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I spent a nice day working on a mural for a friend's gym in North Hollywood. He didn't hire me. I just saw this nice big wall and decided it needs a picture on it. Funny, how after all the animating on Cintiqs, planning complex shows, studio politics, and retakes.....sometimes it's fun to just paint funny pictures on someones big white wall. It reminds you, as an artist, that at base you have a gift that can make people smile. And at times, that is what it is all about.

Quiz: What is meant by Spartan living?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: In Walt Disney’s film of Alice in Wonderland, the portrayal of the Queen of Hearts was based on a real life person. Who was it?
History for 8/19/2008
B-Days: Orville Wright, Ring Lardner, Ogden Nash, Alfred Lunt,jockey Willie Shoemaker, Malcom Forbes, Tipper Gore, Gene Roddenberry, Colleen Moore the It Girl, Jill St. John, Ginger Baker of Grand Funk Railroad, Dawn Steel, John Stamos, Peter Gallagher, former President Bill Clinton is 62

480 B.C. THERMOPYLAE- The Spartan King Leonidas had gone on ahead of other Greek allies to try and slow down the gigantic Persian invasion force of Xerxes. He chose to stop them at a narrow mountain pass in Thessaly called Thermopylae or Hot Gates. He had only 300 Spartans of his royal guard and 7000 other Greek allies to fight off 200,000 Persians. After repulsing several attacks this night spies told Leonidas a Greek traitor named Ephialtes had shown Xerxes a way around his position. If he did not retreat tomorrow he would be surrounded. Their seer Meistias saw nothing but death foretold in the sacrificial entrails.
But Leonidas decided the best way to gain time and create an example for Greece to rally was to stay and fight to the end. He allowed his allies to withdraw but 1500 warriors including his 300 Spartans stayed with him. Meistias sent away his only son to be saved but he stayed to fight. This night before the last battle the Spartans spent most of their time combing and oiling their hair and beards, for they did not want to enter the next life looking shabby. One Spartan warrior named Dieneces was told when the Persian multitudes fire their arrows they black out the sun. Dieneces replied: “Good, then we can fight them in the shade.”

Before we attack, I need to do another series on my abs, Grrrrr!

14 A.D.- Elderly Emperor Augustus died after ruling the Roman Empire for 44 years. The Empress Livia had ordered the imperial villa surrounded with troops so no one but her saw his end. She said his last words were:" Have I played my part well in this great comedy called life?" But the historian Tacitus suspected Livia might have aided his shuffling off this mortal coil before he had second thoughts about leaving the empire to her son Tiberius, He may have said something more like: " Honey, I don't feel so good. What did you put in these figs?"

1274- King Edward Ist Longshanks and his Queen Eleanor of Castile crowned at Westminister Abbey. Edward was called Long-Legs because he was over 6 foot, and his constant wars and blood conquest earned him nicknames like The Hammer of the Scots, the Great Plantagenet and Big Baddass In-Your-Face Mofo King.

1399 - King Richard II of England surrendered his throne to his cousin Henry Bollingbroke, who became King Henry IV. Richard II is not remembered for much else but inventing the pocket-handkerchief.

1599- Spanish Conquistadors capture and burn Acoma pueblo in New Mexico east of modern Alberquergue. The Indian village on the sheer tabletop mountain reminded the Spaniards of attacking castles back home. After their victory they enslaved the population and burned the chief at the stake as a heretic. As the chief was roasting the monk Diego Las Casas started to feel guilty, so he urged the chief at his last moments to accept baptism. The chief called out through the flames:"No thank you, because then I would go to the Christian Heaven and meet even MORE of you people!"

1692- Salem Mass, The pilgrims executed four women as witches. One was an elderly senile woman who just looked scarey like a witch, and another was a Caribbean servant named Tituba who liked to entertain children by telling ghost stories.

1745- THE GATHERING OF THE CLANS- At Glenfinnin in the Scottish Highlands to the thunder of drums and the skirl of massed bagpipes, Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his banner of revolt and called all Scottish clans to rally to him. Many clans stayed aloof but Clan MacDonald and Cameron wholeheartedly swelled his ranks as did his family clan the Stuarts.

1781- George Washington starts his continental army marching from Yonkers, New York to attack Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown Virginia. At Dobbs Ferry he started ferrying his troops across the Great Northern River as the Hudson was known then. He was amazed that the British army only twenty miles away in New York City never stirred to attack him. Washington’s minutemen at this time were so broke that the French General the Comte du Rocheambeau donated some of his own money to pay them some wages.

1812-OLD IRONSIDES- During the war of 1812 The USS Constitution pounded it out with the frigate HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia. The British captain complained his cannonballs bounced harmlessly off the Constitutions heavy New Hampshire oak hull as though it was made of iron. The nickname stuck and today Old Ironsides is the oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy.

1814-THE ATTACK ON WASHINGTON BEGAN. A huge British battle fleet of 14 Ships of the Line landed an invasion force of veteran redcoat troops at the town of Benedict on the Pautuxent River in Virginia. Admirals Cochrane & Cockburn’s intent was to march on Washington D.C., and “give the Americans a Good Drubbing!” The defenses of the American capitol were some militia and a few Marines from the two armed schooners hiding in the shallows of the Cheasapeake. U.S. Secretary of War Armstrong was convinced they were faking and the real target of the British was Baltimore. President James Madison sent contradicting orders to Armstrong and the field generals. Secretary of State James Monroe personally galloped about alone under British fire bringing the only reliable scouting reports.

1955 - WINS radio, announces it will not play "copy" white cover versions of black R&B . DJs must play Fats Domino's "Ain't It A Shame," not Pat Boone's. In 1957 Little Richards “Tuttie-Fruitie” never got higher than 17th in the Billboard Charts while Pat Boones version, by his own admission awful, went to number one.

1957- The NY Giants baseball team voted to move to San Francisco.

1973 - Kris Kristofferson wed Rita Coolidge.

1977- Groucho Marx , the last surviving Marx Brother, died at age 86. In his final years Groucho had rewrote his will in favor of his 31 year old personal secretary Erin Fleming. This spawned a furious legal battle between Fleming and the Marx family.

1989- The Polish Communist regime resigns and turns over power to the Solidarity trade union movement, the first Communist government to collapse.

1991-THE AUGUST COUP. Communist hardliners in a final attempt to stop the fall of the Soviet system try to overthrow leader Mikhail Gorbachov. They try to do it the way they did it to Nikita Khruschev in 1964, arresting Gorbachov while he was at his vacation dacha or cottage. The coup failed several days later when Russian Republic President Boris Yeltsin climbed on top of a tank and called for a "people-power" style rising to support the democratic elements of the government.

2000- Scientists report water at the North Pole for the first time in 50 million years. Today they are worrying about all the ice melting by next year.

2335 – According to Star Trek the Next Generation this is the birthday of William T Riker, in Valdez Alaska, first officer of the Enterprise.
Yesterday’s Quiz: In Walt Disney’s film of Alice in Wonderland, the portrayal of the Queen of Hearts was based on a real life person. Who was it?
courtesy of

Answer: Frank Thomas said they went to lunch once in Hollywood and saw gossip columnist Louella Parsons bullying around her staff. She was a squat thick lady with black hair and a large mouth. And the rest is...animation.
Here, check the resemblance for yourself-