Thursday, September 29, 2011

Side effects may include vomitting and death

 September 29th
On this day in 1829 Sir Robert Peel sponsored a law in Parliament to organize London's metropolitan police force at Scotland Yard. In his honor policemen were called "bobbies", or less affectionately "peelers".  Both terms are still in use today. Nowadays they are famous for their trademark hats and nightsticks. They also do not carry guns in most cases which has dramatically lowered the amount of deaths in the line of duty.

On this day in 1954 Willie Mays of the New York Giants makes the most famous catch in the history of American sports during the World Series. The over the shoulder catch was made on the run after Cleveland's Vic Wertz hit a line drive to deep center field. The Giants would go on to win the game and the World Series that year.

On this day in 1982 seven people die in the greater Chicago area after consuming Tylenol laced with cyanide. Investigators found that the capsules weren't tampered with at the factories that produced them. This meant someone had poisoned the bottles and replaced them on shelves in stores. The result of these murders was the invention of tamper-proof containers on all over the counter drugs. No one was ever caught in connection with these deaths.

On this day in 1973 Grand Funk Railroad reached #1 on the pop chart with their song "We're an American Band". The song glorifies the lifestyle of a traveling rock and roll band and the groupies that follow it around. It mentions by name the most successful groupie of all time, "Sweet" Connie Hamzy. Only in America can you be famous for sucking the dick of someone who is famous. Don't believe me? Monica Lewinsky.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Keep your eye on the prize

September 28th
On this day in 1066 William the Conqueror invaded England. He would be the last person to do so and conquer its people. William was the Duke of Normandy and had been promised to be the heir to Edward the Confessor as King of England. But on his death bed that slick bastard named Harold Godwine. This pissed William off to the point that he assembled his army for the invasion. Harold thought he'd be ready for this, but a subsequent invasion from a couple of Norwegian kings through Scotland made him leave the English Channel unprotected. He defeated the Norwegian forces only to find Williams forces waiting for him. At the battle of Hastings Harold was shot in the eye with an arrow and William declared himself king.

On this day in 1941 Ted Williams became the last man to hit above .400 in baseball. It has become the goal of most good hitters to get to that mark for the season, but it has only been challenged a handful of times since. Williams was above the mark heading into a double-header against the A's, and could have sat out to guarantee his place in history, but he decided to play. He went 6-8 and finished at .406. Interestingly enough Williams would hit a home run on this day in 1960 in his last at bat of his career.

On this day in 1781 the Battle of Yorktown begins in Virginia during the American Revolution. The British General Cornwallis made a calculated error by moving his troops onto a spit of land surrounded on three sides by water. He didn't know that the French fleet had defeated the British and had control of the water surrounding the town. General George Washington got wind of this error and moved his troops to block an escape by land.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

E=ravers delight!

September 27th
On this day in 1821 Mexico gains its independence from Spain. Wait a second, isn't that supposed to be Cinco de Mayo? No, you drunk American, that is the anniversary of the battle of Puebla, against the French. Ok, but I Googled "Mexican Independence Day" and it came up with Grito de Delores, or for those of us who don't speak Mexican, September 16th. Why was this not mentioned in the blog? I don't know, maybe it was a busy day? Nope. Maybe I'm just racist. What am I blogging about? Oh yeah, Mexican independence. On this day in 1821 some rebels called the "Army of the Three Guarantees" entered Mexico City in triumph of their new nation from a treaty signed by Spain on August 24th. Wait, another day? No wonder dumb gringos think it's Cinco de Mayo.

On this day in 1905 the journal Annalen der Physik received Albert Einstein's paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon its Energy Content?". This was the official introduction of the equation E=mc(squared). I can't get that cute little "2" dangit. This was the equation that created modern physics and added to the growing reputation of the great German scientist. It was published two months later and called the theory of relativity.

On this day in 1954 the "Tonight Show" made its nationwide debut. The first host was Steve Allen, followed by Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and Jay Leno. It is the longest running regularly scheduled program in the United States.

