BACK to Blog Posts

My old friend Frederic Back is in LA for a rare visit. Frederic is one of the world's animation filmmakers whose work can make the most hallowed animation artists of Disney, Dreamworks and PIXAR fall over and kick up their heels in delight. Many moons have passed since we first shared a raclette wheel at Annecy in 1987.

Frederic, a multi-Oscar winner, is in town to dedicate a show of his work at the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences. On Sunday Aug 10th the Academy would celebrate the work of his music composer Normand Roger, and to dedicate his art show. On Tuesday John Lasseter will join him at SIGGRAPH for an evening show and screening of the Man Who Planted Trees. On Friday the Canadian Consulate here will host a formal luncheon reception at their residence. Frederic is a great conservationist and passionate champion for the environment. Check out his website If you've never met him or seen his work, you are missing something real special. Call or Siggraph about the shows.

Welcome back to LALAland, mon ami Frederic'!


Quiz: Who created the voice of Woody Woodpecker?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is Cheerios named for? Mr Cheerio?
History for 8/8/2008
Birthdays: Emiliano Zapata. Esther Williams, Gene Deitch, Dino DeLaurentis, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, Keith Carradine, Deborah Norville, Mel Tillis, Dustin Hoffman is 70, Martin Brest, Peter Weir, Patricia Arquette, Japanese animation director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) is 57.

1588- THE GREAT PROTESTANT WIND- The bulk of the Spanish Armada was not destroyed by the English Navy but by a huge North Sea Typhoon that hit them off the coast of Northern Ireland. This is why if you want to view relics of the great Spanish galleons don't go to Cadiz or Tortuga, go to the Museum of Belfast. Supposedly the thousands of Spanish and Italian sailors marooned on the Irish coast intermarrying with the Irish population, who weren't crazy about the English either, created the racial strain Black Irish, or Celts with milk white skin and black hair and eyes.

1811- THE IRON CROSS- Before medals common soldiers were rewarded for bravery with a few gold coins. Washington and Napoleon made medals things soldiers dreamt of. General Gerhard von Gneisenau urged the King of Prussia to create a medal like the French Legion d'Honneur to reward all ranks in the German Army. At first the sulky King was against anything that led common soldiers to believe they were better than the common schweinhundts he felt they were, but he finally was made to give in. The new medal was based on the heraldic symbol of the Crusader order of the Teutonic Knights, a black cross formed by four arrowheads. The "Iron Cross" medal was created.
Goths, Surfers and Hells Angels rejoiced.

1876 - Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph, a forerunner of the Xerox process.

1944 - Smokey the Bear, named after NYC fireman Smokey Joe Martin born .

1945-Two days after the Hiroshima bombing, the Soviet Union declared war on the Japan and began landing troops in Manchuria, Korea and the northern Kurile Islands. The Japanese cabinet had hoped to avoid a total unconditional surrender by first negotiating a separate peace with Stalin, then using him to force a deal with the Anglo-Americans. But Stalin had his own ideas. Even today with Stalin dead and Communism long gone, the Russians still won’t give back the Kuriles.

1960 – Brian Hyland’s song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-dot Bikini" hits #1.

1963 – THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY- In Buckinghamshire England a small group of masked men stopped the London to Glasgow express and stole 2.6 million pound sterling about $7.3 million U.S.. English police netted most of the gang, but the ringleader Ronald Biggs escaped. Biggs lived well in Rio de Janiero for thirty eight years and gave frequent interviews to British media. Old and sick, he finally returned to England and jail in 2001. “I just want one more pint in a pub” he sighed.

1963 – The Kingsmen release the song "Louie, Louie,". Many labeled it obscene, although no one is quite sure just what the song lyrics mean. In the 1980s Northwestern University staged Louie-Louie Marathons- 44 straight hours of Louie-Louie, played by punk bands, polka bands, marching bands, folk trios, and singing water glasses.

1966 -The Beatles' released "Revolver"
1973-Vice President Spiro Agnew vows not to resign. He resigned shortly afterwards.

1974 - Richard Nixon decided to resign the U.S. Presidency after Senator Howard Baker informed him his last supporting congressmen on the Senate Impeachment Committee intended to change their vote to yes for impeachment. Insiders say his last call before making up his mind was to Dixiecrat George Wallace, who told the President he could no longer count on the support of Southern white conservatives.

1978- The character of Odie the dog first met Garfield in Jim Davis’ comic strip.

Yesterday’s Question: What is Cheerios named for?

Answer: General Mills created the new breakfast cereal in 1941. Originally called Cheery Oats, it was altered because of a copyright challenge. Another version of the origin is that the man who created it was inspired by the Italian town of Cheerigalia, which had been making grain cereals since ancient Roman times. Who first figured out its a great way to distract hungry toddlers is unknown.

I don't know who these people are, or why they are wearing Cheerios, but I think I worked on Ultimate Avengers on the poster behind them?