Monday, October 31, 2011

You'll come back as an eagle. You'll come back as a dragon. You'll come back as Jude Law.

October Halloween
On this day in 1517 Lisa Simpson created Lutherans. No wait, that was 400 or so years before television. Ok, what really happened was a priest named Martin Luther (not King) posted his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This was the beginning of the Protestant Revolution. In a nut shell Luther was sick of the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. He didn't believe God would absolve you of your sins if you made a payment to the Pope, for example. I wish I was Pope.

On this day in 1892 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was published for the first time in book form. Doyle had been submitting his stories in magazines for the previous 5 years, but he went global with this book. History's most famous detective was inspired by the works of Edgar Alan Poe and from Doyle's own life experiences. It  just gives me another excuse to see Jude Law on the big screen again.

On this day in 1993 River Phoenix died outside the Viper Room in Los Angeles from an overdose. He was one of Hollywood's most promising young actors at the time of his death, appearing in movies like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Sneakers, and Stand by Me. His death sent shock waves through his generation only surpassed by the death of Kurt Cobain.

On this day in 1926 Harry Houdini died from a burst appendix brought on from being punched in the stomach 11 days prior. The injury remained undetected until the day of his death when doctors rushed to save the famous magician. By no means a humble man, Houdini bragged about the strength of his stomach muscles to a group of students. Is it so surprising that one of them would test him on this statement?

Rumble in the jungle!

October 30th
On this day in 1938 millions of people believe that the United States is being invaded by Martians when Orson Welles broadcasts a "War of the Worlds" dramatization. Switchboards lit up with people concerned about their well being in the face of the enslavement of the human race. Wells took a lot of heat for this stunt, but he proved how powerful the media could be if put in the wrong hands. How gullible can you get?

On this day in 1974 the heavy weight boxing title was decided with the "Rumble in the Jungle". Muhammad Ali agreed to fight George Foreman in Zaire and solidified his already legendary status with the way he fought. Ali was older than the title holder Foreman by 7 years and was believed to be past his prime. No one believed Ali could take a punch from Foreman. But Ali spent the entire fight dancing around Foreman, at times taunting him to hit him. Ali enticed Foreman to punch him and would back against the ropes protecting himself with his arms. His brilliant strategy was to tire Foreman out, and it worked. Foreman's punches became more and more ineffective as the fight wore on, and Ali took advantage knocking him out in the eighth round.

On this day in 1995 the people of Quebec voted to stay with Canada, rather than becoming their own sovereign nation. I'm not really sure why, they speak a different language, hold a geographic advantage within Canada (splitting the nation in two) and would have had their own established economy. And they dip their fries in mayonnaise instead of ketchup....catsup...ketchup...whatever.  The results were 49% in favor of independence and just over 50% against.

Nothing as it seems

October 29th
This day in 1929 will forever be known as "Black Tuesday" because of the stock market crash that occurred. The roaring 20's came to a crashing end during the week leading up to this day. But after a big crash in its own right and a moderate rally stockholders sold everything in an attempt to get anything on their investments. People were literally jumping out of windows in New York City because life as they knew it was over. The nation, as well as the world was not prepared for the crisis and the Great Depression set in.

On this day in 1971 Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band died in a motorcycle accident. He was only 24, but already regarded as an accomplished musician. His brother and the rest of the band continued to perform in honor of Duane, and continue to play shows to this day.

On this day in 1966 "96 Tears" reaches number 1 on the billboard chart for ? and the Mysterians. ? beat Prince to the punch as far as representing yourself as a symbol is concerned. This song represented a turning of the tide of popular music from more prefabricated music to organic rock based out of garages. One of the first "Garage Rock" bands, ? and the Mysterians provided a foothold for many bands to come to at least believe they had a chance of making it without being good looking or necessarily talented.