On this day in 1997 the Mars Pathfinder gave out its final transmission to Earth. It had landed on Mars on July 4th, 1997 after a 7 month journey to the red planet. Once it was clear that it had landed correctly the rover "Sojourner" was deployed to check out nearby rocks and take readings from the soil. Many detailed pictures were taken and it achieved all of its mission parameters in the first month.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall in to the Gap.

September 26th
On this day in 1969 the Brady Bunch made its debut on ABC. Some may think of me as old, but I wasn't old enough to see this show in its first run, but I saw several episodes as re-runs. The 70's were a strange time. I found out who Davey Jones and Joe Nammath were by watching this show. The significance of this? Not much.

On this day in 1957 the musical West Side Story made its debut on Broadway. Jets and Sharks. Sharks and Jets. A Jet falls in love with the sister of a Shark. Lots of dancing ensues and in the middle of boys twirling and leaping about two guys get stabbed. I was told that I passed "Fag 101" by one of my gay friends for knowing more than four songs from this musical and for somehow matching my socks to my shirt one day at work. I owe it all to Gap commercials.

On this day in 1580 Sir Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the world by returning to Plymouth, England. His ship, Golden Hind set sail with four other ships 3 years prior on a mission of piracy against the Spanish. He succeeded in killing most of the members of his expedition and returning with just his flagship. But he did capture a Spanish treasure ship filled with rich stuff. The English could thumb their noses at the Spanish because the captain of their ship didn't die on his voyage around the world. Suck it Magellan!

On this day in 1960 the first presidential debate to be televised aired across the nation. It pitted John Kennedy against vice president Richard Milhous Nixon. Kennedy came across as cool, calm and collected. A really charming guy. The sweaty Nixon appeared stuffy and nervous in front of the camera, refusing to wear make up like that sissy Kennedy. Who's he think he is, Ronald Reagan?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rights and wrongs

September 25th
On this day in 1789 Congress passes the Bill of Rights. These were the first 10 amendments of the Constitution designed to protect the rights of American citizens. You know them as the right to keep and bear arms, the right to speak freely, the right to peaceably assemble, the right to a speedy trial, and the right to remain silent. The Constitution was James Madison's baby and he designed 12 amendments to the Constitution, of which these 10 were passed by the majority of the states.  Yeah, this video is funnier in English, but you get the point.

On this day in 1981 Sandra Day O'Connor takes her seat as the first woman on the Supreme Court. She faced criticism from the right-wing for her moderate stance on many issues and her pro-choice views. She served until 2005 when she retired. This upset the left-wing as she was replaced by Samuel Alito, who leaned more to the right. I'll have to do more research, but I wonder what she thought of Larry Flint?

On this day in 1915 the Battle of Loos begins in Belgium. In attempt to break through the German lines the British had bombarded them for four days and nights in hopes of destroying any resistance. In actuality it didn't do much. The offensive launched by the allies stalled against the Germans philosophy of "we'll kill more of him than he can kill of us". The Germans had a total of 60,000 casualties, the allies had 250,000.  This included 8,000 British killed out of 10,000 that attacked. If your men keep getting killed by machine gun fire, just send more, they'll eventually run out of bullets, right?

On this day in 1970 the Partridge Family debuts on ABC. A family that sings crappy pop songs and lives in a bus was the premise for the show and it launched the career of David Cassidy. No wonder Danny Bonaduce had such a messed up life.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm worst at what I do best, and for this gift I feel blessed.

September 24th
On this day in 1991 Nirvana released their landmark album Nevermind. The first run of 50,000 copies were thought to be the limit for this three piece, but the single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was a little bit more successful than anyone thought it would be. It was supposed to be a song that introduced the band to the masses and the song "Come as You Are" was supposed to be the "big hit". Interesting fact that also on this day in 1991 while on tour in Europe, Kurdt Cobain's items were tossed out on the street because he didn't pay his rent. Friends and neighbors had to go out and save it for him. If you know anything about me than you know that this is more than just my favorite band. It's an obsession that's lasted over half my life. I used to be kind of embarrassed to tell people that they were my favorite band. Probably more out of insecurity in myself, but I didn't want to have something that I loved so much ridiculed just because I said I liked it. Now I don't care what people think, they can't affect my feelings. I know that I've never met anyone else who is as big of a fan of this band, meaning everyone else likes something more than Nirvana. OBTW, check out the live at the Paramont Theater DVD/Blu ray, it is a wonderful concert, way better than I even thought it would be!

