Revere walked over to Lexington green in time to watch the Revolutionary War begin. Longfellow's poem never mentioned Prescott or Dawes. Paul Revere never said "The British are Coming!" because he considered himself British like everyone else in America at the time. He would have said: "The Regulars are Coming! "meaning the regular army.

1906- THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE . 3,500 deaths and the city destroyed in the most frightening earthquake in U.S. History. Enrico Caruso was in town with the Metropolitan Opera on tour. When he went up to a policeman on the street corner asking for help the cop didn't believe who he was until he sang some Pagiacci. He later sat on his suitcase in front of the ruined Palace Hotel and said- "Helluva Place! Ah’ma ’never coming back!"
Drew Barrymores grandfather the great actor John Barrymore was in a San Francisco hotel room when the quake struck. He ran into the bathroom and sat shivering in the bath until it was over. Afterward the National Guard put him to work clearing rubble looking for bodies. When they read his telegram, the other Barrymores refused to believe the story. Old John Drew, a patriarch of the acting family, felt otherwise. "It took an Act of God to get John out of bed and into a bathtub, and the National Guard to get him to go to work. I believe every word." Amadeo Gianini, founder of the Bank of America, then called the Bank of Italy, gathered up his bank's papers and stocks and buried them in his garden under the begonias until his new office could be set up. He soon set up for business again on a pier. City government was set up in the undamaged St. Francis Hotel on Market Street and a large mahogany bar was moved out to the street to serve free drinks to calm nerves. San Franciscans dusted themselves off and rebuilt. By 1913 they were well enough to host the World’s Fair. A little ditty of the time said:
"They say God spanked the town, for being rather frisky.
Then why'd He knocked the churches down yet leave up
Hotaling's Whiskey ?"

1914-. The full feature length movie premiered in Turin, Italy. "Cabiria" directed by Giovane Patrone. It was believed to be the first full length movie ever until the discovery of a 1912 version of Quo Vadis. D.W. Griffith’s 1915 classic the Birth of a Nation popularized the120 minute format for feature films.

1923- Yankee Stadium dedicated. Yankees win the opener against Boston, 4-1 in front of over 72,000 fans, Babe Ruth hit the park's first home run. The new $2.5 million ballpark is the first to feature three decks.

1934- The first automatic Laundromat opened in Ft. Worth Texas.

1955- Scientist Albert Einstein died in New Jersey at 75. As he fell in and out of a coma his last words were in German. Since no one around his bed could understand German we don't know what his last words were.

1958- At the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first game in the City of Angels defeating the new San Francisco Giants, 6-5.

2000- Earlier that spring some of the worlds biggest internet companies –e-Bay, Amazon and CNN were paralyzed by a virus spreading hacker. Today the FBI made an arrest. The culprit was a Canadian High School student who went by the domain name of Mafia Boy. He received probation and a promise to only use his computer for school work for two years.


April 17, 2007 tuesday
April 17th, 2007

Myeh-heh,heh! Happy Birthday to me, Capitalist Pig-Dogs!
Remember Alan Sherman's ode " Some People Like to do the Twist, Oh Boy; Khruschev that Bald-Communist, Hoh-Booiey!"

Birthdays: artist Tobias Stummer-1539, Nikita Khruschev, Thorton Wilder, Clarence Darrow, Arthur Schnabel, Olivia Hussey is 56, Gregor Piatigorsky, Don Kirschner, William Holden, Harry Reasoner, Boomer Eiseason, Jennifer Garner is 35

1792- British Captain Vancouver explores Puget Sound. He founds a settlement and names it for then Prime Minister Granville. In 1886 Granville (sometimes called Gastown after Gassy-Jack the saloon keeper) was renamed Vancouver.

1770- At a dinner party in Versailles Madame Necker the wife of France’s first minister, suggested a subscription be held for the great artist Pigalle to make a statue of old philosopher Francois Voltaire. Rousseau and King Frederick the Great of Prussia donated money. The bust of the smiling old cynic became one of the more well known images of the XVIII Century.

1869- The first professional baseball game ever played sees the Cincinnati Reds defeat the rival Cincinnati Amateurs, 24-15

1875- The billiard game Snooker was invented by Sir Joseph Chamberlain, the uncle of the future British Prime Minister.

1929- Baseball great Babe Ruth married Ziegfeld Follies dancer Marge Colson in a morning ceremony. Then he drove to Yankee Stadium and hit a home run.

1937 "Porky's Duck Hunt" The birth of Daffy Duck. One legendary story is that newly hired voice actor Mel Blanc in part designed Daffys distinctive lisp to be an impression of the Looney Tunes boss Leon Schlensinger. When they screened this cartoon all the artists stood in dread of how Leon would take the joke. Leon never made the connection that the Ducks voice was an imitation of him:"Gee Fellers, dat Duck iz pretty Ffffunny!"

1964-The Ford Mustang introduced by Lee Iacocca.

1971- The song "Joy to the World"by Three Dog Night tops the pop charts and becomes the most popular song of the year. Writer Hoyt Axton later explained its puzzling lyrics. He was contracted to write several songs for Three Dog Nights latest album, but the day they were due he was still one song short. He had the melody for "Joy to the World" but hadn’t time to compose any lyrics. His accompanist told him to go to the mike and fake it, lay down a rough track and promise to write it later. So Axton went to the mike and rambled stream of consciousness: "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog, Was a Good Friend of Mine, Couldn’t understand a single thing he said but I helped him drink his wine etc, etc, ."When Three Dog Night heard the tracks they loved the lyrics and told Axton not to change a thing.

1987- Comedian Dick Shawn –the Hippy-Hitler in the original Mel Brooks film the Producers- was doing his one-man show The Second Funniest Man in the World at UC San Diego. After one particularly funny punch line he fell over dead from a heart attack. The audience roared for several more minutes at him lying there face down because they thought it was part of the act.


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