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Tonight is The Annie Awards, when all us wacky cartoonists put on tuxedos and act like grownups for a night. Don't worry, we're just pretending. The orchestra level of UCLA's Royce Hall is sold out, so we expect a good crowd. Our presenters include Tom Kenny the voice of Spongebob, Paige O'Hara who played Belle and Patrick Warbuton. No picketlines around our event, so a good time will be had by all. Good luck to all the nominees.

last years Annies saw Steve Worth,the director of the ASIFA/Hollywood Animation Archive with Winsor McCay Award winner Andreas Deja.
Question: Why is a mixed alcoholic drink called a cocktail?

Answer to yesterday’s question below- What is meant by highballing?
History for 2/8/2008
Birthdays: Jules Verne, Dmitri Medeleyev- inventor of the Periodic Table of Elements, James Dean, William Tecumseh Sherman, John Williams, Bulgarian animator Ivan Ivano-Vano, Lana Turner, Jack Lemmon, Alejandro Rey, Ted Koppel, Nick Nolte, Buck Henry, Gary Coleman, Robert Klein.

1587- MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS BEHEADED at Fotheringay Castle. Circumstantial evidence proved Mary had not discouraged plots to overthrow and kill Queen Elizabeth. Truth was Elizabeth could never sit on her throne securely while Mary lived. While some could argue Elizabeth’s legitimate birth Mary’s mother was the sister of King Henry VIII. Apologists for Queen Elizabeth argue she did ordered the execution with great sadness but others say she cracked jokes as she signed the death warrant. Elizabeth and Mary never met face-to-face. Mary’s son James accepted his mothers death calmly, he hadn’t seen her since he was a toddler and his Presbyterian tutors were all filled him with hate for her.
It must have been a hard day at work for the headsman. First in order to ensure a good job, Mary gave a bribe to the executioner, but he muffed the first chop and had to do it in a couple of swings. Then, when the headsman picked up the head it plopped out of it's red wig. She had lost a lot of her hair to smallpox, as did Elizabeth and a lot of other folks. Finally, when they moved Mary's body, a yelping lap dog jumped out of her skirts and bit him. The heartbroken little lap dog refused all food, and died soon afterwards.

1672- THE SPECTRUM- Earlier in 1666 Sir Issac Newton bought a little prism stone at Stourbridge Fair. It inspired him to think about the principles of light. On this day he presented his paper to the Royal Society “New Theory about Light and Colors”. Newton discovered the Spectrum. That white light is not light devoid of color but made up of all colors which when broken up in a prism always assume the same spectral pattern Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

1836- Davy Crockett with twelve Tennessee leathershirts arrived at the Alamo.

1864- Abraham Lincoln visited Matthew Brady's Photo Studio and posed for the photo's that would one day be on the Penny and Five dollar bill.

1893- THE FIRST RECORDED STRIPTEASE -discounting Salome’, of course. At Paris's famed Moulin Rouge an artist's model named Mona decided to get an edge in a beauty contest judged by art students by disrobing to music while walking up and down the stage. She was arrested and fined 100 francs. The students rioted. Vive le' France!

1915- THE BIRTH OF A NATION or The Clansman premiered at Clunes Auditorium in Los Angeles. Film pioneer and son of a Confederate veteran, D.W. Griffith's racist movie was considered for years the first American feature length film. Only recently the discovery of a 1913 Richard III film predates it. It is thought nowadays that Griffith was making a personal statement by the film, truth is there was a flood of Civil War films to mark the 50th anniversary of the conflict and the book the Clansman by Thomas Dixon was a hot property. President Woodrow Wilson ( another son of the South ) called it :"History written with a thunderbolt and I’m afraid all too true." Birth of a Nations’ inflammatory imagery and this politically incorrect Presidential endorsement helped a rebirth of the almost moribund Ku Klux Klan and caused a marked increase in lynchings of African Americans. But despite the film’s unfortunate politics it’s technique influenced world cinema and established once and for all the feature film length as the standard for all future motion pictures. It’s original running length was 3 hours. IN Later years D.W. Griffith lost his fortune and became a drunken has-been. Watching him at Chasen's Restaurant in the 1940’s pitifully beg MGM studio head Dore Schary for work inspired Billy Wilder to write the story for SUNSET BLVD.

1928- Englishman John Logie Baird transmitted a still television image across the Atlantic from England to Hartsdale New York. It was a still image of a woman. Baird was one of the fathers of Television with Vladimir Zworkin, Lee DeForrest and Deutches Telefunken.

1960- Adolph Coors III the heir to the Coors beer empire was killed in a failed kidnapping attempt. Joseph Corbett Jr was apprehended in Canada and charged with the crime. Ironically, Adolph Coors was reputedly allergic to beer.

1961- Nebraska teenager and future movie star Nick Nolte was busted for the first time. He was accused of selling fake Draft cards so his friends could buy alcohol. He was arrested for drunk driving in 2003.

1967- Georgy Girl by the Seekers goes to #1 in pop charts.

1994- Jack Nicholson destroyed the windshield of a neighbors car with a golf club, screaming “You cut me off!” He settled the matter out of court.

2002- The death of Sheldon Allman. He was 77. Sheldon was the lyricist of television songs like George of the Jungle and Mr. Ed .” A Horse is a Horse Of Course, Of Course”

2007- Penthouse centerfold and pole dancer turned heiress, Anna Nicole Smith, died from an overdose of prescription drugs. She was 39.
Yesterday’s Question: What is the origin of the phrase “I’m Highballing it out of here.”

Answer: Before railroad trains had radio communications, signalmen would raise a large round white ball to the top of a pole to signal the engineer of a train that he didn’t have to slow down or make a stop, but could continue on with no obstructions. So highballin through town meant going by at top speed.