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August 26, 2007 sun
August 26th, 2007

Todays Birthdays: Sir Robert Walpole the first British Prime Minister, Albert the Prince Consort – do you have Prince Albert in a can? Well…let him out! Nyuk, Nyuk!, poet Guilliame Appollinaire who coined the term Surrealism, Christopher Isherwood, McCauley Culkin is 26, Dr. Lee DeForrest pioneering scientist in radio, sound movies and television, director Barbet Schroeder, Branford Marsalis jazz musician and brother of Winton Marsalis.

580 A.D.- An ancient Chinese inventory of the household of a nobleman makes the first recorded reference in human history to toilet paper. The ancient Romans used a sponge tied to a small stick you were expected to rinse out afterwards for use by the next person.

1498- Michelangelo gets a job. The big Florentine stone cutter was commissioned by Pope Alexander VI to carve a Pieta, a Mary lamenting over the body of Jesus. This Pope was the father of the poisoners Caesare and Lucretzia Borgia. Caesare employed Leonardo Da Vinci.

1576- Great Renaissance artist Titian died at age 99. He outlived all the artists of his generation, worked almost every day of his life. He might have gone on longer had he not caught the plague.

1868- First practical typewriter patented by Christopher Scholes. The Remington Company who were famous for making firearms took up the typewriter and mass produced it. In 1874 Mark Twain admitted to a friend that he preferred writing on it. He asked that to be a kept secret as then many writers felt this newfangled technology would ruin the art of writing.

1946 - George Orwell published "Animal Farm". Orwell said he conceived the idea for the novel while watching out his window a small boy driving a huge draft horse. The horse could have easily crushed the boy had it the free will but instead patiently endured the boys taunts and flicks with a small switch.

1958-First day of shooting on the Alfred Hitchcock film North By Northwest. Conceived as a plot that ended in a chase across the stone faces of Mt. Rushmore, the original working title of Ernst Lehman’s script was The Man Who Hung From Lincoln’s Nose. The U.S. Parks Service refused Hitchcock's crew permission to film on the mountain. All those outdoor shots were faked with mattes.

1967 - Beatles, Mick Jagger & Marienne Faithful met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. George Harrison starts learning sitar from an Indian virtuoso named Ravi Shankar.

1980- The great one-eyed, surrealist animation director Fred "Tex" Avery died after collapsing in the parking lot of the Hanna-Barbera Studio. He was producing the Kwiky Koala show there. He had been suffering from lung cancer and was depressed over personal loss in his family. He was also hurt by the criticism his television commercial spots of the Frito Bandito were getting from Mexican American Anti-Defamation groups. Frito-Lay had dropped the campaign. Tex Avery was 71. Two weeks before as he was pulling his car into the studio parking lot, he was asked by a friend why he was working in Hanna & Barbera. Tex stuck his head out of the car window and laughed:" Hey, Don’t you know? this is where all the elephants come to die!"

1985- The first Yugo economy car arrived in the US. Ten years later the Yugo plant was bombed by the US Air Force during the Bosnian Civil War, much to the relief of car design critics.