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May 8th, 2008 thurs.
May 8th, 2008

Congratulations to fellow animator Seth McFarlane, he of Family Guy and American Dad, for making a $100 Million dollar deal with Fox. As one creative to another, I salute any one of us who can start with a pencil and end up making $100 Million bucks!

I feel like the Warner Bros fish who puts a gun to his temple and says" Now, I've seen everything!" BLAM!

Quiz: The largest independent militia in Iraq today is the Shiite force called the Mahdi Army. In 1885, British Gen. Gordon fought a Sundanese leader called the Mahdi. What does the name Mahdi mean?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: Why does the term quarantine mean isolating people with a contagious disease? If someone has Typhus, you give them 25 cents?
History for 5/8/2008
Birthdays: Harry Truman, Roberto Rossellini, Leopold Bakhunin, Louis Gottschalk, Oscar Hammerstein, Ted Sorenson, Sonny Liston, Toni Tennille, Ricky Nelson, Peter Benchley, Thomas Pinchon, David Attenborough, Keith Jarrett, Alex Van Halen, Melissa Gilbert is 43, French illustrator Jean Giraud aka Moebius is 69, Enrique Inglesias is 32, Don Rickles is 82

1587- The Roanoke Colony settlers leave England for Virginia (named by Sir Walter Raleigh for Queen Elizabeth, "the Virgin Queen"). When a supply ship reached their colony in 1590 the houses were intact but the colonists had all disappeared, leaving no remains or signs of violence, but only a cryptic message CROTOAN carved on a tree.

1824- Ludwig Von Beethoven performed his Ninth (Choral) Symphony and Missa Solemnis in concert for the first time. Even though he was stone deaf he was still in demand as a conductor. The orchestra trained themselves to ignore the Maestro's baton waving and follow the lead of the concert-master ( first violinist ). It was said when they finished and the audience was cheering poor Beethoven was still flapping his arms about and moaning the melody, unaware of the sound of his own voice.

1878- David Hughes invents the Microphone while trying to get over bronchitis.

1910-Mazeltov! Russian-Jewish immigrant glove salesman Schmuel Gelpfisch married Blanche Lasky, the daughter of vaudeville performer Jesse Lasky. Gelpfisch later changed his name to Goldfish, then Goldwyn. He and his father in law Jesse Lasky went into the new flicker business and started the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company. They moved to Hollywood and in 1915 they merged with Paramount Pictures and Goldwyn merged into Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. Both became top Hollywood producers.

1933- When the Rockefellers were building their huge office complex, Rockefeller Center, in New York City they decided to get one of the greatest living Mexican painters, Diego Rivera, to design the murals for the interior of the atrium " Man at the Crossroads ". This despite the fact that Rivera was well known as a radical communist. Soon Nelson Rockefeller noticed Rivera was painting in the center of the mural a huge heroic portrait of Lenin stepping on John D. Rockefeller’s face! Over Rivera’s protests Rockefeller ordered the mural painted over and no record of its existence ever kept. But on the night before the painting was to be destroyed Swiss art student Lucienne Bloch slipped a camera into her shirt. While Frida Kahlo distracted the guards she took the only photos of the mural for posterity.

As a young art student I heard about the Lenin mural, but scoured Rockefeller Center in vain trying to find it.

1943-Tex Avery's "Red Hot Riding Hood"- Ooohh Wolfy !

1954-DIEN BIEN PHU- The Communist Viet Minh guerrillas decisively defeat the French in Indochina. The French strategy was to place a forward base in the heart of the guerrilla infested jungle to lure the Vietnamese into the open and defeat them. Instead they got a modern version of the Little Big Horn with the French Legionairies going down under endless waves of attacking Vietnamese. The guerrilla forces had carried large howitzers in small pieces up mountaintops and assembled them to rain shells down on the French.

1962-"A Funny thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Forum" opened on Broadway.

1962- Director Joe Mankiewicz shot the climactic spectacle scene of Cleopatra –Elizabeth Taylor, entering Rome through the Arch of Titus on a mobile sphinx surrounded by thousands of extras. The shot had been delayed six months after a stunt woman fell off an elephant and then the light in the Forum had not been right. When she appeared in the scene the thousands of Italian extras were supposed to shout "Hail Cleopatra!" but instead they shouted "Liz! Liz!"

1978-In court, postman David Berkowitz, confessed to being "Son-of-Sam" or the "44 caliber killer", the serial killer who terrorized New York City by shooting to death teenage couples at random and toying with letters to journalist Pete Hamill. Berkowitz said he received his orders to shoot people from his neighbor's dog "Sam". His reign of terror had the normally blase' city so upset that in a scene out of Fritz Lang’s "M", godfather John Gotti pledged the services of the Mafia to catch the maniac. Police finally caught Berkowitz when they found his Volkswagen Beetle illegally parked and noticed the infamous 44 handgun sticking out of a paper bag on the front seat. In Attica prison, Berkowitz made friends with Mark David Chapman, the murderer of John Lennon.

1991- President Bill Clinton, then Governor of Arkansas, propositioned waitress Paula Jones at the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock. With her legal bills financed by the Clinton-hating Neo-Cons, her case went as far as a Supreme Court. They decided to allow her to sue a President while in office. Clinton’s attorney didn’t help things with statements like :" Drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park and who knows who you’ll turn up". She got a lot of publicity, an $850,000 settlement and a nude spread in Penthouse Magazine.

1996- South Africa adopted its first post-apartheid constitution.

1998- The impotence drug Viagra gains national prominence when retired senator and Presidential Candidate Bob Dole confessed on the Larry King talk show that he participated in the drugs test trials and the had "thoroughly enjoyed himself."
Yesterday’s Quiz: Why does the term quarantine mean isolating people with a contagious disease? If someone has Typhus, you give them 25 cents?

Answer: Quarantine comes from the French number 40- Quarante. Medieval justice decreed that when plague broke out in a town, the way to keep it from spreading was to draw a line around it and not let anyone in or out for 40 days. Others say it was invented in Venice- quaranti giorni, to isolate for 40 days a plague ship coming into harbor.