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November 15th, 2008
November 15th, 2008

Welll...before the Spanish came, the local Indians called this area The Valley of Smoke, and we are living up to our name today. The fires in the Sylmar area are about 15-20 miles north of us. But the smoke is blowing over and our pool is full of ash.
We aren't worried about our area, but we remain vigilant.

Not like living back in New York, when all you really had to worry about was other New Yorkers!

Question: Which one of these celebrities never worked in animation? A) Jack Nicholson, B) Roger Moore, C) Marlon Brando D) Beverly D’Angelo

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Define ubiquitous.
History for 11/15/2008
B-Days: Georgia O'Keefe, Irvin Rommel the "Desert Fox", Avriel Harriman, Daniel Barenboim, George Bolet, William Pitt the Elder, Veronica Lake, Beverly D'Angelo, Mantovanni, Ed Asner, Sam Waterson, Otis Armstrong, Petula Clark

64 AD-THE ROMAN EMPIRE OUTLAWS CHRISTIANITY- It's hard to believe today but the Roman Empire was proud of it's religious toleration. There was a harmony to the pagan world, A Goth knew his god Odin or Wotan was called Jove in Rome and Zeus in Athens and Mithra in Persia. So the Judeo-Christian concept of One God exclusively and everybody else’s gods were demons just didn't quite fit in. The only other religion persecuted as vigorously as Christianity was the Druids, but that was because the Druids preached constant rebellion to Roman rule. The Romans dispersed the Jews as a nation, but Julius Caesar left strict laws about never violating Jewish dietary or Sabbath Laws. Even Caligula backed down from trying to put a statue of himself in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. Anti-Semites claim Messalina the wife of Nero was a Jewish convert and convinced her husband to ban the Christian cult, but the answer goes deeper than that. Secrecy and fear of its’ alien practices bred suspicion that would last 300 years.

1532- After marching his Spanish conquistadors for six months through steaming jungles and over tall mountains Francisco Pizarro reached the border of the mysterious Inca Empire. At the little border town of Cajamarca his 200 men suddenly found themselves face to face with 40,000 Inca warriors. The Imperial Inca Army was outfitted in gold and “they shined like the sun!” I wonder if they had any Kahlua with them...?

1754- First use of the modern trombone. It was played at a child's funeral.

1777- The ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION passed by Congress. An early attempt at a U.S. Constitution that gave all real power to the individual states, similar to the provincial system in Canada now. It required a majority vote of 9 out of 13 states to get anything done and had no chief executive. With a majority like that needed nothing did get done. There were no laws regulating national commerce so goods traveling state to state paid tariffs like they were going through foreign countries! By 1787 the Articles were junked for the more centralized U.S. Constitution but States Rights supporters would resurrect it later for their Southern Cause, hence the Confederacy.

1828- Author Victor Hugo signs contracts with Gosselin's Publishing House to write a story about the cathedral of Notre Dame du Paris. He was paid 4,000 francs in advance, The HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME was the result.

1849- In Rome Papal lay government minister Count Pelligrino Rossi was stabbed and killed as he walked through a nationalist mob. Italians desiring the unification of Rome to the newly forming State of Italy rioted and looted the Popes Quirinnal Palace. Pope Pius IX,” Pio Nono” had to flee the Vatican disguised as a plain priest. He returned a year later behind French troops and a loan from the Jewish Rothchild family to reinstate the Papal States. Rome was annexed by Italy in 1870. Pius IX came to power professing liberal reforms but soon went back on his word and threatened excommunication against “Treasonous Democracy”. In Italy another name for a liar was a Pio Nono.

1860- Shortly after Abraham Lincoln’s election as president a large meteor was seen in the skies over the Eastern U.S. Most took this as a bad omen of troubles to come.

1864- SHERMAN BURNS ATLANTA- Atlanta was the economic center of the South, an enormous depot far from the front with railroad tracks linking all the coastal ports. William Tecumseh Sherman was the first modern general. He understood the Civil War was a war of peoples, outmaneuvering armies for temporary strategic gains wouldn’t decide it. He drove out the civilian population of the city and torched it. He called his tactics 'Hard War" but today we call it 'Total War" Sherman had an army band serenaded him beneath his window playing the "Miserere'" from Verdi's "Il Trovatore", while he observed the burning, impatiently chewing on an unlit cigar. The next day Sherman began his epic March to the Sea.

1907- The comic strip Mutt & Jeff debuted. The strip was so popular that it’s creator Harry “Bud “ Fisher became a celebrity and negotiated the first large backend deals.

1926- FIRST NETWORK BROADCAST- NBC hooks up 20 cities coast to coast, for a radio program "The Steinway Hour" with Arthur Rubinstein from the Steinway building penthouse on 57th St. in Manhattan.

1934- Animator Bill Tytla starts at Disney's on a trial basis for $150 a week. He would create Grumpy the Dwarf, The Devil in Fantasia and Dumbo.

1937- The U.S. Congress gets air-conditioning.

1941- Edict of Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler ordering the arrest and deportation to concentration camps of all Homosexuals and Gypsies.

1969- THE MORATORIUM- 250,000 people gather in Washington to protest the War in Vietnam. Richard Nixon had run as a peace candidate but once in office escalated the Vietnam conflict to include Cambodia and Laos. President Nixon came to regard the young student protesters as the chief nemesis of his administration. He appealed to the Silent Majority, staged stunts like the Hard Hat Luncheon-an event thrown for conservative construction workers. According to John Dean by 1971 Nixon had a bunker built under the executive offices where aide John Ehrlichman monitored protests from a battery of television monitors. Nixon stalwart G. Gordon Liddy pitched preposterous schemes like infiltrating the students with mercenaries who would at a signal beat up people, and strategic commando style kidnapping of protest leaders. These schemes were never implemented.

1979- ABC news announced they would broadcast a daily update of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The late night show became Nightline.

1989- Disney's The Little Mermaid debuted. Unda da sea, unda da sea….

1990- It was revealed that the Grammy winning pop group Milli Vanilli didn’t sing on their own album but lip synched to a recording.

Yesterday’s Question: Define ubiquitous.

Answer: Being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time; omnipresent. What’s the point of my asking this? Nothing really. I always wondered and just needed an excuse to look it up.