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March 8th 2008 sat.
March 8th, 2008

Question: When you are told to Give No Quarter, or expect No Quarter, what does that mean?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: When things are described as Byzantine, what does that mean?
History for 3/8/2007
Birthdays: Sophocles, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, Hannah Hoes Van Bueren- the First Lady for Martin Van Bueren, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Alan Hovhannes, Kenneth Grahame the author of the Wind in the Willows, Cyd Charisse, Charlie Pride, Mickey Dolenz, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Rice, Aiden Quinn, Freddy Prinze Jr, Jim Bouton- baseball player, author, and inventor of Big League Chew bubble gum

1702- After the death of King William III of Orange, Queen Anne takes over England.
She was an obese lady almost in constant pain from gout and pleurisy and had to be moved around in a chair, raised and lowered with ropes and pulleys. Like William and Mary she had no direct heir - she had 17 children but none of them made it past the age of 11. After her death the British throne went to a nephew, the German Elector of Hanover, George Ist because he was Protestant. Pirate William Teech, called Blackbeard, named his ship "Queen Anne's Revenge" for reasons known only to him.

1862- THE LAST PIRATE -The end of an age- Ned Gordon was the last man hanged in the United States for sea piracy. By then most of his companions had taken commissions in the Confederate Navy as privateers. The buccaneer life continued in the South Seas into the Twentieth Century by the Lascar people of Madagascar, and today pirates can still be found in the more remote parts of the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. In 1999 China executed 13 men for sea piracy and in 2001 the Australian captain of the America’s Cup winner was killed by pirates off the coast of Brazil.

1886- SHERLOCK HOLMES- A small time doctor in Portsmouth England named Arthur Conan-Doyle had been trying his hand at writing fiction. He had sold a few stories to magazines and tried to publish a novel “Firm of Girdlestone” with lackluster results. This day he began a new novel “ A Tangled Skein” which had a new character named at first Sheridan Hope, then Sheringford Holmes. By the time he finished his story month later, he had changed the title to “A Study in Scarlet” and the main protagonist name had become SHERLOCK HOLMES. Conan Doyle was an admirer of the American writer Oliver Wendel Holmes who was touring Britain that year. No one is sure where he got the name Sherlock. Conan Doyle’s professor in Edinburgh college Dr Joseph Bell excelled at deductive reasoning and had an assistant named Dr Watson.

1933- As a result of President Roosevelt's Nationwide Bank shutdown, Hollywood Studios go into a cash panic. MGM, RKO and the others ask for 30-50% salary cuts from their stars and artists. At one point they announced the salary cuts at the Oscar banquet ( betchya that made for a real fun party!) Louis B. Mayer, tearful and unshaven pleaded his case to his contract-stars, who reluctantly accepted the cuts. Lionel Barrymore called out "We're with ya. L.B. !" Afterwards Mayer winked to his secretary and giggled:” So how’d I do?” Production chief Darryl Zanuck quit Warner Bros. over the cuts and went on to build Twentieth Century Fox.

1941- Writer and playwright Sherwood Anderson dies from pterioteritus- internal bleeding- after swallowing a toothpick at a cocktail party.

1941- The National Television System Committee set up by the FCC to standardize television technology recommended an industry standard of 525 scan lines at 30 frames a second- what we now call after their name- NTSC. England later adopted the PAL (Phase Alernation Line) of 625 lines, 25 frames per second and France the SECAM System (Systeme Electronique Couleur Avec Memoire).which is also a 625 line, 25fps system. This is why British t.v. shows like the Prisoner always looked so grainy on American sets and American shows look so garish on British sets. By garish I mean the color, not the content. It also speeds up the film during video from 24 frames to 25fps (i.e. 4%)...which is why in England and the rest of Europe all movies are 4% shorter and the voices of your favorite actors all sound a little squeaky. The way to remember NTSC is "Never-The-Same-Color'. DVD went to a thousand scan line system so hopefully we’re finally fixing it all.

1961-The Frito company merges with potato chip makers H.L. Lay company to form Frito-Lay. The recipe for Fritos corn chips was bought by milkshake salesman Elmer Doolin from a Mexican fry cook in Texas.

1973- Paul McCartney was fined 100 pounds for growing marijuana on his farm Mull of Kintyre.

1980- H&B’s “Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels’ show.

I hate to admit it, but I did some assistant work on this! As Shakespeare said: The Evil that Men Do live long Aft.." Julius Caesar, Act II.

1994- Don Ku invented the little black wheeled suitcase with collapsible handle that bumps into your legs at airports today.

1998- In Ladson South Carolina, the brother of Abortion Clinic bomber Eric Rudolph- Daniel Rudolph, videotaped himself cutting off his own hand with a power saw. He said he intended this as a message to the FBI and the Media…?
Yesterday’s Question: When things are described as Byzantine, what does that mean?

Answer: The Byzantine Empire ruled what was the Eastern half of the old Roman Empire through the Dark Ages to 1453. The Imperial State bureaucracy was so complex, with layers upon layers of offices answering to more layers upon layers, that the term Byzantine came to mean an overly complex system.