Monday, December 31, 2007

Rick Nelson died today – 22 years ago

U.S. singer Eric Hilliard "Ricky" Nelson was born on May 8, 1940 in Teaneck, New Jersey. He said, “You can't please everyone so you gotta please yourself." [Amen!]... Mr. Nelson died in 1985 in a plane crash in De Kalb, Texas.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Artie Shaw died today – 3 years ago

U.S. bandleader Artie Shaw was born as Arthur Jacob Arshawsky on May 23, 1910 in New York City, New York. He was married to Jane Cairns, Margaret Allen, Lana Turner, Betty Kern, Ava Gardner, Kathleen Winsor, Doris Dowling, and Evelyn Keyes. (Oh, my!) Enjoy his “Begin the Beguine” here. He said, “Shoot for the moon - if you miss you'll end up in the stars." [Or, in the path of a comet or meteor.]... Mr. Shaw died in 2004 in Thousand Oaks, California.

Richard Rodgers died today – 28 years ago

U.S. composer Richard Charles Rodgers was born on June 28, 1902 in New York City, New York. He said, “What's wrong with sweetness and light? It's been around quite awhile." [Amen!]... Mr. Rodgers died in 1979 in New York City, New York.

Alfred North Whitehead died today – 60 years ago

English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead was born on February 15, 1861 in Ramsgate, Kent, England. He said, “Knowledge keeps no better than fish." [Does that mean to use it, not just to store it?]... Mr. Whitehead died in 1947 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bob Monkhouse died today – 4 years ago

English comic Robert Allen Monkhouse was born on June 1, 1928 in Beckenham, Kent, England. He said, “The last time I was in Spain I got through six Jeffrey Archer novels. I must remember to take enough toilet paper next time." [Oh, my! Don’t tell Jeffrey.]... Mr. Monkhouse died in 2003 in Eggington, Bedfordshire, England.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Susan Sontag died today – 3 years ago

U.S. writer Susan Sontag was born as Susan Rosenblatt on January 16, 1933 in New York City, New York. She said, “Societies need to have one illness which becomes identified with evil, and attaches blame to its victims." [Amen!]... Ms. Sontag died in 2004 in New York City, New York.

Theodore Dreiser died today – 62 years ago

U.S. writer Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser was born on August 27, 1871 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He said, “Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast, in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason." [You have a mind. So use it.]... Mr. Dreiser died in 1945 in Hollywood, California.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Amy Vanderbilt died today – 33 years ago

U.S. etiquettist Amy Vanderbilt was born on July 22, 1908 in New York City, New York. She said, “Good manners have much to do with the emotions. To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them." [Sing 'em, if you must.]... Ms. Vanderbilt died in 1974 in New York City, New York.

Lester Bowles Pearson died today – 35 years ago

Canadian Prime Minister (14th, 1963-1968) Lester Bowles Pearson was born on April 23, 1897 in Newtonbrook, Ontario. He said, “The grim fact is that we prepare for war like precocious giants, and for peace like retarded pygmies." [Amen!]... Mr. Pearson died in 1972 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Charles Lamb died today – 173 years ago

English writer Charles Lamb was born on February 10, 1775 in Inner Temple, London, England. He said, “The most common error made in matters of appearance is the belief that one should disdain the superficial and let the true beauty of one's soul shine through. If there are places on your body where this is a possibility, you are not attractive - you are leaking." [Oh, good grief! And I thought I had it covered with a good anti-leaky anti-perspirant.]... Mr. Lamb died in 1834 in Edmonton, London, England.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

CNN’s Allan Chernoff needs math lesson.

This morning CNN’s Allan Chernoff reported about how Harvard is restructuring its tuition and fees for schooling. For those making $60,000 to $180,000 per year, the new fee will be 10% of the family's income. That's real nice. But the blooper came when Mr. Chernoff said that Harvard's new fees will “cost the school 22 million dollars a year. That is not even 2/3 of one percent of Harvard’s endowment” of $35 billion.

Hello! That's not even 2/3 of 1/10 of one percent of it. Figure it out:

1 percent of $35,000,000,000 is $350,000,000. That's 350 million dollars.

1/10 of that is 35 million dollars.

$22 million is less than 2/3 of that.

Maybe we should overlook it. After all, CNN is "America's most trusted" blah, blah, blah. And then there's all those billions and billions of dollars wasted - I mean, spent in Iraq, etc.

But according to CNN,"Chernoff ... is a career advisor for Brown University students. He was a former board member and secretary of the New York Financial Writers Association... Chernoff earned a bachelor of arts degree from Brown University." (Maybe he skipped the math classes.)

We need much better... Hey, CNN, you want to hire me to proofread?

Update (Jan. 1, 2008): Steven Roy Goodman wrote in "The real story on Harvard's generosity" that Harvard could have spent a LOT more money. Check it out.

Gerald Ford died today – 1 year ago

U.S. President (38th, 1974-1977) Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. was born as Leslie Lynch King, Jr. on July 14, 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska. He said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." [So watch it.]... Mr. Ford died in 2006 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Jason Robards died today – 7 years ago

U.S. actor Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was born on July 26, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois. He said, “All I know is, I don't do a lot of analysis. I know those words have to move me. I rely on the author. I don't want actors reasoning with me about 'motivation' and all that bull. All I want 'em to do is learn the goddamn lines and don't bump into each other." [Tell ‘em.]... Mr. Robards died in 2000 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Curtis Mayfield died today – 8 years ago

U.S. singer Curtis Mayfield was born on June 3, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. He said, “Maybe the words that I say is just another way to pray." [Maybe... May-be!]... Mr. Mayfield died in 1999 in Roswell, Georgia.

Elsa Lanchester died today – 21 years ago

Actress Elsa Lanchester was born as Elsa Sullivan Lanchester on October 28, 1902 in Lewisham, London, England. She said, “I thought she was a Method Actress. Afterwards somebody informed me that she was merely a manic-depressive.” [Ha. Ha. Ha!]... Ms. Lanchester died in 1986 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California.

Jack Benny died today – 33 years ago

U.S. comic Jack Benny was born as Benjamin Kubelsky on February 14, 1894 in Chicago, Illinois. He said, “Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." [Who cares how many times the earth’s revolved around the sun? That’s its problem.]... Mr. Benny died in 1974 in Beverly Hills, California.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

James Brown died today – 1 year ago

U.S. singer James Joseph Brown was born on May 3, 1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina. Watch him with Pavarotti here. He said, “Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown; you know what I'm saying? You hear all the rappers, 90 percent of their music is me." [It’s all me, me, me!]... Mr. Brown died in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dean Martin died today – 12 years ago

U.S. singer and actor Dean Martin was born as Dino Paul Crocetti on June 7, 1917 in Steubenville, Ohio. He said, “I feel sorry for people who don't drink. They wake up in the morning and that's the best they're going to feel all day." [Not necessarily.]... Mr. Martin died in 1995 in Beverly Hills, California.

Joan Blondell died today – 28 years ago

U.S. actress Rose Joan Blondell was born on August 30, 1906 in New York City, New York. She said, “There's a very fine line between underacting and not acting at all. And not acting is what a lot of actors are guilty of. It amazes me how some of these little numbers with dreamy looks and a dead pan are getting away with it. I'd hate to see them on stage with a dog act.” [Who'd be looking at the dogs?]... Ms. Blondell died in 1979 in Santa Monica, California.

Charlie Chaplin died today – 30 years ago

English comic Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr. was born on April 16, 1889 in Walworth, London, England. He said, “Life could be wonderful if people would leave you alone." [Amen!]... Mr. Chaplin died in 1977 in Vevey, Switzerland.

W.C. Fields died today – 61 years ago

U.S. comic actor W.C. Fields was born as William Claude Dukenfield on January 29, 1880 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He said, “You can't trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it." [Does a crooked stick look straight?]... Mr. Fields died in 1946 in Pasadena, California.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Norman Vincent Peale died today – 14 years ago

U.S. author Norman Vincent Peale was born on May 31, 1898 in Bowersville, Ohio. He said, “Resentment or grudges do no harm to the person against whom you hold these feelings but every day and every night of your life, they are eating at you.” [But... But...]... Mr. Peale died in 1993 in Pawling, New York.

Louis Aragon died today – 25 years ago

French poet and novelist Louis Aragon was born on October 3, 1897 in Paris, France. He said, “I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people who know the rules of grammar and of logic, and who will seek beneath the footsteps of my commas the lice of my thought in the head of my style." [Oh, don’t be so hard on yourself.]... Mr. Aragon died in 1982 in Paris, France.

John Muir died today – 93 years ago

Scottish naturalist John Muir was born on April 21, 1838 in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland. He said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." [Oh, please! In that case, wouldn't it fall apart every time I swatted a mosquito?]... Mr. Muir died in 1914 in Los Angeles, California.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Billy Barty died today – 7 years ago

U.S. actor Billy Barty was born as William John Bertanzetti on October 25, 1924 in Millsboro, Pennsylvania. Check him out here. He said, “The name of my condition is Cartilage Hair Hypoplasia, but you can just call me Billy." [Whew! Thanks.]... Mr. Barty died in 2000 in Glendale, California.

Victor Borge died today – 7 years ago

Danish pianist and entertainer Victor Borge was born as Børge Rosenbaum on January 3, 1909 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Watch him play Liszt´s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 here. He said, “Santa Claus has the right idea: visit people once a year.” [Leave ‘em wanting more.]... Mr. Borge died in 2000 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I do very nearly everything - figuratively speaking.

I eat dinner with Mitt Romney... in the figurative sense.