Liberty of Statue

October 28th
On this day in 1965 the Gateway Arch is completed in St. Louis, Missouri. One of the most recognizable landmarks of Americana, this arch was built as the "Gateway to the West", signifying the American spirit of expansion. The romantic image of manifest destiny died with this giant arch. Instead of taking over the North American continent, the US was looking to the skies. The conquered Indian tribes were on the verge of their revenge with the increasing popularity of their casinos. Most significant was Americans now went camping for recreation, and not for survival. I don't understand the logistics of getting to the top of this thing. I'll have to see it to believe it I guess.

On this day in 1886 the Statue of Liberty was officially dedicated by President Grover Cleveland. The bronze statue was a gift from the French and represented the friendship of the two nations. I swear this thing has been closed to the public more than its been open, the least they could have done is not make it out of Bronze, but a metal that doesn't rust. Anyway, millions of immigrants knew they had reached the promise land when they first sighted Lady Liberty, so it is really the first lady of the United States of America. I used to call this thing the Liberty of Statue when I was a kid, hence the title of today's blog.

On this day in 1919 Congress enacts the 18th amendment, making the manufacturing, sale, or consumption of alcoholic beverages illegal. Morality won a great victory over the evils of the naughty water, but all this did was increase the thirst of the nation and create a racket run by gangsters. Oh yeah, and the Kennedy dynasty got a big boost from bootlegging. Before this the idea of a Catholic in the White House was laughable!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Moving right along, free coupon inside!

October 27th
On this day in 1904 the New York City Subway opened for the first time. Why is this event significant? Was it the first subway in the world? No, that honor goes to London. Was it the oldest in the US? Nope, that's in Boston. Then why is this significant? Duh, it's what the restaurant Subway is named after! Why would the History channel page put this as the most significant event? Why do New Yorkers think that they are better than everyone else? I don't know. I guess I never will.

On this day in 2006 the last Ford Taurus rolled off the assembly line in Hapeville, Georgia. It was bought by the 85-year old founder of Chic-Fil-A. This is what you give me to work with today? Really History Channel? Make something up! This is boring! This is stupid! How am I supposed to write a blog when this is all that give me, an insignificant milestone by a conceited city and an even more insignificant car being bought by some chicken geezer. And you guys wonder why I'm getting tired of writing this thing.

The boy in the bubble and the baby with the baboon heart

October 26th
On this day in 1881 there was a shootout at the OK Corral! Representing the side of the law were the Earp brothers, Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan, along with the infamous Doc Holliday. Representing the less than lawful in the fight were members of the Clanton/McLaury gang. Now in there defense, the "cowboys" as they were known, moved to Tombstone to escape the confines of city life. Anyone who wanted law and order should have just stayed where they came from. Everyone in that town knew what they were getting into. But the fight was about more than suppressing local vagrants. It was about pride! The gang and the Earps tangled the day before and when 5 members were spotted at the edge of town, the fight broke out. Two of the McLaury brothers and one Clanton died, the Earps and Holliday were wounded, but survived. It lasted only 30 seconds, but has lasted in the imaginations of millions, largely due to the movies made about it.

On this day in 1986 the curse of Babe Ruth raised it's head once again with a baseball going between the legs of one Bill Buckner. The Boston Red Sox were on the verge of winning game 6 of the World Series against the New York Mets, and thus winning their first world championship since 1918. But with two outs in the 10th inning, Mookie Wilson hit a ground ball toward Buckner who reached down to field it. Ole! It went under his glove and the Ray Knight scored the winning run from third base. Oops!

On this day in 1984 a 14 day old baby known as Fae received a heart transplant after doctors found out she was missing the left side of her heart. But what stands out about this transplant was that Fae received a baboon's heart. She lived for another twenty days but ultimately her body rejected the heart and she died. But it was an advance in science that paved the way for other infant heart transplants and surgeries.

The confidence is the balaclava

October 25th
On this day in 1944 the largest naval engagement in recorded history occurred with the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The United States had successfully used their "island hopping" strategy to regain lost territory from the Japanese. They were now ready to wrestle the Philippines back under their control. The Japanese lacked experienced pilots so they employed kamikaze attacks in force for the first time. The American Navy was caught off guard and lost many ships, but Japanese air power was crippled for the rest of the war.

