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January 19th, 2008 sat
January 19th, 2008

So the Director's Guild signed a deal after only six days of negotiating. This now puts the public pressure back onto the WGA to request talks. Lately the employers had looked like the ones refusing to talk, but by this agreement they are saying that they can negotiate a fair deal for the new media rights the WGA is after. They say..... John Wells, former WGA president and writer-producer of ER and the later seasons of the West Wing has publicly called the deal a good one. The WGA seems ready to take the offer of informal talks and start back to the table next week. They say they are not meeting with the AMPTP but the reps of several studios. We'll see. The 839 Animation Guild Blog has a good detailed explanation of what went down and the reactions

Quiz: Why are Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes grateful to Edgar Allen Poe?

Answer to yesterday’s question below: What is the origin of the phrase- No Strings Attached?
History for 1/19/2008
Birthdays: James Watt, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert E. Lee, Paul Cezanne', Janis Joplin would have been 64, Tipi Hedren is 78, Slobodan Milosovic’, radio star Ish Kabibble, Dolly Parton, Michael Crawford, Desi Arnez Jr., Chic Young, Guy Madison, Richard Lester, John H. Johnson publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines, Jean Stapleton is 85, Fritz Weaver, Sean Wayans, Robin MacNeill, Paul Rodriquez, Antoine Fuqua, Drea Di Matteo is 36, Bart the Bear-1977 Bear who starred in movies like Clan of the Cave Bear, The Bear, White Fang and Legends of the Fall

379 A.D. Valentinian Ist was a great Roman emperor with strange mood swings. He outlawed the original Biblical birth control method, called exposure; in other words leaving unwanted babies in the forest. Another time he had some stableboys crucified for letting the hounds go too early during a hunt. When some Barbarians crossed the Rhine and sacked a few villages Valentinian got his legions together and burned down half of Germany. He only stopped for the winter and was preparing to continue in the spring when on this day a delegation of tribal chiefs came to ask for peace. They explained that it wasn't their idea to make war, just some of the younger hotheads in the tribe. They said that the Emperor was overreacting. Valentinian got so enraged by this that he raised his fists, turned purple and before he uttered a word broke a blood vessel and fell over stone dead. His general Theodosius became emperor.

1633- Thomas Morton was twice deported by the Pilgrims for holding “licentious Maypole celebrations” at his Indian trading post. This day he returned to England and tried to have the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter revoked. The King probably refused because that might make the whole crowd of buckle-shoed killjoys return home!

1729- British Restoration playwright William Congreve died. He willed all his property to Henrietta, the Duchess of Marlborough. But then the Duchess did something a bit odd. She had a deathmask made of Congreve’s face and attached it to a life size manequin. She ate and conversed with the dummy all day and slept with it at night. She insisted her servants wait upon the dummy and treat it when she felt it was ill. When she died she was buried with the dummy.

1829 Johann Von Goethe published Faust Part 1.

1840- Explorer Lt. Charles Wilkes claimed all of the continent of Antarctica for the United States. He was on a scientific expedition to chart the South Seas and Southern polar waters. Wilkes was really good at exploring and charting but he was such a horrible disciplinarian as a captain he was courtmartialed upon his return. Wilkes’ erratic behavior may have been a model for Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab in his novel Moby Dick.

1853- Guisseppi Verdi's Il Trovatore with the famous Anvil Chorus premiered in Rome.

1919- Famed dancer of the Ballet Russe Vasclav Nijinsky danced his last dance at a hotel in San Moritz Switzerland. He later became an incarcerated mental patient and underwent numerous extreme therapies until his death in 1950.

1940- The Three Stooges do their impression of Hitler and the top Nazis in the Columbia Pictures short comedy “You Natzy Spy”. Moe Howard is still the best Hitler impersonator of all time. “Hail-Hail-Hailstone of Moronica! Waahoo!”

1955- President Eisenhower held the first news conference that was filmed and shown on television. It was held in the treaty room of the State Department. Eisenhower was famous for his ability to speak at great length and never say anything of substance. “This day, My Fellow Americans, more than at any other time, ahead of us lies the Future!”

1961- The first episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show filmed.

1979- Wendy O. Williams, mohawk-haired lead singer of the punk band the Plasmatics was arrested in Milwaukee for masturbating herself with a sledgehammer on stage.

1985- Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA peaked the pop charts at #9.

1991-Eastern Airlines ceased operations and goes out of business. Chairman and former astronaut Frank Borman was philosophical: “Business without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase- No Strings Attached?

Answer: In the 18th Century when expensive cloths like silk were imported to Europe the merchant would mark a flaw in the weave by tying a small string at the bottom. Even today when a London tailor wants some yards of flawless cloth, he would ask for cloth “with no strings attached.”