I run and ski and horseback ride and waterski with Mitt Romney... in the figurative sense.

I personally consult with and advise Mitt Romney... in the figurative sense.

If Mitt Romney is the Republican Presidential nominee for the November 2008 election, I will be his Vice-Presidential running mate... in the figurative sense.

If Mitt Romney is elected President by the Electoral College, I will BE the Vice-President... in the figurative sense.

I... Well, if Mitt Romney can say his father "marched" with Dr. Martin Luther King, in a figurative sense (as the Boston Globe reported yesterday), then I can say I did (or will do) these things... in a figurative sense, can't I?

Texas TAKS Replaced?

It's all over the internet: like here and here and here. So here it is again:

Texas State Public Education Department cannot seem to
hang on to a statewide test for more than 5 years. School
districts state-wide have used the tests known as TABS,
TEAMS, TAAS, and now TAKS.

Therefore, San Antonio school districts have adopted a test that
better fits the public education in their city. The new instrument
will be the Texas Assessment of Cognitive Operations (TACO).
It will have a remedial version (Soft TACO), a regular version
(Hard TACO), and an advanced version with many more pages
(the Gordita). It will be graded on the standard bell curve (the
TACO Bell).

Districts receiving the lowest scores will be put on probation
with a Basic Educational Appraisal-Not Satisfactory (BEANS).
A second low rating earns the dreaded supplemental Remediation
Factor for Individualized Education Deficits (REFRIED BEANS).


Butterfly McQueen died today – 12 years ago

U.S. actress Butterfly McQueen was born as Thelma McQueen on January 7, 1911 in Tampa, Florida. She said, “As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion." [Oh, my!]... Ms. McQueen died in 1995 in Augusta, Georgia.

Samuel Beckett died today – 18 years ago

Irish writer Samuel Barclay Beckett was born on April 13, 1906 in Dublin, Ireland. He said, “All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead." [What!?]... Mr. Beckett died in 1989 in Paris, France.

Beatrix Potter died today – 64 years ago

English writer Helen Beatrix Potter was born on July 28, 1866 in Kensington, London, England. She said, “All outward forms of religion are almost useless, and are the causes of endless strife. . . . Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest." [Hmmm.]... Ms. Potter died in 1943 in Near Sawrey, England.

Ma Rainey died today – 68 years ago

U.S. singer Ma Rainey was born as Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett on April 26, 1886 in Columbus, Georgia. She said, “They hear it [the blues] come out, but they don't know how it got there. They don't understand that's life's way of talking. You don't sing to feel better. You sing 'cause that's a way of understanding life.” [Yep!]... Ms. Rainey died in 1939 in Columbus, Georgia.

Dwight L. Moody died today – 108 years ago

U.S. evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody was born on February 5, 1837 in Northfield, Massachusetts. He said, “Character is what you are in the dark." [When nobody’s lookin’.]... Mr. Moody died in 1899 in Northfield, Massachusetts.

George Eliot died today – 127 years ago

English novelist George Eliot was born as Mary Ann (Marian) Evans on November 22, 1819 near Nuneaton, England. She said, “Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact." [Silence may not be golden, but many times it’s above silver.]... Ms. Eliot died in 1880 in Chelsea, London, England.

Friday, December 21, 2007

F. Scott Fitzgerald died today – 67 years ago

U.S. author Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He said, “Switzerland is a country where very few things begin, but many things end." [Poor Switzerland... Yeah, right.]... Mr. Fitzgerald died in 1940 in Hollywood, California.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Carl Sagan died today – 11 years ago

U.S. scientist and writer Carl Edward Sagan was born on November 9, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He said, “We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces." [Wow!]... Mr. Sagan died in 1996 in Seattle, Washington.

Artur Rubenstein died today – 25 years ago

Polish-Jewish-American pianist Artur Rubenstein was born on January 28, 1887 in Łódź, Congress Poland. He said, “Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don't set any condition.” [Was he saying to just experience it?]... Mr. Rubenstein died in 1982 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Bobby Darin died today – 34 years ago

U.S. singer Bobby Darin was born as Walden Robert "Bobby" Cassotto on May 14, 1936 in the Bronx, New York City, New York. Check out Bobby singing “Beyond the Sea” here. He said, “It isn't true that you live only once. You only die once. You live lots of times, if you know how." [Good one.]... Mr. Darin died in 1973 in Los Angeles, California.

John Steinbeck died today – 39 years ago

U.S. writer John Ernst Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas Valley, California. He said, “Give a critic an inch, he'll write a play." [But he won’t like it.]... Mr. Steinbeck died in 1968 in New York City, New York.

Moss Hart died today – 46 years ago

U.S. writer Moss Hart was born on October 24, 1904 in the Bronx, New York City, New York. He said, “All the mistakes I ever made were when I wanted to say 'No' and said 'Yes'." [Have to think about that one.]... Mr. Hart died in 1961 in Palm Springs, California.

Elsa Einstein died today – 71 years ago

Elsa Einstein, wife of Albert Einstein, was born on January 18, 1876 in Hechingen, Germany. She said, “No, I don't understand my husband's theory of relativity, but I know my husband, and I know he can be trusted." [Well, that does it for me... not.]... Mrs. Einstein died in 1936 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Marcello Mastroianni died today – 11 years ago

Italian actor Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni was born on September 26 (or 28), 1924 in Fontana Liri, Italy. He said, “Theater actors like to change character roles. They don't like to always do the same thing." [They’re only human!]... Mr. Mastroianni died in 1996 in Paris, France.

Emily Brontë died today – 159 years ago

English writer Emily Jane Brontë was born on July 13, 1818 in Thornton, Yorkshire, England. She said, “Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves." [That’s true of FALSE pride, otherwise known as hubris.]... Ms. Bronte died in 1848 in Haworth, Yorkshire, England.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chris Farley died today – 10 years ago

U.S. comic Christopher Crosby Farley was born on February 15, 1964 in Madison, Wisconsin. He said, “Basically, I only play one character; I just play him at different volumes." [Watch him and believe.]... Mr. Farley died in 1997 in Chicago, Illinois.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lord Kelvin died today – 100 years ago

Irish scientist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin was born on June 26, 1824 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He said, “In science there is only physics; all the rest is stamp collecting." [So said the physicist.]... Mr. Kelvin died in 1907 in Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dan Fogelberg died today

U.S. singer and songwriter Dan Fogelberg was born on August 13, 1951 in Peoria, Illinois. He said, "I always try to give my songs as gifts." [Right on!]... Mr. Fogelberg died in 2007 in Maine.

Colonel Harlan Sanders died today – 27 years ago

U.S. restaurateur Colonel Harlan David Sanders was born on September 9, 1890 in Henryville, Indiana. He said, “Feed the poor and get rich or feed the rich and get poor.” [I get it.]... Mr. Sanders died in 1980 in Louisville, Kentucky.

W. Somerset Maugham died today – 42 years ago

Author William Somerset Maugham was born on January 25, 1874 in Paris, France. He said, “Considering how foolishly people act and how pleasantly they prattle, perhaps it would be better for the world if they talked more and did less." [Didn't he tell me to keep on blogging?]... Mr. Maugham died in 1965 in Nice, France.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

William Proxmire died today – 2 years ago

U.S. Senator (Wisconsin, 1957-1989) Edward William Proxmire was born on November 11, 1915 in Lake Forest, Illinois. He said, “Power always has to be kept in check; power exercised in secret, especially under the cloak of national security, is doubly dangerous." [Wow!]... Mr. Proxmire died in 2005 in Sykesville, Maryland.

Walt Disney died today – 41 years ago

U.S. filmmaker Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. He said, “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique." [Yep!]... Mr. Disney died in 1966 in Burbank, California.

Charles Laughton died today – 45 years ago

U.S. actor Charles Laughton was born on July 1, 1899 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. He said, “I have a face like the behind of an elephant." [Well, at least it looks like something.]... Mr. Laughton died in 1962 in Hollywood, California.

Fats Waller died today – 64 years ago

U.S. pianist and singer Fats Waller was born as Thomas Wright Waller on May 21, 1904 in Waverley, New York. He said, “If you don't know what it is, don't mess with it." [Sometimes, even if you do know.]... Mr. Waller died in 1943 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Jeanne Crain died today – 4 years ago

U.S. actress Jeanne Crain was born on May 25, 1925 in Barstow, California. She said, “I grew up without knowing anything about prejudice; my mother saw to that. If parents would keep prejudice and intolerance to themselves for one generation, we would have a different world." [For a while, until new ones started.]... Ms. Crain died in 2003 in Santa Barbara, California.

Myrna Loy died today – 14 years ago

U.S. actress Myrna Loy was born as Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905 in Radersburg, Montana. She said, “I think that carrying on a life that is meant to be private in public is a breach of taste, common sense, and mental hygiene." [But it sells so many magazines.]... Ms. Loy died in 1993 in New York City, New York.

Walter Lippman died today – 33 years ago

U.S. writer Walter Lippman was born on September 23, 1889 in New York City, New York. He said, “There is nothing so good for the human soul as the discovery that there are ancient and flourishing civilized societies which have somehow managed to exist for many centuries and are still in being though they have had no help from the traveler in solving their problems." [You mean we don’t need to interfere everywhere?]... Mr. Lippman died in 1974 in New York City, New York.

