Thursday, January 31, 2008

Molly Ivins died today – 1 year ago

Writer and political commentator Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins was born on August 30, 1944 in Monterey, California.

She said, “It's hard to argue against cynics - they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side.” [We use the scientific method.]... Ms. Ivins died in 2007 in Austin, Texas.

Samuel Goldwyn died today – 34 years ago

Film producer Samuel Goldwyn was born as Schmuel Gelbfisz on August 27, 1882 or August 17, 1879 in Warsaw, Poland, Russian Empire.

He said, “If you don't disagree with me, how will I know I'm right?" [How many times have I said that?]... Mr. Goldwyn died in 1974 in Los Angeles, California.

A.A. Milne died today – 52 years ago

English writer (“Winnie the Pooh”) Alan Alexander Milne was born on January 18, 1882 in Hampstead, London, England.

He said, “One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries." [It’s buried in there somewhere.]... Mr. Milne died in 1956 in Hartfield, Sussex, England.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Presidential signing statements are not U.S. Constitutional.

Well, even the ABA said so here and so do I... And my opinion counts more... Well, it doesn't, but it could... some day.

Aren’t these signing statements really equivalent to line-item vetoes? Yes. Parts of bills can just be ignored, since the President said so... I know it’s a cliché, but if it looks like a mule, it’s a mule.

There are many examples of George Bush’s signing statements. Some can be found here. Of course, he didn’t originate their use: they have been issued for some time.

Signing statements are just the typical desire to try to have it both ways: sign it but then refuse to execute it. Well, that never should have been tolerated in the first place. If the President doesn’t agree with some portion of a Bill, he/she “shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated”, as the U.S. Constitution states. Actually, that is specifically stated for Revenue Bills, but it seems to apply to all bills since, for the other bills, it states, “according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.” (That U.S. Constitution is just so difficult to understand.)

Note that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t say that the President should just sign it and attach a note stating which parts he/she won’t enforce. That would be too easy. Besides, wouldn’t we all like to do that with things with which we disagree?

But Professor John Harrison thinks otherwise. He said, “So if the president thinks a law is invalid, whether he just signed it or whether it’s from 30 years ago, he shouldn’t carry it out” and “Part of the executive function is to interpret the law”... Well, I say, “Nope! Nada! Not true!” The President is to execute the bills signed. If he/she wants interpretation or thinks that a bill is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution, then he/she should submit it to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Harrison needs to stop being a cheerleader for this. If you don’t agree with him (or even if you do), tell him so by emailing or phoning (434) 924-3093. (Well, it's all posted here. Someone must have wanted someone to contact him. It could be you.)

Well, great. Another problem solved. Next.

Wendy Wasserstein died today – 2 years ago

U.S. playwright Wendy Wasserstein was born on October 18, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York.

She said, “Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable." [Yep!]... Ms. Wasserstein died in 2006 in New York City, New York.

Orville Wright died today – 60 years ago

U.S. inventor Orville Wright was born on August 19, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio.

He said, “If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." [There’d be no need to think anymore; bliss for many.]... Mr. Wright died in 1948 in Dayton, Ohio.

Mahatma Gandhi died today – 60 years ago

Indian political and religious leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British India.

He said, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." [But it may become tainted if you don't pay enough attention to it.]... Mr. Gandhi died in 1948 in New Delhi, India.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thomas Paine was born today – 271 years ago

Writer & general agitator Thomas Paine was born on January 29, 1737 in Thetford, England, Great Britain.

He said, “Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.” [I'll bet that agitated a few people.]... Mr. Paine died on June 8, 1809 in New York City, New York.

Jimmy Durante died today – 28 years ago

U.S. pianist, singer, and actor James “Jimmy” Francis Durante was born on February 10, 1893 in New York City, New York.

He said, “Politics is developing more comedians than radio ever did." [Is it all in the dumb things they do?]... Mr. Durante died in 1980 in Santa Monica, California.

Alan Ladd died today – 44 years ago

U.S. actor Alan Walbridge Ladd was born on September 3, 1913 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

He said, “I have the face of an aging choirboy and the build of an undernourished featherweight. If you can figure out my success on the screen you're a better man than I." [Maybe they liked how you spoke.]... Mr. Ladd died in 1964 in Palm Springs, California.

