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February 9th, 2008 Sat.
February 9th, 2008

We all had a wonderful time at the Annie Awards at UCLA's Royce Hall last night. Ratatouille won most of the big awards as expected. Surfs Up won for best effects and production design. Robot Chicken for best TV show and EL Tigre for best childrens TV show. The Ub Iwerks Award was given to the inventors of FLASH, and the Winsor McCay Awards for lifetime achievement went to Glen Keane, John Canemaker and John Kricfalusi.
When Futurama won for direct to DVD, Matt Groening came up on stage waving a WGA Strike sign. Host Tom Kenny ( SPonge Bob) was pretty funny. But I thought the evening was taken by James Hong, veteran Chinese-American character actor ( Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little CHina) He was very glib and had the audience rolling. James Hong has a role in the upcoming Dreamworks film Kung Fu Panda.
Take that, ASIFA!
Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase,” I gave him the whole nine yards”

Answer to yesterdays question below…
History for 2/9/2008
Birthdays: Constantine XI Paleaologus- the last Byzantine Emperor 1404, President William Henry Harrison, Samuel Tilden, Carmen Miranda, Alban Berg, Ronald Colman, Mia Farrow, Ernest Tubb, King Vidor, Mamie Van Doren, Roger Mudd, Illustrator Alberto Vargas, Carole King, Bill Veeck, Fred Harman, Joe Pesci is 65, Zhang Zhi-Yi., Painter Frank Frazetta, Mena Suvari is 29

1824- The House of Representatives decided a deadlocked presidential election in favor of John Quincy Adams even though he didn’t win the popular vote. After all, why vote for a guy just because his daddy was president? - Ahem!

1856- An early tabloid The London Illustrated News reported a live Pterodactyl dinosaur popped out of a rock and flew away when workers were excavating a railroad tunnel in Culmont France. Believe it or Not!

1861- The new Confederate States elected as their first and only president former US secretary of state Jefferson Davis. Among other projects Davis was once in charge of introducing Egyptian camels to the Southwestern deserts and creating the First US Army Camel-Corps. When the Southern states seceded Davis was hoping to become a general of Mississippi volunteers since he went to West Point, but not be made president. Old Sam Houston said Davis was "cold as a lizard and ambitious of Lucifer". Current Republican Senate leader Trent Lott has said Jeff Davis was his role model.

1900- Collegiate tennis player Dwight Davis created the Davis Cup.

1909- The First US narcotics legislation, this one against opium. At this time heroin, morphine and cocaine were all available in patent medicines. Marijuana wasn’t outlawed until after prohibition in the late 1930s. Cab Calloway reminisced about the Reefer Man on the streets of Harlem selling marijuana cigarettes 3 for 25 cents.

1932- Mobster Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll was a hit man for Dutch Schultz when he decided to go freelance and start shooting up New York. He earned the name "Mad Dog" for once gunning down school children who accidentally strayed into his crossfire. Finally he was so violent even the underworld couldn't stand him any more. This day Mad Dog Coll was waiting for a meeting in a soda shoppe on 23rd and 7th in Manhattan. Some one called him to the phone. While waiting on the line two gunmen jumped out and sprayed the phone booth with tommy gun fire. Dutch disliked freelancers...

1950- THE WHEELING SPEECH- Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy "Tail-Gunner Joe" delivered his speech in Wheeling West Virginia in which he blamed Communist subversion for all the ills of American society: the Soviet atomic bomb, the loss of China, fluoridated water, post nasal drip, the works. He dramatically waved a paper:" I have in my hand a list of 205 names- names given to the Secretary of State of known Communists who continue nevertheless to work and shape policy in the State Department !" The paper was blank, he had no such list. But the effect was electric. From 1950-1956 McCarthy’s anticommie witchhunt ruined hundreds of careers and elevated to national status folks like Richard Nixon, Whittiker Chambers, Roy Cohn and Bobby Kennedy.

1964- Ed Sullivan introduced the English rock band the Beatles to a nationwide t.v. audience. It was a "Rrrreally Big Shewww!" ( Sullivan’s signature line)

1967- The" Lindsay Snowstorm". John Lindsay was the handsome if confused mayor of New York in the sixties of whom the Robert Redford character in "The Candidate" was partially based. He tried to cut budget expenses by stripping New York of it's snowplow fleet, thinking they were unnecessary. The city was immediately paralyzed by 14 inches of snow. Plows had to be brought from as far as Montreal.

1968-"You did it! You Finally did it! Oh, Damn you all to Hell!!" the film the Planet of the Apes with a naked Charlton Heston premiered.

1971- The Sylmar Quake (6.8) rocks L.A.

1989- In testimony before the New Jersey State Senate World Wrestling Federation officials including President Vince McMahon admit that the sport of wrestling is purely entertainment and no one actually gets hurt. I’m shocked, shocked!

1990- Singer Del Shannon, who had a hit with the 1961 song Runaway, shot himself with a 22 rifle. Del Shannon was supposed to replace Roy Orbison in the Travelling Wilbury's, the group that featured Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynn. Orbison had died the previous year of heart failure and the Wilburys were starting to rehearse with Del Shannon. After Shannon's suicide, the group decided to disband.

1996- German World War Two figther ace Adolf Galland died at age 86. While other aces had skulls or dice painted on their planes, Galland preferred a Mickey Mouse on the tail of his Messerschmidt. Ach Adolf, ist dat der RAF on your tail? Nein, izt der Disney Legal Department! Himmel!

2001- Actor Tom Cruise filed for divorce from his wife actress Nicole Kidman.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is a mixed alcoholic drink called a cocktail?

Answer: In the 1730’s a popular ale house in colonial New York was called the CocksTail. They specialized in rum punch drinks with fruit juices in them. Another theory is that the cocktail was originally a morning drink to help you recover from the night before “a hair of the dog that bit you.” The cock being the herald of the morning., A lot of the cocktails we are familiar with today, Rob Roy, Fuzzy Navel, etc. were invented during Prohibition to mask the bad taste of homemade bootleg alcohol.