Louis Agassiz died today – 134 years ago

Swiss-U.S. naturalist Louis Agassiz was born on May 28, 1807 in Môtier (now part of Haut-Vully), Switzerland. He said, “Every scientific truth goes through three states: first, people say it conflicts with the Bible; next, they say it has been discovered before; lastly, they say they always believed it." [And next they forget it.]... Mr. Agassiz died in 1873 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

George Washington died today – 208 years ago

U.S. President (1st) George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia, British America. He said, “My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty . . . it is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein." [Guess where that best applies!]... Mr. Washington died in 1799 in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wassily Kandinsky died today – 63 years ago

Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky was born on December 16, 1866 in Moscow. He said, “Everything starts from a dot." [And a thought preceded that dot.]... Mr. Kandinsky died in 1944 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

When was the last time you lost your temper?

Well, when was it? We absolutely need to know... At least Katie Couric thinks we do.

This will be another one of her moronic questions to the ten - no, there's only ten, because Katie says so - candidates for the Republican and Democratic primaries next year, some in January, after the hangovers wear off... and new ones begin.

Well, got news for ya', Katie: a lot of us people don't care what those ho-hums think. Their ideas are tired and broken... many times over. And if you want to remain the CBS evening news hostess, keep doing the fluff. But if you want to be a real newslady, break free from whoever is writing those scripted questions and ask some real ones... to ALL of the candidates.

P.S. I won't hold my breath until THAT one happens.

Vance Packard died today – 11 years ago

U.S. writer Vance Packard was born on May 22, 1914 in Granville Summit, Pennsylvania. He said, “Rock and roll might be summed up as monotony tinged with hysteria." [All music is somewhat repetitious.]... Mr. Packard died in 1996 in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Tallulah Bankhead died today – 39 years ago

U.S. actress Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was born on January 31, 1902 in Huntsville, Alabama. She said, “They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum." [High gloss or low gloss?]... Ms. Bankhead died in 1968 in New York City, New York.

Robert Browning died today – 118 years ago

English writer Robert Browning was born on May 7, 1812 in Camberwell, England. He said, “Ambition is not what man does... but what man would do." [”Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda.”]... Mr. Browning died in 1889 in Venice, Italy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Willie Rushton died today – 11 years ago

English comedian William George Rushton was born on August 18, 1937 in Chelsea, London, England. He said, “German is the most extravagantly ugly language—it sounds like someone using a sick bag on a 747." [Have you heard it lately?]... Mr. Rushton died in 1996 in Kensington, London, England.

Alma Schindler Mahler Kokoschka Gropius Werfel died today – 43 years ago

Austrian writer Alma Schindler Mahler Kokoschka Gropius Werfel was born on August 31, 1879 in Vienna, Austria. She had been married to Gustav Mahler, Walter Gropius, and Franz Werfel. Ms. Werfel died in 1964 in New York City, New York.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Richard Pryor died today – 2 years ago

U.S. comedian and actor Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III was born on December 1, 1940 in Peoria, Illinois. He said, “Everyone carries around his own monsters." [Yup.]... Mr. Pryor died in 2005 in Encino, Los Angeles, California.

Eugene McCarthy died today – 2 years ago

U.S. senator (Minnesota, 1959-1971) Eugene Joseph McCarthy was born on March 29, 1916 in Watkins, Minnesota. He said, “The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty." [Think about it.]... Mr. McCarthy died in 2005 in Washington, DC.

Ed Wood died today – 29 years ago

U.S. director and writer Edward Davis Wood, Jr. was born on October 10, 1924 in Poughkeepsie, New York. He said, “My girlfriend still doesn't know why her sweaters are always stretched out." [Perhaps it’s from the wear-er.]... Mr. Wood died in 1978 in North Hollywood, California.

Alfred Nobel died today – 111 years ago

Swedish chemist Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born on October 21, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden. He said, “Second to agriculture, humbug is the biggest industry of our age." [Hmmmm.]... Mr. Nobel died in 1896 in San Remo, Italy.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Louella Parsons died today – 35 years ago

U.S. gossipist Louella Parsons was born on August 6, 1881 in Freeport, Illinois. She said, “@$#*%! @$#*%! @$#*%! @$#*%! @$#*%!" [She said a lot of things but that wasn’t one of them.]... Ms. Parsons died in 1972 in Santa Monica, California.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Slim Pickens died today – 24 years ago

U.S. actor Slim Pickens was born as Louis Burton Lindley Jr. on June 29, 1919 in Kingsburg, California. He said, “After 'Dr. Strangelove,' the roles, the dressing rooms, and the checks all started gettin' bigger." [You gotta start somewhere.]... Mr. Pickens died in 1983 in Modesto, California.

Marty Robbins died today – 25 years ago

U.S. singer and songwriter Marty Robbins was born as Martin David Robinson on September 26, 1925 in Glendale, Arizona. He said, “I have so much fun on stage that I should have to pay to get in." [Well, go ahead and do it.]... Mr. Robbins died in 1982 in Nashville, Tennessee.

John Lennon died today – 27 years ago

English singer and songwriter John Winston Lennon was born on October 9, 1940 in Liverpool, England. He said, “Life is what happens when you are making other plans." [Ain’t that the truth.]... Mr. Lennon was murdered in 1980 in New York City, New York.

Golda Meir died today – 29 years ago

Russian Israeli leader Golda Meir was born as Golda Mabovitz on May 3, 1898 in Kiev, Russia. She said, “Moses dragged us for 40 years through the desert to bring us to the one place in the Middle East where there was no oil." [You gotta live somewhere.]... Ms. Meir died in 1978 in Jerusalem, Israel.

Herbert Spencer died today – 104 years ago

English philosopher Herbert Spencer was born on April 27, 1820 in Derby, England. He said, “A jury is a group of twelve people of average ignorance." [At least at the beginning.]... Mr. Spencer died in 1903 in Brighton, England.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mormonist Mitt and Bits

According to The Boston Globe link that I received this morning, Mitt “Romney vows a balance on religion.” Well, how does one do this balance... exactly? Does one pick one’s own religious precept (commandment) this time, and then pick someone else’s precept – from whatever source - the next? What if they are contradictory? Which one trumps the other? ... It’s all very puzzling.

If you haven’t already researched what Mormonism entails, try “The Ten Commandments, Mormon-Style”. Or try “The Ten Commandments in Mormonism”. (Check out “6 Thou shalt not kill” with the author’s “few exceptions: capital punishment, warfare against an enemy which threatens our liberty or families, and the like.” ... What does “threaten” mean? What exactly is “the like”?)

You might also want to read “Distinctive Beliefs of the Mormon Church” or “All About Mormons”. If you’re a TV-person, check out “All About Mormons: Part 8: Mormon Familes and Temples”.

Joan Bennett died today – 17 years ago

U.S. actress Joan Bennett was born on February 27, 1910 in Palisades, New Jersey. She said, “I feel positively like a Beatle." [Well, some days I feel like an ant: busy, busy, busy.]... Ms. Bennett died in 1990 in Scarsdale, New York.

Robert Graves died today – 22 years ago

English writer Robert von Ranke Graves was born on July 24, 1895 in Wimbledon, England. He said, “If there's no money in poetry, neither is there poetry in money." [But it can buy so much of it.]... Mr. Graves died in 1985 in Majorca.

Thornton Wilder died today – 32 years ago

U.S. playwright and novelist Thornton Niven Wilder was born on April 17, 1897 in Madison, Wisconsin. He said, “My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy the ice cream while it's on your plate." [May I have many flavors.]... Mr. Wilder died in 1975 in Hamden, Connecticut.

Cicero died today – 2,050 years ago

Roman writer Marcus Tullius Cicero was born on January 3, 106 BC in Arpinum, Italy. He said, “Advice in old age is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey's end." [I’ll take it nonetheless.]... Mr. Cicero died in 43 BC in Formia, Italy.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Roy Orbison died today – 19 years ago

U.S. singer Roy Orbison was born on April 23, 1936 in Vernon, Texas. He said, “I may be a living legend, but that sure don't help when I've got to change a flat tire." [I guess he could have waited until a fan showed up.]... Mr. Orbison died in 1988 in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Jefferson Davis died today – 118 years ago

U.S. Confederate President Jefferson Finis Davis was born on June 3, 1808 in Fairview, Kentucky. He said, “Neither current events nor history show that the majority rule, or ever did rule." [Well, of course. They just pick the rulers,... I mean representatives.]... Mr. Davis died in 1889 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fond Memories of First Personal Computers

In 1981 the Commodore VIC-20 was sold for $299. It had 5KB of RAM. It used a cassette tape drive to store/load programs. It was discontinued in 1985. If you want to watch a commercial for it by Captain Kirk - I mean, William Shatner - then click here.

In 1982 the Commodore 64 was sold for $595. It had 64KB of RAM (hence the name). Wow! 64K... Well, it was a big deal, in its day... It was sadly discontinued in 1993.

Hans Richter died today – 91 years ago

Austrian-Hungarian conductor Hans Richter was born as János Richter on April 4, 1843 in Raab (today Győr) Hungary. He said, “The hardest thing in the world is to start an orchestra, and the next hardest, to stop it." [Ha! Ha! Ha!... Oh! He was serious.]... Mr. Richter died in 1916 in Bayreuth, Germany.

Claude Monet died today – 81 years ago

French painter Claude Oscar Monet was born on November 14, 1840 in Paris, France. He said, “For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value." [It works for some people, too.]... Mr. Monet died in 1926 in Giverny, France.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died today – 216 years ago

Austrian composer Wolf gang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. He said, “Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of causing disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music." [OK.]... Mr. Mozart died in 1791 in Vienna, Austria.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Frank Zappa died today – 14 years ago

U.S. musician and composer Frank Vincent Zappa was born on December 21, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland. He said, “You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." [I couldn't have said it better... Oh, wait! An elephant with indigestion comes to mind.]... Mr. Zappa died in 1993 in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, California.