On this day in 1964 the Warren Commission delivered its findings to president Lyndon Johnson on the Kennedy assassination. President Johnson put together a group of men whose sole purpose was finding out everything they could about the murder of Kennedy. The findings are inconclusive on whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or not, but it proves without a shadow of a doubt that Oswald did shoot the president from the fourth story of the Texas School Book Depository. There were some very prominent men on the commission including future president Gerald Ford.

On this day in 1789 the Supreme Court of the United States of America comes into being by the order of president George Washington. It is the third branch of the United States government designed on checks and balances to keep it running and to prevent one part from making decisions against the best interests of the people of this country. Although scrutinized at first for the lifelong term for the members of the court, it has proven to be a very effective means of lawmaking throughout the history of its existence.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wii would like to play!

September 23rd
On this day in 1843 the planet Neptune is discovered by Johann Galle at an observatory in Berlin, Germany. Neptune is the eighth, and last planet in our solar system (suck it Pluto). Astronomers knew of the existence of Neptune before seeing it because of the effects it had on the orbit of Uranus.

On this day in 1994 the Shawshank Redemption made its debut in movie theaters across the country. An uplifting tale of sodomy, suicide (there's a couple of them), pie, a river of shit smelling foulness, and a black guy named red.

On this day in 1999 NASA announces it has lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiting satellite. It was designed to observe different climate patterns on both the surface and atmosphere of the red planet, BUT the teams coordinating the orbit of the craft didn't check one simple step. It turns out one team used the US standard system for measurement and the other team used the metric system. Oops! I'll tell you what boy, that damned thing burnt up faster than a pack of cigs in a campfire! Whoo wee!

On this day in 1889 Nintendo was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi. It produced handmade hanafuda cards. Yes, that's right, 100 years before YOU thought it was founded. Turns out the company survived the greater half of the twentieth century by being tied to several "niche" ventures including a taxi service and a Love Hotel. Yes, it IS what you think it is. Brings a whole new meaning to the Wii.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Censorship is cool!

September 22nd
On this day in 1888 the first edition of National Geographic magazine is published. The National Geographic Society was founded nine months earlier by a group of 33 scientists and scholars to discuss geography and world travel. The magazine became a means for its members to put in writing their findings and was free to those who paid their yearly dues. My guess is they had pictures of topless tribeswomen in that first issue as a means to up membership. Eh? EH?

On this day in 1776 Connecticut school teacher Nathan Hale is executed by the British army for spying. Hale was a captain in the Continental Army and had volunteered to go behind enemy lines in New York City and gather intelligence. After observing troop movements Hale was captured while rowing back to American held territory. After being interrogated Hale was charged with spying and sentenced to death. His famous last words were "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country".

On this day in 1862 President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation freeing thousands of slaves from servitude. Lincoln had proposed the legislature to his cabinet two months prior and they recommended he deliver the news after a Union military victory. Although the battle of Antietam was tactically a draw, the Confederates retreated back into Virginia and Lincoln said "close enough".

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


September 21st
On this day in 1780 Benedict Arnold meets with British Major General John Andre to discuss the handing over of West Point and his name will become synonymous with treason. Arnold was a general during the American Revolution and served with distinction in the battles of Fort Ticonderoga, Saratoga, and the unsuccessful attack on Fort Quebec. But other men would take credit for his work in each of those campaigns. As the war dragged on, Arnold saw at least 5 men below him get a coveted promotion. He decided his services would be better served elsewhere.

On this day in 1897 the New York Sun published an editorial that began "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus". When Dr. Philip O'hanlon was asked by his 8 year old daughter, Virginia, if Santa Claus was real he suggested she write the newspaper. This gave editor Francis Church the opportunity to explore the philosophical side of the question and became part of Christmas folklore.

