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January 13, 2008 sunday
January 12th, 2008

Classes at USC and UCLA resume. The Golden Globe presentation show was canceled, but in truth, through most of it's history it was never televised. Only a few years ago did they begin to turn it into the Mini-Me of the Oscars. And while everyone is complaining, the fact is Dick CLark Productions could have made a deal with the WGA if they wanted to like Letterman, UA and the Weinsteins did. NOTE: Mike Sporn told me this morning that he heard Dick Clark productions did indeed want to sign the same deal as Letterman's company did, but the WGA refused. This is typical of the publicity war that goes on between warring sides for public support. Each side will release information they want and spin it to favor their argument. Possibly the WGA wanted a high profile cancellation like the GLobes to make headlines, which has happened, but to what end?

Here's a funny little film on the strike featuring what great movie moments would have looked like without writers.

I have my invitation to get Oscar tix, but I confess I'm thinking of skipping this year. Odds are the strike won't be settled by then, and so most folks will be boycotting it. We'll see.

Hey, when the Annie Awards come up, it's okay because it's not in the WGA jurisdiction!
Quiz: Which nation is older? Belgium, Greece, Saudi Arabia or the U.S.A.?

Answer to yesterday’s question below; Early Christians had as their symbol the fish, the symbol now gracing so many evangelical bumper stickers. What does it mean?
HISTORY FOR 1/13/2008
Birthdays: Salmon P. Chase, Horatio Alger, Sophie Tucker, Gwen Verdon, Robert Stack, Charles Nelson Reilly, Rip Taylor, Brandon Tartikoff, Armie Archerd, Julie Louise Dreyfus is 47, T Bone Burnett is 60, Patrick Dempsey, Orlando Bloom is 31

1847- Gen. Andres Pico signed the capitulation of Campo de Cahuenga (the little park next Universal studios today), surrendering the Mexican state of Alta-California to U.S. General John Fremont. Fremont, nicknamed "The Pathfinder" was the first Republican candidate for President in 1856 and when the Civil War began he was a General until the confederates made a fool of him and he dropped from public view. During the Civil War Andres Pico served in the Yankee force that defeated an attempted Confederate invasion of California. I guess he figured one change of flag in a lifetime was enough.

1854- The Accordion is patented. polka fans rejoice!

1864-Stephen Foster, the composer of "Old Kentucky Home"and "Camptown Races" was found dead, a penniless drunk in New York's Bowery slum. In his hands was a piece of paper with the words "Dear friends and gentle hearts... ". A Pennsylvania Yankee, despite writing a lot of music about the South he only visited it once, to New Orleans in 1852.

1872- GRAND DUKE ALEXIS BUFFALO HUNT. Grand Duke Alexis the son of the Czar of Russia visited America. A sportsman, He expressed a desire to go out West and hunt buffalo. The US Government ordered General Custer and Buffalo Bill to afford him every courtesy. Buffalo Bill even talked Sioux Chief Spotted Tail to move his tribes winter encampment 100 miles south so the Grand Duke could visit real wild Indians. Starting today the hunting party hunted and feasted for two weeks leaving behind a trail of champagne bottles and buffalo carcasses across the prairie. The trip was a great success, and Buffalo Bill realized there was big money to be made showing city slickers and foreigners a taste of the Wild West…

1895 Oscar Wilde's play the Ideal Husband, premiered in London.

1906- The first ad for a radio appeared in an American Science Magazine. It boasted an effective range of over one mile !

1910- Dr. Lee Deforrest experimenting with his new radio vacuum tubes, broadcast singers from New York's Metropolitan Opera including Enrico Caruso for the first time. His audience were 100 amateur audio-fans with new state of the art radio wireless sets. Network broadcasting was seventeen years in the future, the 'Live from the Met' broadcasts wouldn't begin until 1934.

1914- Folksinging union organizer Joe Hill was arrested in Utah on trumped up murder charges.

1925- THE FIRST CALIFORNIA GURU- Indian spiritual teacher Abrahamansa Yogananda , then called “The Swami” settled in Los Angeles and gave his first lecture to an audience in LA Philharmonic Hall. He founded the Malibu Self-Realization Center in 1950.

1929- Wyatt Earp died at 81 of prostate cancer in Los Angeles. After careers as a gunfighter, buffalo hunter, Dodge City marshal, prizefight referee, Yukon gold prospector and faroe dealer he finished in L.A. speculating in real estate. He liked to stroll onto Hollywood western movie sets to give advice to Tom Mix and William S. Hart on how they did it in the Old West. He was buried in San Francisco's Jewish Cemetery because his third wife, ex-saloon hooker Sadie Marcus was of that faith. On the subject of the Gunfight of the OK Corral in 1881 he told so many different versions of what happened that his account is considered unreliable.
Wyatt Earp would have died totally forgotten but in his last years he was interviewed by a journalist named Stuart Lake who published a best selling biography in 1931 called Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal. After that the movies and TV took up his name to make him the most famous lawman in western history, which would have been a surprise to him.

1942- In the late evening the German U-Boat U-123 sailed into New York Harbor. The German captain was amazed that although they were at war the Americans had made no defensive arrangements. The city wasn’t even blacked out, but still illuminated brightly.

1943- Movie starlet Frances Farmer was dragged screaming in a straightjacket out of a Hollywood Hotel and committed. She screamed Rats! Rats! and listed her occupation on her arrest record as “c**ksucker”. Her career was ruined and she spent years in asylums but it’s inconclusive whether she had actually suffered mental illness or it was her mother overreacting to her sullen, temperamental nature.

1945- Sergei Prokoviev's 5th Symphony ( Classical) premiered in Moscow.

1957-THE FRISBEE- Two former World War Two pilots, Warren Fransconi and Walter Morrison invented he plastic platter in a San Luis Obisbo home. Originally called Flying Saucers and Pluto’s Platters they got the name Frisbee when they demonstrated it at Yale University. The students there were used to flipping pie platters at each other from the local Frisbee Pie Company, so when they played with the new disc they cried “Frisbee, Frisbee!” which seemed to Warren and Walter a better name. When Morrison died in 2002 his family obeyed his last request- and I’m not making this up- to have his body cremated and his ashes mixed with plastic and molded into a Frisbee.

courtesy of

1958- Actress Jayne Mansfield married weightlifter Mickey Hargitay. Their daughter was Marisa Hargitay

1979- The Young Men’s Christian Association filed a lawsuit against the outrageously gay rock group the Village People over their hit song “YMCA”. Even though it gave them more good publicity than they had in decades.

1985- Carol Wayne, an actress who played bimbo blonde roles on shows like Johnny Carson, drowned while swimming in Mexico. She was 41.

2002- Pres. G.W. Bush almost choked on a pretzel, alone watching football on TV. The pretzel was then sent to Gitmo without benefit of a lawyer and promptly waterboarded.
Yesterday’s Question: Early Christians had as their symbol the fish, the symbol now gracing so many evangelical bumper stickers. What does it mean?

Answer: When early Christianity had to hide underground during the persecution of the Romans, they used the sign of the fish as a secret code to recognize one another. The Greek for fish was Icthus. It stood for Ieyseus Christos, Theos Unios, Soter- Jesus Christ, One God, Savior. The Ancient Roman world was bi-lingual, with the Greek dominating the eastern part where Judea was.