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I learned tonight about the death of Emru Townsend. Emru had been battling advanced leukemia, and on the 12th he finally succumbed. Emru was a writer journalist in Canada who interviewed me several times about my years at Nelvana in Toronto. He published FPS, a magazine devoted to the Canadian animation community. Emru waged a heroic struggle, yet never asked for our pity. He blogged about his illness, and as Mark Mayerson wrote, " he approached it with a journalists curiosity and thoroughness."
Mark wrote a moving tribute on his blog. Check it out.

Adieu dear colleague, you remain alive in all our hearts. Rest now. Our deepest sympathy to your family, and the Toronto animation community, in losing one of it's most eloquent voices.

Question: Define ubiquitous.

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the significance of what a U.S. President does in his first 100 Days?
History for 11/14/2008
Birthdays: Robert Fulton, Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Claude Monet, Aaron Copeland, McClean Stevenson, Jarahwahal Nehru, Mamie Eisenhower, Brian Keith, Louise Brooks, Ellis Marsalis, Harrison Salisbury, Dr. Condoleeza Rice is 54, Yanni, P.J. O'Rourke, George Petrovic' called KaraGeorge "Black George" Serbian nationalist -1762, Astrid Lungren the creator of Pippi Longstockings, Prince Charles is 60

1565- King Phillip II of Spain ordered the Holy Inquisition to enforce his edicts against heretics in the Netherlands. When Dutch emissaries like William of Orange, nicknamed William the Silent for his diplomatic skill, urged moderation towards the growing population of Dutch Calvinists, Phillip said: “I would rather that thousands lose their lives than reign over a kingdom of heretics”.

1666- English diarist Samuel Pepys recorded witnessing the first experimental blood transfusion done on two dogs.

1798- WolfTone, the young Irish revolutionary leader, committed suicide in prison after his capture. He knew he was certain for a hangman’s noose. He is sometimes called the founder of the IRA, although this is more a romantic notion than historical fact.

1805- Napoleon’s French Army entered Vienna. Composer Ludwig Van Beethoven had dedicated his Symphony #3 Eroica to him when he considered Bonaparte a force for human rights, but after Napoleon became an emperor he angrily crossed it out. “So, he is just a man after all!” Now ironically with all the Austrian society run out of town Beethoven was forced to premiere his symphony to an audience of French army officers.

1832- The First regular horse drawn streetcar service began in New York.

1851- Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick, or the Whale” was first published in the U.S. by Harper & Row. Melville in part was inspired by a report of a whale named Mocha-Dick who had sunk seven ships off the coast of Java and a New Bedford whaling ship Nantucket that was rammed and sunk by an enraged sperm whale in 1839. For the famous author of Typoo and Billy Budd, Moby Dick was a critical and financial disaster. What's now considered one of the greatest works of American literature was ridiculed in its time. Melville, broken in spirit, sank into obscurity and finished his life as a customs agent for the Port of New York. When he died, he was so forgotten the New York Times misspelled his name in it's obituary. Today his great-great grandson Moby is a rock star.

1883- London’s World newspaper printed an exchange of telegrams between writer Oscar Wilde and painter James MacNeil Whistler. “ When you and I are together we never talk about anything but ourselves.”-Wilde. Whistler:” No, no, Oscar. When you and I are together we never talk about anything except me.”

1889- Inspired by Jules Verne's book Around the World in Eighty Days, New York World reporter Nellie Bly real name Elizabeth Cochrane, set out to travel the world in the declared time. She did it in 72 days. Bly was considered by Victorian society scandalously independent, she was a war correspondent, she had herself committed to a lunatic asylum to report on mistreatment of the mentally ill, she went up in a balloon and was the first woman to go down in a diving bell- bathosphere.

1922- Happy Birthday B.B.C.! the British Broadcasting Companies first regular radio service 2LO goes on the air with general election results.

1937- SPAM introduced! Shoulder-Pork And Ham.

1942- THE SULLIVAN BROTHERS- Five brothers of one Iowa family all enlisted in the Navy and were all posted on the same ship –the USS Juneau. All five were killed when the Juneau went down in action off Guadalcanal wiping out the family. After the Sullivan Brothers incident laws were passed that US Selective Service could not draft in its initial callup all sons of a family without leaving one and that close relatives were not allowed to serve on board the same ship.