On this day in 1980 Bob Marley collapsed while running in New York's Central Park. He was taken to a nearby hospital and diagnosed with cancer. Two nights later he performed live for the last time at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On this day in 1989 the Bangles confirmed the rumors that the band had broken up. During the 80's they had a few hits, but the legitimacy of an all-girl "punk" rock band was seen as prefabricated by most fans. Just like the Go-Go's, the Bangles ultimately ended their run due to in fighting of who would control the direction of the band. Susana Hoffs got the lions share of the attention even though song writing and lead vocals were evenly distributed amongst all band members.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why don't they allow dogs in the White House? They'll pee on Bush and chase the Quayle.

September 20th
On this day in 1998 Baltimore Orioles third baseman Cal Ripken Jr. voluntarily sat out a game against the New York Yankees very quietly ending his record for most consecutive games played at 2,632. In the time since no other baseball player has even played in half the amount of consecutive games.

On this day in 2001 president George Dubyah Bush declared a war on "terrah" in front of a joint session of Congress. With the blood lust of the nation at its peak, Bush needed a common enemy for the nation to rally against. My only question is, were we pro-terrorism before 9-11, or were we just meh? I'll say one thing, this guys' public speaking ability got Obama elected.

On this day in 1519 Ferdinand Magellan and his crew of 270 set sail aboard 5 ships for the Spice Islands in the East Indies. The good news is his expedition was the first to circumnavigate the world! The bad news, read it here. He became the first European to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific. His hopes were to find a passage through South America to present day Indonesia, but he had to sail all the way down to Tierra Del Fuego. 99 days later they arrived in Guam. Just over a week after that while anchored in the Philippines Magellan was killed by natives.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Yay speedos!

September 19th
On this day in 1973 country-rock singer Gram Parsons (he wrote "Love Hurts") dies of a combination of tequila and morphine. His death inspired two of his friends to commit one of the greatest rock and/or roll crimes of all time. Phil Kaufman, Parson's road manager, entered a pact with singer that if one of them died the other would cremate their remains and spread them over Joshua Tree National Park. So Kaufman and a roadie named Michael Martin stole Parson's body at the airport in a borrowed hearse and drove it into the Mojave wasteland. They proceeded to douse the vehicle in gasoline and light it on fire. Because stealing a body wasn't a crime in California, both men were fined $300. They paid off the debt by hiring the band Bobby Picket and the Cryptkeepers to perform a benefit concert. They played their hit "Monster Mash" over and over again.

On this day in 1995 the infamous Unabomber Manifesto is published in many of the nation's more prominent newspapers after the author said the bombings would stop if they would publish his thoughts. The Unabomber was responsible for killing three people and injuring another 23 by sending bombs through the mail over a 15 year period. As it turns out Ted Kaczynski was recognized by his brother for being the author of the crazy rant and was captured by the FBI the following April.

On this day in 1881 President James Garfield dies from his gunshot wound that he received two months prior. The official cause of death was blood poisoning, probably brought on by the wonderful doctors of the day. He was shot in the back by an angry office seeker.

On this day in 1988 American Greg Louganis wins the gold medal in springboard diving. The previous day during qualifying Louganis hit his head on the diving board and received a cut that required stitches. He finished his next two dives that night to qualify for the finals. I remember watching this with my family when it happened. It was a weird feeling to see a dude hit his head so hard and overcome something like that to win.

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos

September 18th
On this day in 1945 General Douglass MacArthur moved his headquarters into Tokyo and began oversight of the rebuilding of a new Japan. Although his career would end in humiliation after the Korean war, MacArthur had a brilliant military career with the crowning achievement being the birth of Japan as an economic superpower. Because the country had largely been destroyed in the war, MacArthur used the US model to rebuild the government and the economy.

On this day in 1973 future president Jimmy Carter filed a government report on his UFO sighting 4 years prior. Described as "the darndest thing I've ever seen", Carter's UFO was a bright object with changing lights about the size of the moon, 30 degrees above the horizon. 10-12 other people witnessed the object and Carter vowed to release as much government information on UFO's as he could during his presidential campaign.