On this day in 1994 Susan Smith reports that her car was stolen by an African-American man with her two small children still in the back seat. As it turns out, Smith used the car jacking story to cover up the fact that she drove her car intentionally into a lake in order to drown her kids. She was involved with a man who did not want children. So rather than let them live with their father, she thought that killing them would allow her to continue her relationship with her new man. She confessed 9 days later under the weight of her own guilt.

On this day in 1854 Lord Cardigan lead the famous "charge of the light brigade" against a heavily defended Russian position during the battle of Balaclava. The order was a result of a misunderstanding and confusion amongst those who gave the orders to attack. The heavy Russian guns destroyed Cardigans men, but the British spun the story to portray Cardigan (who survived) as a hero. Because of his celebrity, and the fashion sense he picked up in Russia, the cardigan sweater is named after him.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bite me!

October 24th
On this day in 1861 workers from the Western Union Telegraph Company complete the first transcontinental telegraph line in Salt Lake City, Utah. The first message sent was from the Chief Justice of California to President Lincoln pledging the support of the west in the fight to preserve the Union. For the first time those who moved to the shores of the Pacific could communicate vital information to those on the other side of the country in a matter of minutes, rather than months.

On this day in 1997 broadcaster Marv Albert is sentenced in his trial for sexual assault against Vanessa Perhach. He allegedly bit her on the back and tried to force himself on her after she refused to have a three-way with him at a hotel in Washington DC. Apparently he took Dave Chappelle's famous line of "sometimes you just gotta take the pussy" to heart and added his own bite mark to it. Albert was fired from NBC and Madison Square Garden, but then was rehired a year later after complying with court orders for treatment.

On this day in 1969 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid opened around the US. Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as the title characters, it was an old west buddy movie about bank robbers that has remained a favorite to many, including me! The movie was a huge success and it featured the Oscar winning song "Raindrops keep falling on my head" by Burt Bacharach.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Falling on a sword

October 23rd
On this day in 43 B.C. Marcus Junius Brutus commits suicide after his defeat at the second battle of Philippi.  Brutus was the leading conspirator in the murder of Julius Caesar two years prior and had joined forces with Cassius to try and restore the republic. He thought he would be treated as a hero, but instead the deceitful act plunged Rome into another civil war. He and the troops that were loyal to the republic started a series of battles against Caesars heir, Octavian, and Mark Antony. Cassius had killed himself at an earlier battle and once he was defeated, Brutus decided to kill himself rather than face the shame of being taken prisoner.

On this day in 1921 the body of the American soldier chosen to be the "Unknown soldier" from WWI was taken from France and placed on a boat to the United States. The symbolic choice of having one body represent all those lost in the field of battle is one that instills pride in many who choose to fight for their country, and especially for those who lost loved ones in battle and never got closure.

On this day in 1855 the start of "Bleeding Kansas" occurred when rival governments take claim to the government of the state of Kansas after a controversial election. President Franklin Pierce decided the best way to decide if the territory of Kansas should be a slave or free state was to leave it up to those who lived there. Seems simple enough, but this was a very heated decision, and many settlers moved in to try and sway their side towards victory. To complicate matters "border ruffians" from Missouri decided to vote anti-slavery, even though they weren't citizens of Kansas. Violence would become common place in the coming months as those from both sides would intimidate rivals into leaving Kansas.

You don't need a parachute to skydive, you need one to do it twice.

October 22nd
On this day in 1962 President Kennedy announced the blockade of Cuba after the discovery of Soviet missile silos being installed. The blockade was to halt the Soviets from transferring nuclear warheads to Cuba, thus putting the threat 90 miles away from Florida. Kennedy accused the Soviets of subterfuge and challenged Cuba to remove the weapons or face further consequences. In a back room deal with the Soviets Kennedy was able to avert the crisis by agreeing to remove American missiles from Turkey in exchange for the removal of the missiles from Cuba, but not until after a standoff the nearly started a nuclear holocaust.

