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FROM IMDB TODAY- The Australian animated feature Mary and Max has been chosen to open the 25th Sundance Film Festival on January 15 in Park City, UT. The claymation film, narrated by Barry Humphries, better known as Dame Edna Everage, tells the story of an 8-year-old girl who lives near Melbourne and her pen pal Max, a 44-year-old man who lives in New York City. It is the creation of Adam Elliot and Melanie Coombs, who won the animation Oscar two years ago for their Harvie Krumpet, which also screened at Sundance
Question: What is meant by “ The Sins of Absalom”?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Where does the term come from “ to pull out all the stops”?
History for 11/21/2008
Birthdays: Francios Arouet called Voltaire, Marlo Thomas called That Girl,, Rene Magritte, Adolphe Marx called Harpo, Colman Hawkins called Bean, Stan ' called the man' Musial, Tom Horn, Pope Benedict XlV, Earl the Pearl Monroe, Goldie Hawn is 63, Harold Ramis is 64, Ken Griffey Jr, Mariel Hemingway, Lorna Luft, Troy Aikman, Bjork is 43

In the Orthodox Church, this is Feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel

1620- THE PILGRIMS LAND AT PLYMOUTH ROCK- Legend has it Mary Chilton and John Alden were the first ones to set foot upon American soil. The English religious sect after first leaving England had lived in Utrecht but the Dutch couldn't stand them either. They had set sail for Virginia but bad weather had blown them to the coast of Massachusetts. The area they were settling was some of the most densely populated Indian land in North America, but the smallpox spread by preceding European explorers had decimated the tribes, leaving entire villages empty. When the Pilgrims saw this they held a thanksgiving service in honor of: "He who prepares a way for His people by sweeping away the heathen." The Puritans landed several years later but they were a separate group who didn't like the Pilgrims. Then came the Quakers, whom neither liked.
The Plymouth Rock enshrined in modern Plymouth was identified in 1677 by an elderly survivor of the landing as the huge rock escarpment they landed on. The city fathers tried to pry it loose but only a little chunk broke off. That’s why Plymouth Rock looks pretty small for a ship to land on.

1718- BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE KILLED. William Teech from Bristol England had served on privateers fighting the French. When the war was over he went into business for himself. He grew a huge black beard, which he tied smoking cannon fuses into the ringlets to scare people. This day two sloops of Royal Marines sent from Virginia colony led by a Lieutenant Maynard RN, boarded Blackbeard’s ship when she ran aground on the coast of North Carolina. The fighting was all hand to hand. Blackbeard f went down after he was shot five times and slashed with cutlasses 25 times. Blackbeard had stationed a black boy with a lit match in the powder magazine, with orders to blow everything to hell the moment the battle was lost, but the boy was killed before he could accomplish his task. After the battle Lt. Maynard found papers proving the Royal Governors of Bermuda and North Carolina were receiving bribes from the pirates for safe harbor. Blackbeard’s head was cut off and hung it from the bowsprit for the trip home. (No one had invented foam dice yet.) They threw the rest of his corpse into the ocean where legend says it swam around the ship once before sinking. Shiver Me Timbers!

1774- Sir Robert Clive had won the great Battle of Plassey that had won India for the British Empire and avenged the Black Hole of Calcutta. But like every general since Scipio Africanis would discover, success in battle breeds jealousy at home. His London enemies pushed lawsuits alleging he used his power in Bengal to embezzle riches. Although he was acquitted of every charge the experience broke his spirit. This day under the influence of opium he committed suicide.

1794- Honolulu Harbor discovered by British explorers.

1852- The Methodist Congregation of Randolph County North Carolina charted a school called the Union Institute later renamed Trinity College. In 1924 a man named James B. Duke gave the school $20 million bucks, so they renamed it Duke University.

1864- THE BIXBY LETTER- President Abe Lincoln was moved to write a Massachusetts mother upon learning she had lost 5 sons in the Civil War. It is one of the most eloquent examples of presidential prose. “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” The original of the letter had never been found. Mrs Bixby was not a Lincoln supporter, and may have destroyed it. It later turned out only two of her sons were killed. Two others were POWs and another a deserter.

