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January 31st, 2008 thurs
January 31st, 2008

Quiz: Why is a self propelled automaton called a Robot?

Answer to yesterdays mix and match question on presidential insults answered below.
History for 1/31/2008
Birthdays: Gouverner Morris, Zane Grey, James G. Blaine*, Franz Schubert, Tokugawa Ieyasu the Shogun, Sir John Profumo, Phillip Glass, Johnny Rotten, Ernie Banks, Norman Mailer, Nolan Ryan, Susanne Pleshette, Minnie Driver, Anthony LaPaglia, Tallulah Bankhead, Justin Timberlake is 27

(*James G. Blaine was a corrupt politician and failed presidential candidate that Thomas Nast loved to make cartoons of. Blaine also pioneered the connection of the Republican Party and Big Business )

Today is the Feast day of St. John Bosco, patron saint of Catholic Schools (AAARRGH!)

Happy National Dress up in a Gorilla Suit Day. First advocated by Don Martin, cartoonist for MAD Magazine.

1839- Englishman William Fox Talbot says Frenchman Louis Daguerre is full of pate' when he announces he had invented photography (1/7/39). Talbot declares HE invented it first. Actually a Belgian priest experimenting with capturing light on chemically treated glass or paper as early as 1817, Thomas Wedgewood in 1770 and Louis Niepce, with whom both Daguerre and Talbot were familiar. While the principles of capturing a shadow had been known for some time, no one had worked out how to fix the image so earlier attempts faded away in a few hours. Niepce' work predates both Talbot and Daguerre by about 10 years and constitute the earliest "photographic" images still extant. But Talbot and Daguerre are considered the fathers of Photography, provided you like history English or a’ Francais.

1876- The U.S. Congress ordered all remaining Indian tribes to move into reservations or be declared hostile.

1925- Scotch brand invisible tape introduced by the 3-M Company.

1940- Mrs. Ida Mae Fuller of Ludlow Vermont received the first Social Security check- $22.50.

1950- THE H-BOMB - Despite the unanimous recommendation of the civilian Atomic Energy Commission that a "Super" or Hydrogen Bomb "would not be a weapon of war but an instrument of mass genocide and calamity" President Harry Truman announced to the world that the U.S. was going to build one anyway. Physicist. I. G. Rabi said he was shocked that Truman should have announced a bomb we still didn't yet know how we were going to build ,and accelerate the arms race. When Dr. Robert Oppenheimer protested Truman called him a “sissy-scientist.”Secretary of State Dean Acheson groaned privately to a friend: “What a horrible world we’re living in.”

1954- Howard Armstrong, the inventor of FM Radio, driven to despair by constant lawsuits with RCA Corporation over his patents, jumped to his death out of a hotel window. He first put on his hat, overcoat and gloves because he didn't want to be cold...(?) Armstrong loved heights and used to climb hundreds of feet in the air to meditate on top of his radio antennas. By 1977 his family won all the lawsuits. Today, most radio, television and air traffic communications are by FM band.

1958- FIFTY YEARS AGO- The U.S. enters the Space Race with the launching of satellite Explorer- 1.

1963- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara declared to the press:” The War in Vietnam is going quite well…”

1968- TET- The North Vietnamese army combined with the Viet Cong guerrillas surprise attack American Forces all over South Vietnam. Even the capitol Saigon and the American Embassy became battle zones. Despite an alert issued the night before, 200 US intelligence officers attended a pool party and were as surprised as everyone else. Although all the Vietnamese attacks were defeated and the VietCong destroyed, the U.S. public was shocked that such an attack could happen from what they had been told was “ A defeated enemy” It was the turning point of the Vietnam war. The military blamed the media.

1968- The Seattle city council concluded that there was no legal means to curb hippies hanging out in the downtown U- District.

1974- Apollo 14 blasted off for the moon. This voyage is chiefly remembered for Alan Shepard playing golf on the lunar surface.

1978- Polish director Roman Polanski fled the U.S. for exile after being charged for having sex with a thirteen year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s house.

1989- LaToya Jackson posed nude for Playboy.

1995- First Meeting of the WTO- World Trade Organization.
Yesterday's Question: Names: 1. Honest Ape the original Gorilla, 2. King Andrew the Adulterer, 3. Tricky Dick, 4. Slick Willy, 5. Colonel Corpone, 6. The Joe Stalin of America, 7.The Dalai
Lama of America, 8.The Smirking Chimp, 9. The Crazy Cowboy, 10. Little Miss Nancy, 11. Old Bubblehead.

Presidents: a. George W. Bush, b. Bill Clinton, c.Richard Nixon, d. Teddy Roosevelt,
e. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, f. Abraham Lincoln, g. Dwight Eisenhower, h. Lyndon
B. Johnson, i. Andrew Jackson, j. James Buchanan, k. George Washington.

answer: 1f, 2i, 3c, 4b, 5h, 6e,7k, 8a, 9d, 10j, 11g

NOTE: Some readers today are voicing the opinion that I am editorializing my own titles on the presidents. Rest assured, my friends, that each one of these labels were created in their own time by their peers.

George Washington was called the Dalai Lama of America in 1796 by James Calendar the editor of the Aurora Newspaper, he also called John Adams "a Pernicious Hermaphrodite". Franklin Roosevelt was called Joe Stalin by the McClintock press Chicago Tribune in 1935. Abe Lincoln was called the Original Gorilla by his own Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and General McClellan, Teddy Roosevelt was called a crazy cowboy in 1901 by Republican Senate leader Mark Hannah and James Buchanan was a labelled a "Little Miss Nancy" by retired former President Andrew Jackson. And so on.

I left out Woodrow Wilson calling Chester Allan Arthur a "Nothing with whiskers"... Teddy Roosevelt calling Benjamin Harrison " A bigot, an idiot and from Indiana, and I don't know what is worse!" And TR calling his own handpicked successor William Howard Taft a "Fathead" and his former boss President William McKinley as "having the backbone of a chocolate eclair!". So fear not, good citizens, today's politics are following a long and proud tradition!