On this day in 1797 Andre-Jacques Garnerin became the first parachutist when he severed the tethering to his balloon some 3,000 feet above Paris. The idea of the parachute wasn't a new one, as Leonardo da Vinci conceived of an invention to slow the fall of a person from a high height. But Garnerin was the first person to try, and survive using the device. He ended up dying 26 years later in a balloon accident while trying out a new parachute.

Everyone is familiar with the concept of self sacrifice, and the term "falling on a grenade" has taken a new meaning in the dating world, but on this day in 1965 a young soldier took it sad new level. 18 year old PFC Milton Lee Olive III sacrificed his own life by falling on an enemy grenade to save the lives of at least 4 of his fellow soldiers while on a patrol in Vietnam. He absorbed the full blast of the explosion and died immediately. He was given the posthumous medal of honor and has a few landmarks in his hometown of Chicago named after him.

How did you know?

October 21st
On this day in 1805 two of the battles with the most consequence occurred. At the battle of Ulm, Austrian General Mack von Leiberich surrenders his army to Napoleon. It was a huge blow to the Third Coalition that had been brought together to defeat Napoleon on land. However, many miles away off the coast of Spain the Battle of Trafalgar ended with a decisive British victory. Under the leadership of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson, the British fleet destroyed most of the joint Spanish/French fleet. Nelson was killed during the battle, but British sea power wasn't challenged for another 100 years.
On this day in 1975 Carlton Fisk hit one of the most famous home runs in baseball history in the World Series to help his Red Sox to defeat the Cincinnati Reds in game six. The game had been close throughout and had gone into the 12th inning. Fisk lead off the inning with a long drive to left field that hit off the foul pole for the game winning home run. His waving gestures to almost will the ball fair have been on highlight reels ever since. This is the home run mentioned in Good Will Hunting when Robin Williams' character is talking about the first time he met his wife. The cursed Red Sox would go on to lose in the seventh game.

On this day in 1941 the German army massacred thousands of Yugoslavians who were part of a coup that was protesting their countries alliance with the Nazis. Knowing that they were next on the chopping block for German invasion, the Yugoslavian government signed the alliance the previous year. But its citizens didn't share the same view. Yugoslavia was the home to many different ethnic groups that were against the policies of the Nazi regime. Their resistance was crushed when the German army was sent into the towns thought to be putting up the most fight. With blatant disregard for human life the Germans killed men, women, and children alike.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm going over backwards!

October 20th
On this day in 1968 US Olympic high jumper, and Oregonian, Dick Fosbury reinvents his sport and wins the gold medal. Utilizing what is now known as the "Fosbury Flop" he went backwards over the bar and set a world record. Before this method, athletes would belly roll, or scissor kick over the bar, but their legs would often graze the bar on the way over. No record holder since 1980 has utilized any other method in the sport.

On this day in 1977 a plane crash in the back woods of Mississippi killed 3 members of the southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, including lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, and siblings Steve and Cassie Gaines. The crew on the flight were blamed for the crash for not recognizing that the plane was not fit to fly. Earlier in the year Aerosmith chose to switch planes over concerns with the crew, saving themselves from the demise of the original incarnation of Lynyrd Skynrd.

On this day in 1974 the iconic Sydney Opera House opens in Sydney, Australia. It took 15 years to complete the $80,000,000 project designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. The structure hosts on average 3,000 events every year and seats a little over 1,500 people. Famous for its roof shells, the building is the most famous in the entire country of Australia, and probably in the entire southern hemisphere.

On this day in 1990 the members of the hip hop group 2 Live Crew are acquitted on charges of obscenity.  The group headed by Luther Campbell became popular for their vulgar lyrics and misogynistic portrayal of women. Their album As Nasty as They Want to be was quickly pulled from stores all over the nation. But when the group performed in Florida the police were on hand with tape recorders. The group was charged with public indecency and was brought to trial. The jury just laughed when the prosecutors played back the tapes and tried to decipher what was said.

Make it a Blockbuster night!