On this day in 1846 the struggling Donner Party sent two men ahead to California to bring back food after realizing they didn't have enough supplies to finish their journey. The 89 person wagon train had been mislead into believing that if they crossed the Sierra Nevada mountain range they would cut weeks off their trip. Instead they struggled to move across almost impassable terrain. One of the men sent ahead did return with the much needed supplies while the party was still in the mountains, but a snow storm trapped everyone for the remainder of the winter and things would go from bad to worse.

That's not all that's red.

September 17th
On this day in 1862 the bloodiest one day battle in the history of the United States occurred at Antietam Creek in Maryland. General Robert E Lee had chosen to capture Harper's Ferry, where the Union garrison was located and invade the North with his spoils. He ran into General George McClellan and the Union army near the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland. An indecisive battle ensued that had both sides on the brink of victory only to have the other side receive reinforcements at the last moment. In the aftermath 23,000 of the combined 100,000 soldiers involved were injured or killed.

On this day in 1916 German pilot Manfred von Richthofen, aka the red baron, shot down his first plane during WWI. He would go on to shoot down 79 more planes through his short, illustrious career. During his last 8 months of combat he painted his tri-plane entirely red in honor of his fighting regiment and garnered his nickname from the English.

On this day in 1967 during a performance of "My Generation" on the Smother's Brothers Comedy Hour, Who drummer Keith Moon blew up his drum set. Unbeknownst to his band mates, Moon wanted to do something that would be talked about the next day. He normally packed his base drum with explosives that would go off during the end of the performance, but for the television audience he packed in three times more than he normally did. His explosion singed the hair of Pete Townsend and contributed to a loss of his hearing. Moon also ended up with shrapnel in his arm, and the broadcast was momentarily sent off-air.

Friday, September 16, 2011

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?

September 16th
On this day in 1776 the Battle of Harlem Heights occurs during the American Revolution. The day before the British army captured most of Manhattan island without a fight, but the General George Washington rallied his troops on the highest point of the island. He needed a victory in the worst way. His troops stood fast and repulsed charge after charge from the British. At the same time Washington sent a small force around to the enemy's flank and forced the British to retreat from the battlefield.

On this day in 1620 the Mayflower departs Plymouth, England for Virginia. Seeking religious freedom and opportunity, a group of 102 passengers left their homeland for a fresh start. They would be blown hundreds of miles off course and land in Massachusetts.

On this day in 1893 the Oklahoma land rush occurred when over 100,000 settlers arrived to claim free land on the Cherokee strip. Once thought to be worthless, the land was found to be extremely fertile with new farming techniques and President Benjamin Harrison opened it up to settlers, moving the Native Americans to more worthless lands.

Whatever blows your skirt up.

September 15th
On this day in 1963 the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing occurred in Birmingham, Alabama. Four African-American children are killed as a result. It marked a turning point in the civil rights movement in the South, as most people condemned such an act as to kill children. The church had been a rallying point for civil rights activities in Birmingham, and was thus a target for pro-segregation bigots.

On this day in 1940 a decisive battle for air supremacy over England occurred during the Battle of Britain. The German Luftwaffe had been systematically trying to destroy the Royal Air Force in order to launch Operation Sea Lion, the amphibious invasion of Britain. But during the dogfights on this day the RAF was able to shoot down 56 German planes. From that point on Germany stopped daylight attacks and the invasion was put off indefinitely. Despite being outnumbered, the RAF was able to shoot down 2 planes for every 1 that they had lost.

On this day in 1916 the tank made its debut on the battlefield at Somme during WWI. The British launched a massive offensive to break the stalemate of trench warfare. The barbed wire that encompassed no man's land made large offensives suicidal, so the tank became the logical answer. Despite initial gains, the offensive was a huge failure in that the allies gained only 5 miles of territory at the expense of losing 600,000 soldiers.