Hannah Arendt died today – 32 years ago

German political scientist Hannah Arendt was born on October 14, 1906 in Hanover (Linden), Germany. She said, “There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous." [But we need to keep doing it. In fact, we need much more of it.]... Ms. Arendt died in 1975 in New York.

Maurice Barrès died today – 84 years ago

French writer Maurice Barrès was born on September 22, 1862 in Charmes-sur-Moselle, Vosges, France. He said, “The politician is an acrobat; he keeps his balance by doing the opposite of what he says." [The word “lie” is such an ugly word, isn’t it?]... Mr. Barres died in 1923 in Paris, France.

Thomas Hobbes died today – 328 years ago

English philosopher Thomas Hobbes was born on April 5, 1588 in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England. He said, “Leisure is the mother of Philosophy." [It takes time to think up some nonsense.]... Mr. Hobbes died in 1679 in Derbyshire, England.

Omar Khayyam died today – 876 years ago

Persian writer and mathematician Omar Khayyam was born as Ghiyath al-Din Abu al-Fath 'Umar ibn Ibrahim al-Nisaburi al-Khayyami on May 18, 1048 in Nishapur, Iran. He said, “A hair divides what is false and true." [That much, huh?]... Mr. Khayyam died in 1131 in Nishapur, Iran.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Madeline Kahn died today – 8 years ago

U.S. actress Madeline Kahn was born as Madeline Gail Wolfson on September 29, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts. She said, “Laughter is a strange response. I mean, what is it? It's a spasm of some kind! Is that always joy? It's very often discomfort. It's some sore of explosive reaction." [But it feels so gooood.]... Ms. Kahn died in 1999 in New York City, New York.

Mary Baker Eddy died today – 97 years ago

Founder of “Christian Science” Mary Baker Eddy was born as Mary Morse Baker on July 16, 1821 in Bow, New Hampshire. She said, “Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind." [Wish it was that easy, ... but then, on the other hand, it’s not always that easy to have “positive” beliefs.]... Ms. Eddy died in 1910 in Newton, Massachusetts.

Robert Louis Stevenson died today – 113 years ago

Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson was born on November 13, 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He said, “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign." [So keep traveling.]... Mr. Stevenson died in 1894 in Vailima, Samoa.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Joey Adams died today – 8 years ago

U.S. comedian Joey Adams was born as Joseph Abramowitz on January 6, 1911 in Brooklyn, New York. He said, “The difference between playing the stock market and the horses is that one of the horses must win." [I’ll stick to playing the keyboard.]... Mr. Adams died in 1999 in New York City, New York.

Aaron Copland died today – 17 years ago

U.S. composer Aaron Copland was born on November 14, 1900 in Brooklyn, New York. He said, “A melody is not merely something you can hum." [But it helps.]... Mr. Copland died in 1990 in North Tarrytown (now Sleepy Hollow), New York.

Marquis de Sade died today – 193 years ago

French writer Marquis de Sade was born as Donatien Alphonse-François de Sade on June 2, 1740 in Paris, France. He said, “All universal moral principles are idle fancies." [No, they’re not!]... Mr. de Sade died in 1814 in Charenton, France.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

John B. S. Haldane died today – 43 years ago

Scottish scientist John Burdon Sanderson Haldane was born on November 5, 1892 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He said, “The wise man regulates his conduct by the theories both of religion and science. But he regards these theories not as statements of ultimate fact but as art-forms." [Interesting.]... Mr. Haldane died in 1964 in Bhubaneswar, India.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel died today - yes, today

U.S. motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel was born as Robert Craig Knievel, Jr. on October 17, 1938 in Butte, Montana. He said, "Unless we do things in this country to slow down our population, slow down our birth control, provide better water for people, provide power for people, we're gonna find out that the next wars are not going to be fought over diamonds, gold and political things." [Could it ever be about oil?]... Mr. Knievel died in 2007 in Clearwater, Florida.

Tiny Tim died today – 11 years ago

U.S. singer Tiny Tim was born as Herbert Buckingham Khaury on April 12, 1932 in New York City, New York. [Remember "Tiptoe Through the Tulips"? Of course, you do.] He said, “I remember calling up Variety and accusing the Beatles of stealing my look. The woman there said, 'Look, sir, let me tell you something. Their hair is like the Three Stooges, not yours!'" [And that’s not splitting hairs.]... Mr. Tim died in 1996 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Norman Cousins died today – 17 years ago

U.S. writer Norman Cousins was born on June 24, 1915 in Union City, New Jersey. He said, “No one really knows enough to be a pessimist." [Hmmmm.]... Mr. Cousins died in 1990 in Los Angeles, California.

Oscar Wilde died today – 107 years ago

Irish writer Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Ireland. He said, “There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating - people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing." [Well, I guess I know where that places me!]... Mr. Wilde died in 1900 in Paris, France.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ron Paul the Lesser?

In today's New York Times was an article entitled "Paging the Lesser of 8 Evils" by Gail Collins. I'm not sure who was the "lesser". Perhaps it could be determined by the number of times that a candidate's name was mentioned in the article. This is what I counted (with any variant thereof but not including the pronouns):

Rudy Giulani - 2
Mitt Romney - 8 (9 if you count "Mormon president")
John McCain - 5
Mke Huckabee - 7
Tom Tancredo - 1
Ron Paul - 1
Fred Thompson - 2
Duncan Hunter -1

Go figure.

George Harrison died today – 6 years ago

English musician, singer (“Beatles”), and songwriter George Harrison was born on February 24, 1943 in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. He said, “After all we did for Britain, selling that corduroy and making it swing, all we got was a bit of tin on a piece of leather." [Quit whining.]... Mr. Harrison died in 2001 in Beverly Hills, California.

Ralph Bellamy died today – 16 years ago

U.S. actor Ralph Bellamy was born on June 17, 1904 in Chicago, Illinois. He said, “One day in Hollywood I read a script in which the character was described as 'charming but dull - a typical Ralph Bellamy type'. I promptly headed for New York to find a part with guts." [Good move. I'm sure things were different there.]... Mr. Bellamy died in 1991 in Santa Monica, California.

Cary Grant died today – 21 years ago

U.S. actor Cary Grant was born on January 18, 1904 in Horfield, Bristol, England. He said, “My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can." [I’m so like Cary Grant.]... Mr. Grant died in 1986 in Davenport, Iowa.

Natalie Wood died today – 26 years ago

U.S. actress Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California. She said, “I've been terrified of the water, and yet it seems I'm forced to go into it on every movie that I make." [Hmmm. Check out where she died.]... Ms. Wood died in 1981 in Santa Catalina Island, California.

Giacomo Puccini died today – 83 years ago

Italian composer Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was born on December 22, 1858 in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy. He said, “Cold calculation, random spots of color, mathematically exact construction (clearly shown or concealed), drawing that is now silent and now strident . . . . Is this not form?” [I guess.]... Mr. Puccini died in 1924 in Brussels, Belgium.

Horace Greeley died today – 135 years ago

U.S. writer Horace Greeley was born on February 3, 1811 in Amherst, New Hampshire. He said, “I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample underfoot." [And don't forget it.]... Mr. Greeley died in 1872 in Pleasantville, New York.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rosalind Russell died today – 31 years ago

U.S. actress Rosalind Russell was born on June 4, 1907 in Waterbury, Connecticut. She said, “Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly." [You may not want to picture it.]... Ms. Russell died in 1976 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California.

Enrico Fermi died today – 53 years ago

Italian physicist Enrico Fermi was born on September 29, 1901 in Rome, Italy. He said, “If I could remember the names of all these particles, I'd be a botanist." [Excuses. Excuses.]... Mr. Fermi died in 1954 in Chicago, Illinois.

Washington Irving died today – 148 years ago

U.S. writer Washington Irving was born on April 3, 1783 in New York City, New York. He said, “A sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use." [’Practice makes perfect.’]... Mr. Irving died in 1859 in Sunnyside, New York.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Eugene O’Neill died today – 54 years ago

U.S. playwright Eugene Gladstone O’Neill was born on October 16, 1888 in New York City, New York. He said, “Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace." [Gotta have a dream.]... Mr. O’Neill died in 1953 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Quintus Horatius Flaccus Horace died today – 2015 years ago

Italian writer Quintus Horatius Flaccus Horace was born on December 8, 65BC in Venosa, Italy. He said, “Whatever your advice, make it brief." [That was even too long.]... Mr. Horace died in 8BC in Rome, Italy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ashley Montagu died today – 8 years ago

English anthropologist Ashley Montagu was born as Israel Ehrenberg on June 28, 1905 in London, England. He said, “The principal contributor to loneliness in this country is television. What happens is that the family 'gets together' alone." [Can't talk during the shows: you might miss some of the trivial dialogue.]... Mr. Montagu died in 1999 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Sojourner Truth died today – 124 years ago

U.S. abolitionist Sojourner Truth was born as Isabella Baumfree on November 18, 1797 in Swartekill, New York. She said, “If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it." [The trouble is, other people keep taking them away.]... Ms. Truth died in 1883 in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Flip Wilson died today – 9 years ago

U.S. comedian Clerow "Flip" Wilson was born on December 8, 1933 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He said, “The devil made me do it." [Godda blame it on someone.]... Mr. Wilson died in 1998 in Malibu, California.