October 19th
On this day in 1985 the first Blockbuster video rental store opened its doors in Dallas, Texas. After finding initial success, the owners of Blockbuster started an aggressive expansion project that put stores all across the country in less than a decade. People who didn't want to subscribe to a cable television network like HBO now had the option of seeing any movie at home whenever they wanted without having to purchase said movie. The company is now struggling to hang on with the advent of Netflix and Redbox making video stores obsolete. Blockbuster was able to sign a deal to get movies 30 days before those outlets, and created their own mail order movie service. It was most recently purchased by Dish network.

Also on this day in 1985 the Eurotrash group A-ha reached #1 on the billboard charts with their only hit "Take on Me". Besides a shrill high note at the end of the chorus, it became widely popular due to its music video. MTV awarded it with video of the year, along with many other honors at its annual Video Music Awards. The groundbreaking use of animation and video made it instantly stand out from the Billy Idols and Cindy Laupers of the world. If you look up staying power in the dictionary, you will not find these guys.

On this day in 1781 British General Charles Cornwallis formally surrenders his army at Yorktown, Virginia. He made the calculated error of putting his army on a peninsula in hopes of being evacuated by the British navy. When the French were able to gain control of the Chesapeake Bay, Cornwallis was trapped. After besieging the British, an attack was made by a contingent of French and American soldiers to capture the defenses around the British encampments. Alexander Hamilton was able to successfully lead his group of men to victory while the French did likewise. Cornwallis saw his situation was hopeless without its defenses and surrendered.

I can see Russia from my house!

October 18th
On this day in 1767 Charles Mason(not Manson) and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey line that marked the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania. The two were regarded as amongst the best in their profession in the world and were chosen to put to rest the long disputed border between the states. Unintentionally they created the border between slave and free states before the colonies could unite into a nation. Everything below that line stood for slavery, including Washington D.C. Everything north of it was for emancipation.

On this day in 1897 Secretary of State William Seward purchased the territory of Alaska from Russia for $7,000,000. This was to be known as "Seward's folly" for many years and erase the sympathy he had gained for surviving the plot to overthrow the government that had killed president Lincoln. Seward was stabbed that night, but had returned to his post as Secretary of State just in time make the purchase. When oil reserves were discovered there in the next century people began to stop laughing. They started laughing again when they heard Sarah Palin talk.

On this day in 1988 the sitcom Roseanne made its prime time debut on ABC. Portraying the daily life of the working class Connor family in industrial Ohio, the series quickly gained popularity. Roseanne Barr was the matriarch of the family, and used her crude, abrasive humor to give a realistic feel to her character. John Goodman played Dan Connor, the larger than life father whose good natured mannerisms were cohesive to the traits of his tv wife. The show would go on for 10 seasons and is still one of the most popular sitcoms in US history.

Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud!

October 17th
On this day in 1968 US Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos are stripped of their medals at the games in Mexico City for their protest during the medal ceremony the day before. Both African American men bowed their heads and raised a black gloved fist to the sky, the black power salute, while the United States national anthem played. Smith had set a world record in the 200 meter dash and earned the gold medal, while Carlos finished third to earn the bronze. Along with being stripped of their medals both athletes were told they had to leave Mexico immediately. I always wondered what the silver medalist felt through all of this. It was Peter Norman of Australia. As it turns out he supported his fellow medalists and wore the same badge on his shoulder that protested the poverty that plagued black Americans.

On this day in 1989 a 7.1 earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay area at 5:04 local time during the height of the rush hour commute home. 63 people were reported killed and over 100,000 buildings were reported as damaged, along with large portions of the infrastructure. Many people nationwide saw the aftermath unfold while waiting to see the World Series dubbed the "Battle of the Bay" between the Oakland A's and the San Francisco Giants. It experienced a 10 day delay before resuming. The Golden Gate Bridge remained undamaged, despite reports of it swaying heavily from side to side, but the Bay Bridge experienced a large section of it's upper deck road collapsing onto the lower deck.