On this day in 1954 one of the most famous scenes in movie history is filmed when Marilyn Monroe has her skirt blown up by a blast of air from a subway vent. The movie was The Seven Year Itch, and the scene infuriated Monroe's husband Joe Dimaggio, who thought it was exhibitionist and he filed for divorce a few days later.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who shot the deputy? Ask Bob Marley.

September 14th
On this day in 1974 Eric Clapton's rendition of Bob Marley's "I shot the Sheriff" hit #1 on the pop charts. It was common practice for Englishmen to take what they wanted and make a profit off of it, Clapton had done it for years with the blues. I guess the world wasn't ready for a song about a black man killing a cop. That would come about 15 years later.

On this day in 1982 Princess Grace of Monaco, also known as the actress Grace Kelly, died as a result of injuries suffered when her car fell off a cliff near Monte Carlo. She had given up her acting career after she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Kelly had won an Oscar for The Country Girl. Yeah, she was a hotty!

On this day in 1847 the American army lead by General Winfield Scott captures Mexico City during the Mexican American war. Officially a war over the annexation of Texas, it was actually a war of westward expansion, and as a result of the United States' military superiority, half of Mexico came under our control.

On this day in 1901 President William McKinley succumbs to his wounds received 8 days earlier from an assassin. He had shown signs of improvement just days before, but an undetected infection in his abdomen finally did him in. Modern medicine would have saved his life, but they didn't even have the internet back then. Teddy Roosevelt was sworn in as president subsequently.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

That's low, man.

September 13th
On this day in 1988 Hurricane Gilbert is recorded to have the lowest barometric reading in the history of the Western Hemisphere, 888 mbar, and was the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour. It devastated Jamaica and later Mexico on it's path of destruction. It was also recorded to be one of the biggest hurricanes ever seen at 558 miles in diameter.

On this day in 1814 while aboard a British prison ship, Francis Scott Key is inspired to write the "Star Spangled Banner". He watched as the British tried to destroy the Americans at Fort McHenry and thus gain access to Baltimore by sea. It was all for naught as the Americans repelled the attack and the large flag above the fort stayed aloft throughout the battle.

On this day in 1971 the prison riots at Attica Prison in western New York state came to a bloody end when national guardsmen and police open fire and kill 29 prisoners and 10 hostages. The prisoners had been claiming they had poor living conditions due to the overcrowding of an old, and decrepit prison. A large number of inmates attacked the guards 4 days prior and took some of them hostage and demanded change. Fed up with the insurrection, Governor Nelson Rockefeller order the prison to be retaken by force. It became the rallying cry for prison reformation nationwide.

On this day in 1922 the temperature at Al Aziziyah, Libya reaches 135.9 degrees Fahrenheit, IN THE SHADE! This would be the highest recorded temperature in the history of the world. Can you imagine the guy who took the temperature that day? "Man it's hot today, I wonder just how hot it is?"

On this day in 1936 17 year old Bob Feller strikes out 17 batters in a game against the Philadelphia A's. This would be a new American League record. Feller made his debut a month earlier and struck out 15 batters in that game.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shine on you crazy diamond

September 12th
On this day in 1990 Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union sign an agreement that they will give up all occupational rights in Germany. This would give Germany the ability to reunite for the first time since the end of WWII. It was also one of the last stumbling blocks of the Cold War.

On this day in 1995 during a Monday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers a fan makes one of the most incredible catches in the history of sports. The fan with a really dumb looking pony tail (hey, it was the 90's) decided it'd be a good idea to jump out of his seat to catch a football that had traveled over the net behind the goalpost. Miraculously he was uninjured after the fall of over 10 feet and he hung onto the ball. I think this falls under the same category of why drunk drivers are usually the ones to survive car accidents and the innocent drivers are the ones who die. He's got Uncle Rico syndrome.