Upton Sinclair died today – 39 years ago

U.S. writer Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. was born on September 20, 1878 in Baltimore, Maryland. He said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." [He who pays the writer...]... Mr. Sinclair died in 1968 in Bound Brook, New Jersey.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Luci wears Prada - Maybe Not

A large percentage – how large, I couldn’t decipher from Google searches - of the durable goods that we buy in the U.S. are made in China. Some of them - especially pet food, toothpaste, seafood, and toys - are dangerous. Now, according to this article, some European luxury goods are made there, too. What's next? Politicians?

Well, the "good" side of all of this is that it makes returning things-made-in-China a lot easier. If something doesn't work or it's too difficult to put together or you don't like the color or you simply don't want it anymore, just remind the store clerk of the fact that it came from China.

Dumpster Sumptuous

This morning CNN had a story about a young woman who retrieved food thrown away into dumpsters. It was said that she could afford to do otherwise, but she chose to do this to expose the amount of food discarded (and/or to be on television - CNN didn't say that). Of course, once again, CNN left out the most important part of the story: why is all of this food thrown into dirty dumpsters when there are hungry people? Well, the reasons are quite simple: the expiration dates have been exceeded and, ... the biggest one of all, … to avoid lawsuits... Think about it. If one person became ill – or even thought so – there would be a lawsuit for damages. So the “solution” is to throw it all away.

But is there a better solution? Well, it could be donated with signed statements of personal acknowledgement for the acceptance of risk. But who in his/her right mind would do this today? So the food becomes another victim of our litigious system… while hunger continues.

Freddy Mercury died today – 16 years ago

Tanzanian singer Freddy Mercury was born as Farrokh Bulsara on September 5, 1946 in Stone Town, Zanzibar. He said, “I have fun with my clothes onstage; it's not a concert you're seeing, it's a fashion show." [So that’s it.]... Mr. Mercury died in 1991 in Kensington, London, England.

Dodie Smith died today – 17 years ago

English writer Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith was born on May 3, 1896 in Whitefield, Greater Manchester, England. She wrote “101 Dalmations”. She said, “I have noticed that when things happen in one's imaginings, they never happen in one's life." [So quit imagining and start doing?]... Ms. Smith died in 1990 in Manchester, England.

Diego Rivera died today – 50 years ago

Mexican artist Diego Rivera was born as Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez (Wow!) on December 8, 1886 in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico. He said, “July 13, 1954 was the most tragic day of my life. I had lost my beloved Frida forever. To late now I realized that the most wonderful part of my life had been my love for Frida." [He ought to know... eventually.]... Mr. Rivera died in 1957 in Mexico, City, Mexico.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Louis Malle died today – 12 years ago

French film director Louis Malle was born on October 30, 1932 in Thumeries, Nord, France. He had been married to Candice Bergen (1980-1995). He said, “You must find the note, the correct key, for your story. If you find it, everything will work. If you do not, everything will stick out like elbows." [Or something.]... Mr. Malle died in 1995 in Beverly Hills, California.

Roald Dahl died today – 17 years ago

Welsh writer Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales. He wrote “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. He said, “Some children are spoiled and it is not their fault, it is their parents." [You think that they were left out on their own for too long?]... Mr. Dahl died in 1990 in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mary Kay Ash died today – 6 years ago

U.S. entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash was born as Mary Kathlyn Wagner on May 12, 1918 or 1915 (Hmmm.) in Hot Wells, Harris County, Texas. She said, “A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one." [What does that say about cosmetics?]... Ms. Ash died in 2001 in Dallas, Texas.

Mae West died today – 27 years ago

U.S. actress Mae West was born as Mary Jane West on August 17, 1893 in Brooklyn, New York. She said, “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted." [It’s that time of year.]... Ms. West died in 1980 in Hollywood, California.

John F. Kennedy died today – 44 years ago

U.S. President (35th) John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He said, “The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution." [But they'll keep trying anyway.]... Mr. Kennedy died in 1963 in Dallas, Texas.

C. S. Lewis died today – 44 years ago

Irish writer Clive Staples "Jack" Lewis was born on November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. He said, “Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite." [So, perpetually watch your immeasurable superlatives... Whoops!]... Mr. Lewis died in 1963 in Oxford, England.

Aldous Huxley died today – 44 years ago

English writer Aldous Leonard Huxley was born on July 26, 1894 in Surrey, England. He said, “The quality of moral behavior varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved." [Did he mean that more people dilute it?]... Mr. Huxley died in 1963 in Los Angeles, California.

Jack London died today – 91 years ago

U.S. writer Jack London was born on January 12, 1876 in San Francisco, California. He said, “I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet." [Talk about burn-out.]... Mr. London died in 1916 in Glen Ellen, California.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ellen Glasgow died today – 62 years ago

U.S. writer Ellen Glasgow was born on April 22, 1873 in Richmond, Virginia. She said, “A tragic irony of life is that we so often achieve success or financial independence after the chief reason for which we sought it has passed away." [What was that reason again?]... Ms. Glasgow died in 1945 in Richmond, Virginia.

Quentin Crisp died today – 8 years ago

Englishman Quentin Crisp was born as Denis Charles Pratt on December 25, 1908 in Sutton, Surrey, England. He said, “It's no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying, 'Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer.' By then, pigs will be your style." [Maybe you could teach ballet to the pigs... then be in a Disney feature.]... Mr. Crisp died in 1999 in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, England.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Robert Altman died today – 1 year ago

U.S. film director Robert Altman was born on February 20, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri. He said, “What's a cult? It just means not enough people to make a minority." [Since each of us is unique, is each of us a cult?]... Mr. Altman died in 2006 in Los Angeles, California.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Goldman Sachs - Sacking* from Both Sides?

* from the Latin “saccus” (look it up)

The New York Times released a story today about how “Goldman Sachs Rakes in Profit in Credit Crisis.” But did it come from just good decisions? Could at least some of it have come from what Daniel Schulman and James Ridgeway say was “playing both sides of the fence”? “Goldman Sachs simultaneously urges governments to privatize highways, advises them as they structure the deals, and buys a piece of the action.”

Could some of it also have come (as this article says) from receiving “approximately $1.6 billion in taxpayer subsidies (mostly through Liberty Bonds) from New York City and state taxpayers to finance the Firm's new headquarters near the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan in return for a commitment to keep at least 9000 employees and a major trading operation in Manhattan”?

Once again, let’s have ALL of the story, not just a part of it.

Christiana Onassis died today – 19 years ago

Christina Onassis, daughter of Aristotle Onassis, was born on December 11, 1950 in New York City, New York. She said, “Happiness is not based on money and the greatest proof of that is our family." [Oh, my!]... Ms. Onassis died in 1988 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fight Fraud with Fraud

I recently received the following from the UNITED NATION at [Yeah, right!]:


29 Lincoln's Inn Fields,
United Kingdom

Attn: Sir,


We hereby inform you about the investigation that we have put in place now, to fight against fraud in the world. This is to inform you that we have setup a software-network database that is monitoring every email that you receive and send out not you alone but the worldwide.

After our general meeting, we the junior executive of the UN have join hands together to secure your funds from the so-called Internet fraudsters which we have arrested so many of them. But before we can release the funds you have to provide us the documents within two days. UNITED NATION ANTI-FRAUD COMMISSION CLAIM CERTIFICATE (UNAFCCC).

Which we are going to present to the British and American government. This will backup the success of your secured funds. Once again this is to inform you that we have all your information saved in our network database here in our office.

Mind you claim is going to last for just three business days so get back to us ASAP.

Yours Faithfully

Mrs. Helen Barry
UN Anti Fraud Unit Commission Department

Wow! Check out that grammar. Certainly someone from the UN could do better than this... What will they think of next?

Cab Calloway died today – 13 years ago

U.S. bandleader and singer Cabel “Cab” Calloway III was born on December 25, 1907 in Rochester, New York. He said, “A movie and a stage show are two entirely different things. A picture, you can do anything you want. Change it, cut out a scene, put in a scene, take a scene out. They don't do that on stage." [Well, why not?]... Mr. Calloway died in 1994 in Hockessin, Delaware.

Man Ray died today – 31 years ago

U.S. artist and photographer Man Ray was born as Emmanuel Radnitzky on August 27, 1890 in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He said, “To me, a painter, if not the most useful, is the least harmful member of our society." [Did he see ALL paintings?]... Mr. Ray died in 1976 in Paris, France.

Niels Bohr died today – 45 years ago

Danish mathematician Niels Henrik David Bohr was born on October 7, 1885 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He said, “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real." [And why not?]... Mr. Bohr died in 1962 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Marcel Proust died today – 85 years ago

French writer Marcel Proust was born as Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust on July 10, 1871 in Auteuil, France. He said, “Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind." [If we were always happy, would we ever create anything?]... Mr. Proust died in 1922 in Paris, France.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Don Gibson died today – 4 years ago

U.S. songwriter Donald Eugene Gibson was born on April 3, 1928 in Shelby, North Carolina. He wrote "I Can't Stop Loving You". (Can you hear Ray Charles singing it?) He also wrote the song "Sweet Dreams". (Can you hear Patsy Cline singing it?) He said, “Simple is the only way I can write." [We don't need complexity all of the time... and much less than we think.]... Mr. Gibson died in 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Auguste Rodin died today – 90 years ago

French sculptor Auguste Rodin was born as François-Auguste-René Rodin on November 12, 1840 in Paris, France. He said, “To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature." [And don’t forget it.]... Mr. Rodin died in 1917 in Meudon, Île-de-France, France.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Milton Friedman died today – 1 year ago

U.S. economist Milton Friedman was born on July 31, 1912 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He said, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." [That long?]... Mr. Friedman died in 2006 in San Francisco, California.