On this day in 1777 the American colonists win the Battle of Saratoga against the British during the American Revolution. Many argue that this was the most important victory for the Americans during the war as it convinced France to intervene on their side. It also prevented the British from cutting New England off from the rest of the colonies. Under the command of General John Burgoyne, the British surrendered their 5,000 man army at the village of Saratoga after failing to break the American line.

On this day in 1974 president Gerald Ford was brought before Congress to explain why he pardoned his predecessor Richard Nixon. By granting the pardon, Nixon could not be legally pursued for the Watergate scandal that forced him to resign the office of the president. Some said this was a back door deal that was a thank you by Ford to Nixon for naming him vice president 2 years prior. Ford's explanation was that he wanted the nation to begin healing and the quickest way to do so was to grant the pardon so everyone could move on. And you wonder why he wasn't re-elected.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish my dear old dad a Happy Birthday!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chariot of the gods!

October 16th
On this day in 1958 (and yes this is the highlight of the last century, suck it moon landing) Chevrolet introduces the El Camino. Is it a car? Is it a truck? Your guess is as good as mine, but if it's anything, it is awesome. Built onto the chassis of an Impala, it didn't catch on at first (ya think?). But the Chevy brain trust decided to get their shit together and put in a larger engine (evidence that it's a truck), it now was able to be classified as a muscle car (evidence that it's a car). The advertising slogan: "It rides and handles like a convertible, yet hauls and hustles like the workingest thing on wheels". Is that even a real word? Not according to spell check.

On this day in 1793 Marie Antoinette got her just desserts (I crack myself up) and was executed by guillotine. Yet another victim of the French Revolution, Antoinette symbolized aristocratic decadence. When she and her husband, Loius XVI, tried to escape to Austria they were captured. Both were convicted of high treason. Once the French monarchy was abolished in 1792 there was really no reason to keep Antoinette alive, less she inspire some pastry chef uprising, so they held a public execution.

On this day in 1987 after a 58 hour ordeal 18 month Baby Jessica is rescued from an abandoned well in Midland, Texas. She fell 20 feet down the well which was located by a daycare run by her neglectful aunt. As rescue workers tried to save the toddler television stations from around the country descended on the scene. After digging an access tunnel parallel to the well, rescuers were able to reach Jessica. Hooray!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


October 15th
On this day in 1863 the C.S.S. Hunley is sunk during a test run in Charleston harbor, killing its inventor, and captain, Horace Hunley. It would later go on to be the first successful combat submarine when it sunk the U.S.S. Housatanic by diving underneath the ship and sticking a timed torpedo to the side of its hull. BUT, the Hunley would sink once again, this time for good before it could reach the shore. The Confederates saw this ship as a means to break the Union blockade that was crippling their economy. It was raised in the year 2000 and now resides in a museum.

On this day in 1917 one of the most famous female spies, Mata Hari, is executed by the French for being a double agent. Born in Holland, Hari became an exotic dancer in 1903. Ok, she was THAT kind of dancer, but it held a different meaning back then. There weren't a whole lot of strip clubs around. If you wanted to get your jollies, as it were, you'd have to pay you local prostitute, instead of the current situation of paying your local stripper who does the whole whore thing on the side. Hari, was very popular at the time of her capture and was used as a scapegoat by the French to divert attention from their failed military campaigns. In reality, the Germans saw her as a low level spy who didn't give them much useful information.

On this day in 2007 Drew Carey debuted as the new host of "The Price is Right". Great career choice. I've seen more of leatherfaced Bob Barker than I have of Carey the last 5 years, and he's retired! Cleveland rocks!

On this day in 2006 CBGB's, one of the most famous, and influential performance clubs in the world closed its doors for the last time. Many famous acts cut their collective teeth at the venue, such as Talking Heads, Blondie, The Ramones, and the Misfits, along with the first American gig by the Police. It was a shithole, which added to the appeal I guess. That's why there wasn't a big fuss when it closed down.

On this day in 1972 Creedence Clearwater Revival officially split up after in fighting amongst the band over creativity. John Fogarty was the songwriter during their heyday, but decided to allow the other members of the band their chance at singing and writing songs for albums. Yeah, you don't hear much of those particular songs, do you? Fogarty then got in a fight with the record label over his song rights. When the rest of the band inexplicably sided with the label Fogarty cut them out of his life, including his brother Tom, who he didn't even forgive when he was on his death bed.  Now that's rock and/or roll!