1943- Bruno Walter was too ill to conduct the New York Philharmonic this night so 24 year old Leonard Bernstein was asked to assume the baton. Bernstein becomes an overnight sensation.

1943- During naval maneuvers in the South Atlantic the destroyer William S. Porter accidentally fired a live torpedo at the battleship Iowa carrying President Franklin Roosevelt! The Porter reported the mistake in time so the Iowa could take evasive actions and the torpedo exploded harmlessly in her wake. But the captain of the William S. Porter was arrested and courts-martialed back at port and the incident kept top secret until the 1970’s. For years afterwards whenever the William S. Porter came into harbor she was greeted with the cry “DON’T SHOOT, WE’RE REPUBLICANS!”

1957-THE APALLACHIN CONFERENCE- The top Dons of the Mafia decided to meet at a small upstate New York town near Binghampton. The estate of Joseph Barbara, the President of the Canada Dry soda pop company was clogged with black Cadillacs and Lincolns driven by guys in silk suits named Vinny. All the heads of the Families were there, Joe “Bananas” Bonano, Joey Profacci, Carlo Gambino, Vito Genovese, Paul Castellano, Joey Catena and Louis Tafficante. To this day no one’s quite sure what this meeting was about. Theories are it was an attempt to broker a peace after the hits on Al Anastasia and Frank Costello, and to decide whether the Old Sicilian capos would agree to the younger men’s request that the mob organize narcotics. As luck would have it two New York State troopers investigating a bad-check case noticed the gangland gathering and called for the estate to be surrounded. Once the cops raid commenced it was a free for all of mobsters jumping out of windows and running like rabbits through the corn stalks.
The raid produced few convictions but the headlines focused national attention on the Mafia. It proved without a doubt what had always been feared, that the Mafia was not a loose term for some local immigrant gangs but an highly centralized national organization. Congressional hearings like the McClellan Committee began to bust up the rackets. Mobsters who write of this time say the Appalachin mistake was the beginning of the end of the Mafia’s nationwide solidarity and power.

1957-The Supreme Court refused to review the challenge to government obscenity laws brought by Irving Klaw and his wife, producers of the Betty Page kinky pinup photos.

1959- In Holcomb Kansas two men break into a farm home and murder four people. The subsequent trial and execution was attended by writer Truman Capote, who wrote the book “In Cold Blood”.

1960- Anthony Mann began shooting the film El Cid with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren with her pre-collagen Lips.

1961- President John F. Kennedy ordered the number of U.S. military advisors in Vietnam increased from 1,000 to 16,000. There has always been conflicting evidence about just what JFK thought about the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Some scholars point to writings that said Kennedy by 1963 was having second thoughts about involvement and wanted to begin pulling out but Lyndon Johnson had deeper ties to the South Vietnamese regime and big military contractors like Bell-Huey. Others say if JFK wasn’t assassinated he still would have done the same Vietnam policy that Lyndon Johnson later did.

1963- Volcanoes push up out of the water the island of Circe, now part of Iceland.
1967- Jack Warner, the last surviving Warner Brother, sells out his stake of Warner Bros and it’s huge film library to a Canadian company called Seven Arts. He becomes the last of the original Hollywood Moguls to step down.

1986- Wall Street Tycoon Ivan Boesky who defined the 1980's with mottos like "Greed is Good, Greed is Natural", pleaded guilty to insider trading and stock fraud and willingly finked on everyone at Drexel Bernham-Lambert who helped him.

1998- Colorful and eccentric NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman married beautiful supermodel Carmen Electra. There was some doubt at first as to the validity of the story as Rodman admitted he was blind drunk throughout and didn’t remember the ceremony. They divorced shortly after.
Yesterday's Question: What is the significance of a President's first 100 days in office?

Answer: It started with Franklin Roosevelt. The outgoing Republican Hoover administration had let itself become notorious by doing nothing to stop the collapse of the American economy into the Great Depression. FDR realized he had to act fast to restore confidence. So in his first hundred days he launched a blizzard of progressive legislation and new gov't agencies with so many acronyms they were called the Alphabet Soup. HUD, NRA, WPA, TVA, FDIC, FHA, SEC, etc. Together thye were known as the New Deal.This so dazzled the public that ever since the press makes an issue about what a new president does in those first hundred days.