William Holden died today – 26 years ago

U.S. actor William Holden was born on April 17, 1918 in O’Fallon, Illinois. He said, “Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn't want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer." [And the more face lifts you can have.]... Mr. Holden died in 1981 in Santa Monica, California.

Alan Watts died today – 34 years ago

English writer Alan Wilson Watts was born on January 6, 1915 in Chislehurst, Kent, England. He said, “How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god." [Perhaps it does.]... Mr. Watts died in 1973 in California.

Clark Gable died today – 47 years ago

U.S. actor Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio. He said, “I'm just a lucky slob from Ohio who happened to be in the right place at the right time." [Ya’ gotta be somewhere all of the time.]... Mr. Gable died in 1960 in Los Angeles, California.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Margaret Mead died today – 29 years ago

U.S. anthropologist Margaret Mead was born on December 16, 1901 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She said, “Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump: you have to get it right the first time." [Oh, yeah!]... Ms. Mead died in 1978 in New York City, New York.

Tyrone Power died today – 49 years ago

U.S. actor Tyrone Edmund Power, Jr. was born on May 5, 1914 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He said, “I've done an awful lot of stuff that's a monument to public patience." [What exactly were the names of those films?]... Mr. Power died in 1958 in Madrid, Spain.

Emile Durkheim died today – 90 years ago

French sociologist Emile Durkheim was born on April 15, 1858 in Épinal, France. He said, “Too cheerful a morality is a loose morality; it is appropriate only to decadent peoples and is found only among them." [What!?]... Mr. Durkheim died in 1917 in Paris, France.

Johannes Kepler died today – 377 years ago

German astronomer Johannes Kepler was born on December 27, 1571 in Weil der Stadt near Stuttgart, Germany. He said, “Nature uses as little as possible of anything." [Talk about efficiency.]... Mr. Kepler died in 1630 in Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dear Bob Schieffer

In response to Bob Schieffer's interview of Ron Paul on this Sunday's "Face the Nation" (Nov. 11, 2007), I just had to write the following:

Dear Bob Schieffer,

Shame on you for asking Ron Paul if he really thought he had a chance to be elected U.S. President. Would you say the same thing to a child who said she/he wanted to be President or a Congressperson or a doctor or an astronaut? You know the chances for most children for those occupations are almost nil, but I'll bet you wouldn't tell them that. You wouldn't want to discourage them from trying. So don't try to discourage Mr. Paul and the rest of his supporters either.

OK. It's out of my system... for now.

Booker T. Washington died today – 92 years ago

U.S. writer Booker Taliaferro Washington was born on April 5, 1856 in Hale’s Ford, Virginia. He said, “You can't hold a man down without staying down with him." [But they keep trying.]... Mr. Washington died in 1915 in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Georg Hegel died today – 176 years ago

German philosopher Georg William Friedrich Hegel was born on August 27, 1770 in Stuttgart, Germany. He said, “Governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deducted from it." [They are really just people, after all.]... Mr. Hegel died in 1831 in Berlin, Germany.

G. Wilhelm Leibniz died today – 291 years ago

German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born on July 1, 1646 in Leipzig, Electorate of Saxony. He said, “Music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting.” [Math in motion.]... Mr. Leibniz died in 1716 in Hanover, Germany.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Clementine Paddleford died today – 40 years ago

U.S. writer Clementine Paddleford was born on September 27, 1898 in Stockdale, Kansas. She said, “Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where a backbone ought to be." [Amen. Amen!]... Ms. Paddleford died in 1967 in New York City, New York.

Gioacchino Rossini died today – 139 years ago

Italian composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini was born on February 29, 1792 in Pesaro, Italy. He said, “Give me a laundry-list and I'll set it to music." [Let me get started on my grocery list.]... Mr. Rossini died in 1868 in Passy, Paris, France.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wilma Rudolph died today – 13 years ago

U.S. Olympic sprinter Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in St. Bethelem, Clarksville, Tennessee. She said, “Sometimes it takes years to really grasp what has happened to your life." [Oh, yeah.]... Ms. Rudolph died in 1994 in Brentwood, Tennessee.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yasser Arafat died today – 3 years ago

Palestinian president Yasser Arafat was born as Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini on August 24, 1929 in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Arafat died in 2004 in Paris, France.

Søren Kierkegaard died today – 152 years ago

Danish philosopher Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was born on May 5, 1813 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He said, “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward." [Rewind occasionally, please.]... Mr. Kierkegaard died in 1855 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer died today - 0 years ago

U.S. writer Norman Kingsley Mailer was born on January 31, 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey. He said, "Patterned after an Italian Renaissance palace, it is 88 times as large and one millionth as valuable to the continuation of man. that Pentagon of traveling salesmen." {Hmmm.}... Mr. Mailer died in 2007 in New York City, New York.

Jack Palance died today – 1 year ago

U.S. actor Jack Palance was born on February 18, 1919 in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania. He said, “One of the most important reasons for living is to do something - live outside of yourself and put together an idea, an idea that you want to explore and then complete... Awaken your creative sensitivities!” [Oh, yeah!]... Mr. Palance died in 2006 in Montecito, California.

Arthur Rimbaud died today – 116 years ago

French poet Arthur Rimbaud was born as Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud on October 20, 1854 in Charleville, France. He said, “I invented the colors of the vowels!—A black, E white, I red, O blue, U green—I made rules for the form and movement of each consonant, and, and with instinctive rhythms..." [Wow!]... Mr. Rimbaud died in 1891 in Marseille, France.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Art Carney died today – 4 years ago

U.S. actor Art William Matthew Carney was born on November 4, 1918 in Mount Vernon, New York. He said, “You're looking at an actor whose price has just doubled." [That's all?]... Mr. Carney died in 2003 in Chester, Connecticut.

Charles de Gaulle died today – 37 years ago

French president Charles de Gaulle was born as Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle on November 22, 1890 in Lille, France. He said, “You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination." [Hmmmm.]... Mr. de Gaulle died in 1970 in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher died today – 49 years ago

U.S. writer Dorothy Canfield Fisher was born as Dorothea Frances Canfield on February 17, 1879 in Lawrence, Kansas. She said, “Some people think that doctors and nurses can put scrambled eggs back into the shell." [What!? Oh, no!]... Ms. Fisher died in 1958 in Arlington, Vermont.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

John Milton died today – 333 years ago

English writer John Milton was born on December 9, 1608 in London, England. He said, “When complaints are freely heard, deeply considered and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty attained that wise men look for. " [Amen.]... Mr. Milton died in 1674 in London, England.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Be Mooned or Not Be Mooned

I recently read an interesting article about what our Earth and life on it would be like if we had had no moon. (Try accessing it here.) I think that the author, Bernard Foing, goes too far in his theories. But, then, here are some of mine:

1. The moon is responsible for marriage consummation: without the moon, how would honeymoons have originated?

2. The moon is responsible for extra income: without the moon, how would moonlighting have originated?

3. The moon is responsible for alcoholic drinking: without the moon, how would moonshine have originated?

4. The moon is responsible for public indecency: without the moon, how would "mooning" have originated?

5. The moon is responsible for obesity: without the moon, how would "moon pies" have originated?

6. The moon is responsible for Michael Jackson's success: without the moon, how would the moonwalk have originated?

So there we have it... Bless the moon.

One Person, One Vote - One Politician, Many Votes

Texas, Oh, Texas, Oh, My!

Do you know someone for whom you'd like to vote?

Howard Keel died today – 3 years ago

U.S. actor Howard Keel was born as Harold Clifford Keel on April 13, 1919 in Gillespie, Illinois. He said, “You know, people say 'Wait and go to heaven.' Well, if heaven's like they claim it is, I don't want to go. I'd get bored." [Hmmm.]... Mr. Keel died in 2004 in Palm Desert, California.

Will Durant died today – 26 years ago

U.S. historian Will Durant was born on November 5, 1885 in North Adams, Massachusetts. He was the husband of historian Ariel Durant. He said, “Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle." [No. It’s by abandoning it.]... Mr. Durant died in 1981 in Los Angeles, California.

Steve McQueen died today – 27 years ago

U.S. actor Steve McQueen was born on March 24, 1930 in Beech Grove, Indiana. He said, “I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.” [Your choice.]... Mr. McQueen died in 1980 in Juárez, Mexico.

Eleanor Roosevelt died today – 45 years ago

Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884 in New York City, New York. She said, “It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness." [Gotta start somewhere.]... Ms. Roosevelt died in 1962 in New York City, New York.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Gene Tierney died today – 16 years ago

U.S. actress Gene Tierney was born as Gene Eliza Tierney on November 19, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. She said, “Trying to make order out of my life was like trying to pick up a jellyfish." [Oh, my!]... Ms. Tierney died in 1991 in Houston, Texas.

Garet Garrett died today – 53 years ago

U.S. journalist and author Garet Garrett was born as Peter Garrett on February 19, 1878 in Pana, Illinois. An interesting article about him can be found here. He said, “If the great Government of the United States were a private corporation, no bank would take its name on a piece of paper, because it has cynically repudiated the words engraved upon its bonds." [Hmmmm.]... Mr. Garrett died in 1954 in New Jersey.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky died today – 114 years ago

Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, better known as Peter Tchaikovsky, was born on May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk in the Republic of Udmurtia, Russia. He said, “Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy." [Probably.]... Mr. Tchaikovsky died in 1893 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fred MacMurray died today – 16 years ago

U.S. actor Fred Martin MacMurray was born on August 30, 1908 in Kankakee, Illinois. He said, “A cowboy actor needs two changes of expression—hat on and hat off." [Hmmm.]... Mr. MacMurray died in 1991 in Santa Monica, California.