Friday, October 14, 2011

You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage?

October 14th
On this day in 2003 during the 8th inning of game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the (my)Florida Marlins a foul ball was hit by Luis Castillo of the Marlins. The ball was hit towards the stands as the Cubs left fielder Moises Alou got a read on the ball. A fan named Steve Bartman, along with everyone else in his row, reached out to grab the souvenir, thus interfering with the play. The Cubs were up 3-0 in the game and lead the series 3 games to 2. The Marlins would go on to rally in that inning and score 8 runs and win the game. Barman would go on to villain status in Chicago. But let's get one thing clear: IT WAS A FOUL BALL! All 8 runs were not scored on that play. There was only one out in the inning, so even had Alou caught the ball the inning would have still gone on. And there was a game 7 ahead for the Cubs to win also, but  nope, they choked, plain and simple. Blame the dork in the headphones all you want, he didn't give up 8 runs in an inning.

On this day in 1947 Captain Chuck Yeager became the first person to reach the speed of sound, or mach 1. His jet plane was brought up to 25,000 feet by a B-29, and when his plane was let go he turned on his rockets and was sent into the history books. The sound barrier is past when an object achieves speeds faster than sound travels, roughly 662 miles an hour. When this happens a "sonic boom" occurs. Yeager, being the first person to hear this, was puzzled by the loud noise when it happened.

On this day in 1912 former president Theodore Roosevelt was shot while campaigning for a third term as president in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Roosevelt left the White House in 1908 feeling confident that his policies would continue under his close friend, William Taft. But he soon grew disillusioned and wanted to become president again. This was enough to inspire John Schrank to kill him. He fired his pistol at Roosevelt, aiming for his heart, but a glasses case and the speech he was about to deliver absorbed the impact of the bullet. Roosevelt gave his speech on schedule that night with the bullet still lodged in his chest. This makes one thing clear, JFK was a pussy.

On this day in 1994 Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction made its debut. Famous for the dialogue in his films, the film has been one of the most influential in the past 20 years. I confess that I've never seen it all the way through, but I do enjoy quoting it from time to time. It has achieved an iconic standing with most critics and fans alike, and Tarantino has rode that gravy train for years. Make sure to check out Steve Buscemi dressed as Buddy Holly at Jackrabbit Slims.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I can't wait for season 2 of the Chilean miners!

October 13th
On this day in 54 A.D. Nero became emperor of Rome. Known to history as one of the most extravagant Roman leaders, Nero was said to have started the Great Roman fire in order to clear space for his Domus Aurea, a lavish villa build where many rich Romans had lived. History says he played a fiddle while Rome burned, hundreds of years before the fiddle was invented. Now that's a great emperor! More likely he played the lute, or that harp looking thingy. Nero was the last emperor to have a dynastic link to Julius Casar. Although many contemporary sources paint Nero in a bad light, he undeniably helped the empire expand and did bring an era of stability to the throne.

On this day last year the gripping reality television series "The Chilean Miners" came to a close. The ten week miniseries showed the ups and downs of 33 men living underground in a collapsed mine. In the first episode the roof of the mine suddenly gave way and the men were able to save themselves by hiding in an emergency shelter. In the ensuing episodes rescue workers drilled holes down to the trapped miners and sent down food and water. The drama wasn't over for one miner when he was able to reach the surface, he was greeted by cries from not only his wife, but his mistress as well! Oh man, that was a good show!

On this day in 1962 the remnants of tropical cyclone Freda became one of the most powerful and damaging storms in United States history when it devastated much of the Pacific Northwest. Known as the "Columbus
Day Storm", it caused mass flooding and heavy wind damage as gusts were reported to be as high as 179 mph, and sustained winds were category 3 hurricane levels. It made landfall on the night of October 12th and continued through the next 12 hours, killing 46 people.