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August 12, 2008 tues.
August 12th, 2008

Quiz: What is a Ponzi Scheme?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Why are police called cops?
History for 8/12/2008
Birthdays: King George IV, Cecil B. DeMille, The alien Alf- 1757, Cantinflas, Buck Owens, George Hamilton, Edith Hamilton, Diamond Jim Brady, screenwriter William Goldman, Mtsislav Rostropovitch, Xenia Sharpe (educator who invented the childrens reader Dick and Jane, See Dick Run...etc.) Kathy Lee Bates-the author of the song America the Beautiful, Klara Schickelgruber- Hitlers mom, Dominique Swain, Pete Samprass, John Casale-I'm not Fredo!
(note: I mentioned that Robert Redford and Patrick Swayze were born Aug 11th, they are actually born Aug 18th. Mea Culpa!)

The Golden 12th. In England this is the beginning of Grouse hunting season.

1658-Happy Birthday NYPD! The first city police force in America was set up in New Amsterdam ( I wonder if they said-"Booeck'eym²)

1799- Napoleon spent the night meditating at the Great Pyramid of Egypt.

1805- Meriwhether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame climbed a mountain peak in the Bitterroot Range of Rocky Mountains near the present day Montana -Idaho border. He had traveled this far on the theory of Thomas Jefferson¹s that the Missouri River and Columbia River were the same river so one should be able to travel by water from New Orleans to the Pacific Ocean undisturbed. When Lewis climbed this mountain he expected to see on the other side gentle rolling plains to the Pacific. Instead he saw even higher Snowcapped Mountains and more mountains behind them, the Great Continental Divide. It dawns on Lewis that this is one big mother of a continent and that river theory was all wrong.

1821- Stephen Austin entered Texas with the first group of Anglo colonists invited by the Mexicans to bolster their sparse population. It brought a land rush of poor families from the U.S. They would write on their doors before they left G.T.T. or Gone To Texas.

1822-Vicount Lord Castelreagh, chief British diplomat and statesman during the Napoleonic wars, goes mad after eating hot buttered toast and kills himself with a butter knife. He had been warned by his doctor Lord Graydon against eating hot buttered toast.
Shortly afterwards his doctor Lord Graydon also committed suicide, but he didn't have any hot buttered toast. A satirical epitaph was penned by Lord Byron:
The human race will ne'er survey
A nobler grave than this;
Here lie the bones of Castlereaugh...
Stop, Traveller, and piss.

1869- San Francisco lunatic Joshua Norton, who called himself Norton Ist, Emperor of the United States, today published an Imperial Edict outlawing the Democratic and Republican Parties. Hmmm… he may be on to something!

1877-THE BIRTH OF RECORDED SOUND. Thomas Edison announced his sound recording invention and demonstrates it by recording "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a tin cylinder. Edison never quite understood the possibilities of a music industry and was convinced that the recorded sound was going to be a used primarily for people to listen to the voices of deceased family, sort of like a voice from the grave. That idea was so popular that it translated to the Logo of the RCA Company with the familiar image of the dog listening to "His master's voice". The original incarnation of that dog listening to his master's voice supposedly had the dog & recorder sitting on a coffin. A few years later Emile Berliner from Georgia later invented the flat record disc. Edison thought the disc was clumsy and too fragile. In the future he declared, everyone would use recording cylinders.

1915 - "Of Human Bondage," by William Somerset Maugham, published.

1927- the William Wellman movie ³WINGS²opened with Howard Arliss and Buddy Rogers, the only silent film to win best picture at the Academy Awards- because the awards were only started the following year and by then sound was all the rage.

1932 Aldous Huxley's Brave New World first published. Before anyone ever heard of stem cells Huxley had written a scholarly paper on the moral dangers inherent in controlled eugenics. Writer H.L. Mencken urged him to put his ideas in a fiction form to reach a wider audience. The title comes from Shakespeare's the Tempest " Oh Brave New World, that has such people in it!'

1951- Bob McKimson’s Warner Bros short Hillbilly Hare. The short includes the long routine animated by Emery Hawkins when Bugs Bunny takes over calling a square dance and uses it to torture the two twin brother Hillbillies who are after him.

Courtesy, a site that charts the relatives of Yosemite Sam.

1953- The Soviet Union exploded its first Hydrogen Bomb, nicknamed by the CIA "Joe-4" for Joe Stalin. The scientific team led by Andrei Sakharov called it the Layer Cake-alternating layers of hydrogen and uranium fuel wrapped around a conventional atomic bomb. Like Robert Oppenheimer in America, Andre Sakharov later became a leading critic of the nuclear arms race.

1961-Soviet and East German troops start building the Berlin Wall, which remained a symbol of Cold War tension until it was pulled down spontaneously by Berliners in 1989.

1981- IBM introduced its first PC- personal computer and PC-DOS I.. Unlike Apple, IBM shared the basic hardware design, so a myriad of cheaper competitor PC’s soon flooded the market.

1988- Martin Scorcese’ film The Last Temptation of Christ opened in theaters to howls of protests from religious groups. There had been more inflammatory interpretations of the Christ story on screens in the past like Pasolini¹s Gospel According to Saint Matthew and the Canadian film Hail Mary, but the church groups weren¹t that media savvy yet. Like all these protest efforts, all the controversy did was boost it's box office.

1999- In Yorkshire England Tish, the world’s oldest goldfish, died at age 43.

2000- In the waters off Norway the Russian submarine Kursk suffered an explosion and sank. No one is sure what happened, the theory is an old torpedo exploded in the bow. Out of pride Russian Naval authorities refused offers of international help to rescue the remaining sailors trapped on the sea bottom. By the time they relented and accepted help, all 116 men were dead.

2007- Entertainer and producer Merv Griffin died at age 81. The creator of games shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, his last statement on his website was " I was planning to go on vacation, but this is not the destination I intended."
Yesterday’s Question: Why are police called cops?

Answer: According to the Policeman’s Encyclopedia, the word "cops" is not from Constable On Patrol but from the copper badges police wore on their helmets in the nineteenth century. They were the coppers, then just cops.