Vladimir Horowitz died today – 18 years ago

Russian pianist Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz was born on October 1, 1903 in Kiev, Russian Empire. He said, “If you want me to play only the notes without any specific dynamics, I will never make one mistake. " [Oh, go ahead... Put a little feeling in it.]... Mr. Horowitz died in 1989 in New York City, New York.

Al Capp died today – 28 years ago

U.S. cartoonist Al Capp was born as Alfred Gerald Caplin on September 28, 1909 in New Haven, Connecticut. He said, “Abstract art is a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered." [Hmmm.]... Mr. Capp died in 1979 in South Hampton, New Hampshire.

Alexis Carrel died today – 63 years ago

French surgeon Alexis Carrel was born on June 28, 1873 in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, France. He said, “Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” [Guess so.]... Mr. Carrel died in 1944 in Paris, France.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Yitzhak Rabin died today – 12 years ago

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was born on March 1, 1922 in Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel). He said, “You don't make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies." [Yeap.]... Mr. Rabin was killed in 1995 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Mary Martin died today – 17 years ago

U.S. actress Mary Virginia Martin was born on December 1, 1913 in Weatherford, Texas. She was the mother of Larry Hagman. She said, “After 60, it's just patch, patch, patch." [Was she talking about clothes? Relationships? Scripts?]... Ms. Martin died in 1990 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Henri Matisse died today – 53 years ago

French artist Henri Matisse was born as Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse on December 31, 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. He said, “I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things." [Hmmm.]... Mr. Matisse died in 1954 in Nice, France.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Eva Cassidy died today – 11 years ago

U.S. singer and guitarist Eva Cassidy was born on February 2, 1963 in Washington, D.C... You can enjoy her playing the guitar and singing "Over the Rainbow" here. [Beautiful.]... Ms. Cassidy died in 1996 in Bowie, Maryland.

James Thurber died today – 46 years ago

U.S. humorist and cartoonist James Grover Thurber was born on December 8, 1894 in Columbus, Ohio. He said, “Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation." [How it's changed since he said that.]... Mr. Thurber died in 1961 in New York City, New York.

George Bernard Shaw died today – 57 years ago

English writer George Bernard Shaw was born on July 26, 1856 in Dublin, Ireland. He said, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." [Just don’t call it robbery... So let's think about it. What can we call it then?]... Mr. Shaw died in 1950 in Ayot St Lawrence, England.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ezra Pound died today – 35 years ago

U.S. poet Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was born on October 30, 1885 in Hailey, Idaho. He said, “Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance... poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music." [Hmmm.]... Mr. Pound died in 1972 in Venice, Italy.

Else Maxwell died today – 44 years ago

U.S. writer, songwriter, and hostess Elsa Maxwell was born on May 24, 1883 in Keokuk, Iowa. She said, “Serve the dinner backward, do anything but for goodness sake, do something weird." [All right!]... Ms. Maxwell died in 1963 in New York City, New York.

Dale Carnegie died today – 52 years ago

U.S. writer Dale Breckenridge Carnegie was born on November 24, 1888 in Maryville, Missouri. He said, “It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about." [Ain’t that the truth, I think.]... Mr. Carnegie died in 1955 in Forest Hills, New York.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

River Phoenix died today – 14 years ago

U.S. actor River Jude Phoenix was born on August 23, 1970 in Metolius, Oregon, He said, “I can't on my own change the regime in South Africa or teach the Palestinians to learn to live with the Israelis, but I can start with me." [You gotta start somewhere.]... Mr. Phoenix died in 1993 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

Federico Fellini died today – 14 years ago

Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini was born on January 20, 1920 in Rimini, Italy. He said, “Realism is a bad word. In a sense everything is realistic. I see no line between the imaginary and the real." [Well, it’s real-ly in our minds.]... Mr. Fellini died in 1993 in Rome, Italy.

Indira Gandhi died today – 23 years ago

Indian politician Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917 in Mughalsarai, United Provinces, British India. She said, “My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition." [Yeap.]... Ms. Gandhi died in 1984 in New Delhi, India.

Harry Houdini died today – 81 years ago

U.S. magician Harry Houdini was born as Ehrich Weisz on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary. He said, “No performer should attempt to bite off red-hot iron unless he has a good set of teeth." [Well, duh!]... Mr. Houdini died in 1926 in Detroit, Michigan.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Robert Goulet died today - 0 years ago

U.S. entertainer and baritone Robert Gerard Goulet was born on November 26, 1933 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He said, "When you sing a song the way I sing it, you have to use your whole body. It's almost like working out." {Oh, yeah!}... Mr. Goulet died in 2007 in Los Angeles, California.

Steve Allen died today – 7 years ago

U.S. comic and composer Steve Allen was born as Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen on December 26, 1921 in New York City, New York. He said, “One of the nice things about problems is that a good many of them do not exist except in our imaginations." [Imagine that.]... Mr. Allen died in 2000 in Los Angeles, California.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Joseph Pulitzer died today – 96 years ago

Hungarian-American journalist Joseph Pulitzer was born on April 10, 1847 in Makó, Hungary, He said, “There is room in this great and growing city for a journal that is not only cheap but bright, not only bright but large, not only large but truly democratic... that will expose all fraud and sham; fight all public evils and abuses; that will serve and battle for the people with earnest sincerity." [Is that even possible?]... Mr. Pulitzer died in 1911 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Henry George died today – 110 years ago

U.S. economist Henry George was born on September 2, 1839 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He said, “What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power.” [Unjustly gotten.]... Mr. George died in 1897 in New York City, New York.

Sir Walter Raleigh died today – 389 years ago

English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh was born around 1552 (or 1554) in Devon, England. He said, “The employer generally gets the employees he deserves.” [Ain’t that the truth.]... Mr. Raleigh died in 1618 in London, England.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ted Hughes died today – 9 years ago

U.S. writer Ted Hughes was born as Edward James Hughes on August 17, 1930 in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, England. He said, “I think the real fascination of fishing to me is certainly more than just fish. It's something to do with the whole world... of your reaction to, your response to water and things living in water, the fascination of flowing water and living things coming up out of it - to grab at you and be grabbed." [They taste good, too.]... Mr. Hughes died in 1998 in Devon, England.

John Locke died today – 303 years ago

English philosopher John Locke was born on August 29, 1632 in Wrington, Somerset, England. He said, “Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip." [Hmmm.]... Mr. Locke died in 1704 in Essex, England.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Morey Amsterdam died today – 11 years ago

U.S. actor Morey Amsterdam was born on December 14, 1908 in Chicago, Illinois. He said, “Even the police have an unlisted number." [Maybe they just don’t want to be bothered.]... Mr. Amsterdam died in 1996 in Los Angeles, California.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Nikos Kazantzakis died today – 50 years ago

Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis was born on December 2, 1885 or February 18, 1883 in Heraklion, Crete, Ottoman Empire. He said, “A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free." [He said it.]... Mr. Kazantzakis died in 1957 in Freiburg, West Germany.

Hattie McDaniel died today – 55 years ago

U.S. actress Hattie McDaniel was born on June 10, 1895 in Wichita, Kansas. She said, “I've played everything but a harp." [How about a piano? It's nice to play.]... Ms. McDaniel died in 1952 in Woodland Hills, California.

William Temple died today – 63 years ago

English Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple was born on October 15, 1881 in Exeter, Devonshire, England. He said, “Christianity is the most materialistic of all great religions." [Maybe it needs more material to give to the poor.]... Mr. Temple died in 1944 in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, England.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton died today – 105 years ago

U.S. feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born on November 12, 1815 in Johnstown, New York. She said, “The greatest block today in the way of woman's emancipation is the church, the canon law, the Bible and the priesthood." [Oh, my!]... Ms. Stanton died in 1902 in New York City, New York.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Richard Harris died today – 5 years ago

Irish actor Richard St. John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland. He was in a little something called “Camelot”. He said, “I often sit back and think, I wish I'd done that, and find out later that I already have." [Was that a memory problem?]... Mr. Harris died in 2002 in London, England.

Vincent Price died today – 14 years ago

U.S. actor Vincent Price was born on May 27, 1911 in St. Louis, Missouri. He said, “A man who limits his interests, limits his life." [Yep!]... Mr. Price died in 1993 in Los Angeles, California.

Roger Miller died today – 15 years ago

U.S. singer and songwriter Roger Miller was born on January 2, 1936 in Fort Worth, Texas. He said, “Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet." [Very clever.]... Mr. Miller died in 1992 in Los Angeles, California.

Geoffrey Chaucer died today – 607 years ago

English writer Geoffrey Chaucer was born around 1343 in London, England. He said, “By nature, men love newfangledness." [Or, in Old English, “Be cynd, firas freogan niwe ...”, or something like that.]... Mr. Chaucer died in 1400.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rosa Parks died today – 2 years ago

U.S. activist Rosa Parks was born as Rosa Louise McCauley on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She said, “I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear." [Amen. Amen!]... Ms. Parks died in 2005 in Detroit, Michigan.

Gene Roddenberry died today – 16 years ago

U.S. TV producer (of “Star Trek” fame) Gene Roddenberry was born on August 19, 1921 in El Paso, Texas. He said, “These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise, its continuing mission to explore a strange new world, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before." [Go. Go! Go!!]... Mr. Roddenberry died in 1991 in Santa Monica, California.

Ariel Durant died today – 26 years ago

Russian historian Ariel Durant was born on May 10, 1898 in Proskurov, (now Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine). She was the wife of historian Will Durant. She said, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." [Amen. Amen. Amen!]... Ms. Durant died in 1981 in Los Angeles, California.