On this day in 1975 Pink Floyd release their 9th studio album Wish You Were Here. Coming off the global success of their previous album Dark Side of the Moon, the band went into Abbey Road Studios with the intention of making an album tribute to former member Syd Barrett. Barrett was the lead singer in the band before David Gilmore, and lead early Pink Floyd through a maze of drugs and distorted guitars. He left the band after his mental health began to fail. The albums centerpiece, "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" is broken up into two parts that are separated by some of their most famous works, "Have a Cigar" and "Wish You Were Here". One of my favorite albums of all time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

September 11th
I'm sure that a lot of things happened on this day in history that didn't occur in the year 2001, but as far as I'm concerned there is only one event worth mentioning today. It's our generations Kennedy assassination, or moon landing, or Pearl Harbor. Everyone I know will tell you exactly where they were when the twin towers came down. My experience was an interesting one. I was on the phone with my girlfriend until the wee hours of the morning the night before, so I planned on sleeping in. I wake up to my dad banging on my door and yelling "Wake up Robbie, we're going to war!" to which I responded "What in the hell are you talking about?".
"Turn on your T.V."
By then the first tower had already collapsed. There was smoke enveloping most of lower Manhattan. I really thought we were bombed at first, I didn't know what to think. As everything came together for me I was shocked at the images that were brought before me. The news stations were doing their best to reconstruct events and get first hand accounts of what was going on at ground zero. They kept showing the second plane hitting the South Tower over and over again, followed by images of the Pentagon and Shanksville. Eventually the media stumble upon a video of the first plane hitting. It was remarkable that a fire unit was filming a routine exactly when it happened.

I must have watched all day until I had to go to work. I was a driver that night and I had my radio on for the entire shift. I can't watch the videos without just a small flashback to that day. It was a remarkable tragedy that, for a time, brought everyone together. The conspiracy theorists out there are some of the stupidest people alive. They're just looking for a reason to attack our government. But all they're doing is disrespecting everyone who lost their lives on that day. I saw this a few years ago and it puts all of those arguments to rest.

It's an interesting watch to say the least and it really puts the conspiracy theorists in a bad light as it takes all of their arguments and destroys them case by case.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Punk in drublic

September 10th
On this day in 1897 the first ever arrest is made for drunk driving. 25 year old taxi driver George Smith crashed his cab into a building in London. He plead guilty and was fined 25 schillings. Ever since the combination of getting sloshed and going for a drive has become a popular past time around the world.

On this day in 1991 "Smells like Teen Spirit" is released as the first single off of Nirvana's Nevermind album. It would go on become one of the biggest hits of the 90's and the signature song for the band. The band's record label released the single in hopes that it would establish the groundwork for the band before they released the single for "Come as you are", the song that was supposed to bring the band to prominence.

On this day in 1972 the USA basketball team loses its first game of international basketball at the Olympic games in Munich to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was given a second chance at a final shot to win the game after the referee forgot to start the clock. The first shot was missed, but with the second chance the Soviets took advantage and converted after a full court pass and shot to win the game.

On this day in 1977 the last person is executed by guillotine when Algerian immigrant Hamida Djandoubi gets his head chopped off after being convicted of murder in France. The guillotine was first established as a humane means of executing criminals and gained fame during the French Revolution.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bug me!

September 9th
On this day in 1947 the first case of a computer bug was discovered. As it turns out it was actually a bug, a moth got itself lodged in a relay in the Mark II computer at Harvard University. When the programmers looked to find out why their new toy wasn't working they discovered the crispy critter.

On this day in 1942 a Japanese float plane dropped incendiary bombs on a rural mountain in Oregon. A small fire was started as a result of the only airborne bombing raid on the US mainland. Nobua Fujita put his name in the history books after launching from a submarine off the coast. As a result Franklin Roosevelt order a news blackout as to not panic the nation.

On this day in 1976 Mao Zedong died ending one of the most ruthless reigns in history. Mao was the leader of the communist party in the People's Republic of China from its inception in 1949. As a military leader, Mao was unmatched. He lead the revolution against the Chinese Nationalist until WWII when the Japanese took control of most of the country. After the war Mao continued his fight until the Nationalist were defeated. As a leader of his country Mao's policies were questionable at best. His "Great Leap Forward" was supposed to move China into the 20th century by moving farmers away from rural areas to the cities to work in factories. As a result millions died of starvation.