1916- During World War One the hospital ship HMS Britanic struck a German mine in the Aegean Sea, and sank killing 30 people. What makes this sinking stand out to history, is that Britanic was the sister ship of the Titanic, that sank in 1912.

1920- Bloody Sunday- In Dublin IRA chief Michael Collins sent out his best assassination squad, nicknamed the Twelve Apostles. In the early morning of one day they rounded up and shot 20 of the top British counter terrorist police inspectors, nicknamed the Cairo Gang. In some cases they forced the inspectors wives to watch their husbands get shot. In retaliation the British paramilitaries called the Black & Tans entered a soccer stadium with an armored car during a match, and opened fire on the players and fans with machine guns. 25 were cut down.

1933- Columbia director Frank Capra went to Claudette Colbert’s home to talk her into delaying her holiday vacation long enough to star with Clark Gable in “It Happened One Night”. Colbert said she would only do it for double her normal salary and if they would be done by Dec 23rd so she could spend Christmas with friends at Squaw Valley Idaho.
They made the picture on a rush and Colbert later told her friends:” I just finished the worst picture in the world!” It Happened One Night” became a big hit for Capra, Columbia and is one of Colbert’s most memorable performances.

1934- Cole Porter's musical 'Anything Goes!' opened on Broadway. Ethel Merman starring, In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked upon as somewhat shocking. Now Heaven knows- Anything Goes!”

1942- Warner's "A Tale of Two Kitties" the first Tweety Pie. I tawt I taw a puddy cat !

1959- The day after he was fired WABC radio DJ Alan Freed refused to sign a statement that he never received cash payments or payola to run Rock & Roll records on the air, Because it is exactly what he did.

1959- Jack Benny with his violin played a comic duet with Vice President Richard Nixon on piano.

1963- President John F. Kennedy and Jackie fly into San Antonio for a swing through Texas to gather support for a possible re-election run. Tomorrow would take them to Houston for breakfast then through Dallas....

1963- Robert Stroud, the 'Birdman of Alcatraz' died behind bars at 73. Jailed in 1916 for murdering a man who beat up his girlfriend, he spent 54 years in prison, 42 in solitary confinement. His study of birds enabled him to become an expert in bird diseases, he wrote three books. Burt Lancaster played him in the movies as a tragic hero, but those who knew him said he was a morose psychopath who stabbed another inmate and murdered a guard. He was known to shave off all his body hair and drink alcohol distilled from the birdseed admirers sent him. His own mother hoped he'd never be paroled.

1964- The Verrasano Narrows Bridge opens in New York Harbor. I remember the first person through the gate was a motorcyclist who "popped a Wheelie" and tried to cross the bridge balanced on his back tire.e.

1980- Half of America watched The Who Shot J.R. episode of the TV show Dallas.

1980- Australian Olivia Newton John’s disco anthem to aerobic exercise “Let’s Get Physical ” goes to number one of the pop charts and stays there for ten weeks.

1985- Jonathan Pollard, a Navy research analyst was busted for compromising US security and passing intelligence to the Government of Israel. He got life in prison for spying. Occasionally, there is a call for leniency, because he was spying for a friendly power.

1987- Bruce Willis married Demi Moore in Las Vegas. The divorced five years later.

1989- Junk bond king Michael Milken pleads guilty to insider stock trading and 98 counts of fraud. He now does lectures on ethics in business.

1999- 90 year old writer Quentin Crisp died. The author of the Naked Civil Servant had moved from England to San Francisco to lower Manhattan- he asked a friend “I’m moving to New York, I wonder if I should first learn the language?” Another time when Quentin was accosted by young punks he retorted:” Gentlemen, do you not know you are disturbing a National Heritage? I have been declared one of the Stately Old Homos of England!” Sting wrote a song about him- Englishman in New York.
Yesterday’s Question: Where does the term come from “ to pull out all the stops”?

Answer: When playing a pipe organ a stop is a button that restricts air flow, so pulling it out increases the volume. So pulling out all the stops means to go all in, maximum volume and maximum effort.