Edith Head died today – 26 years ago

U.S. costume designer Edith Head was born as Edith Claire Posener on October 28, 1897 in San Bernadino, California. She said, “Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to show you're a lady." [Hmmm.]... Ms. Head died in 1981 in Los Angeles, California.

Jackie Robinson died today – 35 years ago

U.S. baseball player Jackie Robinson was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. He said, “Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead." [Well, yeah!]... Mr. Robinson died in 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut.

Daniel Webster died today – 155 years ago

U.S. writer Daniel Webster was born on January 18, 1782 in Salisbury, New Hampshire. He said, “The world is governed more by appearances than by realities, so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it." [What a shame!]... Mr. Webster died in 1852 in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

Tycho Brahe died today – 406 years ago

Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was born on December 14, 1546 in Knutstorp Castle, Denmark. He said, “Now it is quite clear to me that there are no solid spheres in the heavens, and those that have been devised by the authors to save the appearances, exist only in the imagination." [What!?]... Mr. Brahe died in 1601 in Prague.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Christian Dior died today – 50 years ago

French fashion designer Christian Dior was born on January 21, 1905 in Granville, Manche, Normandy, France. He said, “The tones of gray, pale turquoise and pink will prevail." [How about red?]... Mr. Dior died in 1957 in Montecatini, Italy.

Al Jolson died today – 57 years ago

U.S. actor Al Jolson was born as Asa Yoelson on May 26, 1886 in Seredžius, Lithuania, Russian Empire. He said, “You ain't heard nothing yet, folks!” [Oh, my!]... Mr. Jolson died in 1950 in San Francisco, California.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rollo May died today – 13 years ago

U.S. psychologist Rollo May was born on April 21, 1909 in Ada, Ohio. He said, “Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is." [Hmmm.]... Mr. May died in 1994 in Tiburon, California.

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi died today – 21 years ago

Hungarian biochemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was born on September 16, 1893 in Budapest, Austria-Hungary. He discovered vitamin C. He said, “Discovery consists of seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody has thought." [Yep.]... Mr. Szent-Gyorgyi died in 1986 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Arnold Joseph Toynbee died today – 32 years ago

English historian Arnold Joseph Toynbee was born on April 14, 1889 in London, England. He said, “The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play." [O-K!]... Mr. Toynbee died in 1975 in Wimbledon, England.

Paul Cezanne died today – 101 years ago

French painter Paul Cezanne was born on January 19, 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, France. He said, “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution." [Must be some carat ... I mean, carrot.]... Mr. Cezanne died in 1906 in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

François Truffaut died today – 23 years ago

French director François Roland Truffaut was born on February 6, 1932 in Paris, France. He said, “Taste is a result of a thousand distastes." [Half empty. Half full.]... Mr. Truffaut died in 1984 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France.

Jack Kerouac died today – 38 years ago

U.S. writer Jack Kerouac was born as Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He said, “Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion." [Amen.]... Mr. Kerouac died in 1969 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Burt Lancaster died today – 13 years ago

U.S. actor Burt Lancaster was born as Burton Stephen Lancaster on November 2, 1913 in New York City, New York. He said, “Can anything be more Un-American than the Un-American committee?" [Think about it.]... Mr. Lancaster died in 1994 in Century City, California.

Herbert Hoover died today – 43 years ago

U.S. President (31st, 1929-1933) Herbert Clark Hoover was born on August 10, 1874 in West Branch, Iowa. He said, “Once upon a time my political opponents honored me as possessing the fabulous intellectual and economic power by which I created a world-wide depression all by myself." [Well, they wanted to blame someone.]... Mr. Hoover died in 1964 in New York City, New York.

Eugene Debs died today – 81 years ago

U.S. labor organizer Eugene Victor Debs was born on November 5, 1855 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He said, “When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong." [So, does that say anything about democracy?]... Mr. Debs died in 1926 in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Charles Dudley Warner died today – 107 years ago

U.S. writer Charles Dudley Warner was born on September 12, 1829 in Plainfield, Massachusetts. He said, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." [How about just living with it?]... Mr. Warner died in 1900 in Hartford, Connecticut.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Martha Raye died today – 13 years ago

U.S. actress Martha Raye was born as Margy Reed on August 27, 1916 in Butte, Montana. She said, “I have the face of a vulture and the voice of a crow..." [And the mouth of a pelican.]... Ms. Raye died in 1994 in Los Angeles, California.

Elizabeth Arden died today – 41 years ago

Canadian-U.S. cosmetician Elizabeth Arden was born as Florence Nightingale Graham on December 31, 1878 or 1884 (maybe it depended upon how she felt) in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada. She said, “I'm not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You're as old as you feel." [Or, as old as the best cosmetician that you can afford.]... Ms. Arden died in 1966 in New York City, New York.

Edna St. Vincent Millay died today – 57 years ago

U.S. writer Edna St. Vincent Millay was born on February 22, 1892 in Rockland, Maine. She said, “Set the foot down with distrust on the crust of the world—it is thin." [It’s more obstinate than you think.]... Ms. Millay died in 1950 in Austerlitz, New York.

Ernest Rutherford died today – 70 years ago

New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford was born on August 30, 1871 in Brightwater, New Zealand. He said, “All science is either physics or stamp collecting." [Which one did he do?]... Mr. Rutherford died in 1937 in Cambridge, England.

Jonathan Swift died today – 262 years ago

English writer Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667 in Dublin, Ireland. He said, “The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman." [Where’s Doctor Doolittle?]... Mr. Swift died in 1745 in Dublin, Ireland.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Teresa Brewer died yesterday - no years ago

U.S. singer Teresa Brewer was born as Theresa Breuer on May 7, 1931 in Toledo, Ohio. In the song "Music! Music! Music!", she sang, "Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon. All I want is loving you and music, music, music." [Yep!]... Ms. Brewer died on October 17, 2007 in New Rochelle, New York.

Gwen Verdon died today – 7 years ago

U.S. actress and dancer Gwen Verdon was born as Gwyneth Evelyn Verdon on January 13, 1925 in Culver City, Los Angeles, California. She had been married to choreographer Bob Fosse. She said, “I like the character of Charity because she's so hopeful. She's never bitter, and plenty of things happen to her that could make her bitter. She always thinks tomorrow's going to be beautiful. And someday it will be." [If we do the right things.]... Ms. Verdon died in 2000 in Woodstock, Vermont.

Edwin Way Teale died today – 27 years ago

U.S. naturalist and writer Edwin Way Teale was born on June 2, 1899 in Joliet, Illinois. He said, “The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web." [But can you talk over spider webs?]... Mr. Teale died in 1980 in Norwich, Connecticut.

Thomas Alva Edison died today – 76 years ago

U.S. inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He said, “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits. " [So THAT’s it.]... Mr. Edison died in 1931 in West Orange, New Jersey.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tennessee Ernie Ford died today – 16 years ago

U.S. singer Tennessee Ernie Ford was born as Ernest Jennings Ford on February 13, 1919 in Bristol, Tennessee. He said, “You can't cheat the public for long." [Oh, really?]... Mr. Ford died in 1991 in Reston, Virginia.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

James A. Michener died today – 10 years ago

U.S. writer James A. Michener was born on February 3, 1907 in Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He said, “An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it." [Amen. Amen!]... Mr. Michener died in 1997 in Austin, Texas.

Shirley Booth died today – 15 years ago

U.S. actress Shirley Booth was born on August 30, 1898 in New York City, New York. She said, “Why is it that men who can go through severe accidents, air raids, and any other major crisis always seem to think that they are at death's door when they have a simple head cold?" [Overacting?]... Ms. Booth died in 1992 in North Chatham, Massachusetts.

Cornel Wilde died today – 18 years ago

U.S. actor Cornel Wilde was born on October 13, 1915 in New York City, New York (source) or maybe Prievidza, Hungary (source). He said, “I realized long ago that I could not depend on luck to bring me success. I worked hard, extra hard to improve my chance by increasing my abilities and my experience. It was my goal to accomplish, in my life, something of value and to do it with self-respect and integrity." [OK.]... Mr. Wilde died in 1989 in Los Angeles, California.

Marie Antoinette died today – 212 years ago

Marie Antoinette was born as Maria Antonia Josefa Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen on November 2, 1755 in Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria. She said, “Let them eat cake." [Well, they would ... if they had enough sugar and butter and milk and eggs and flour.]... Ms. Antoinette was guillotined in 1795 in Paris, France.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Are we thinking beings or beings thinking?

According to Henrik Edberg on The Positivity Blog,

You are not your thoughts. Yeah, I thought this perspective sounded a bit weird when I first heard about it from Eckhart Tolle. But what I have realised is that I am not really my thoughts. I’m the one observing my thoughts. The thoughts are just something that moves through my mind. But it is not me. And when this close identification with your thoughts starts to break up, you realize that they are often just ramblings that spin around and around most of the day.

What do you think?

Boris Marshalov died today – 40 years ago

Russian writer Boris Marshalov was born on January 17, 1898 in Russia. He said, “Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens—and then everybody disagrees." [Has it changed?]... Mr. Marshalov died in 1967 in New York City, New York.

Cole Porter died today – 43 years ago

U.S. songwriter Cole Albert Porter was born on June 9, 1891 in Peru, Indiana. He said, “It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely." [That’s his music.]... Mr. Porter died in 1964 in Santa Monica, California.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Leonard Bernstein died today – 17 years ago

U.S. composer Leonard Bernstein was born as Louis Bernstein on August 25, 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He said, “Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." [Oh, my!]... Mr. Bernstein died in 1990 in New York City, New York.