Robert Frost died today – 45 years ago

U.S. poet Robert Lee Frost was born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California.

He said, “I often say of George Washington that he was one of the few in the whole history of the world who was not carried away by power." [Well, after all, another source of it had only started.]... Mr. Frost died in 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts.

H.L. Mencken died today – 52 years ago

U.S. writer (and great wit) Henry Louis Mencken was born on September 12, 1880 in Baltimore, Maryland.

He said, “Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it." [There is a speaking fee, you know.]... Mr. Mencken died in 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sara Teasdale died today – 75 years ago

U.S. poet Sara Trevor Teasdale was born on August 8, 1884 in St. Louis, Missouri.

She said, “I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes." [If I could just learn to do that.]... Ms. Teasdale died in 1933 in New York City, New York.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Christa McAuliffe died today – 22 years ago

U.S. astronaut and teacher Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe was born on September 2, 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts.

She said, “The president felt that it was important to send an ordinary citizen to experience the excitement of space travel as a representative for all Americans." [That’s so nice that we could have a vicarious experience.]... Ms. McAuliffe died in 1986 in the Space Shuttle Challenger out of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

William Butler Yeats died today – 69 years ago

English poet William Butler Yeats was born on June 13, 1865 in Sandymount, County Dublin, Ireland.

He said, “Out of our quarrels with others we make rhetoric. Out of our quarrels with ourselves we make poetry." [And such poetry it is.]... Mr. Yeats died in 1939 in Menton, France.

Peter I the Great died today – 283 years ago

Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov was born on May 30, 1672 in Moscow, Russia.

He said, “I have conquered an empire but I have not been able to conquer myself.” [Such hubris. That’ll teach ya’.]... Mr. Romanov died in 1725 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jack Paar died today – 4 years ago

TV host (“Tonight Show”) Jack Harold Paar was born on May 1, 1918 in Canton, Ohio.

He said, “To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland." [And a Diasterland and a Stupidland and a... Whoops! That’s getting a little too real.]... Mr. Paar died in 2004 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Mahalia Jackson died today – 36 years ago

U.S. singer Mahalia Jackson was born on October 26, 1911 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

She said, “Without a song, each day would be a century." [At least.]... Ms. Jackson died in 1972 in Evergreen Park, Illinois.

Giuseppe Verdi died today – 107 years ago

Italian composer Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was born on October 9 or 10, 1813 in Le Roncole, Parma, Italy.

He said, “You may have the universe if I may have Italy." [I’d like to enjoy a little of it, please.]... Mr. Verdi died in 1901 in Milan, Italy.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Murray J. Edelman died today – 7 years ago

U.S. writer Murray J. Edelman was born on November 5, 1919 in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. He said, “Political history is largely an account of mass violence and of the expenditure of vast resources to cope with mythical fears and hopes." [Is that a definition?]... Mr. Edelman died in 2001 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jose Ferrer died today – 16 years ago

Puerto Rican actor Jose Ferrer was born as José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón on January 8, 1909 in the Santurce district of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He had been married to Rosemany Clooney... two times.

He said, “The truth is, I made a few good movies in the fifties, then went into freefall." [It happens.]... Mr. Ferrer died in 1992 in Coral Gables, Florida.

Nelson Rockefeller died today – 29 years ago

U.S. rich person and New York Governor (53rd, 1959-1973) and U.S. Vice-President (1974-1977) Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1908 in Bar Harbor, Maine.

He said, “There are three periods in life: youth, middle age and ‘how well you look’." [Ya’ think?]... Mr. Rockefeller died in 1979 in New York City, New York.

Edward G. Robinson died today – 35 years ago

Romanian actor Edward Goldenberg Robinson, Sr. was born as Emanuel Goldenberg on December 12, 1893 in Bucharest, Kingdom of Romania.

He said, “I know I'm not much on face value, but when it comes to stage value, I'll deliver for you." [Take a look.]... Mr. Robinson died in 1973 in Hollywood, California.

Edward Jenner died today – 185 years ago

English doctor Edward Jenner was born on May 17, 1749 in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England.

He said, “The deviation of man from the state in which he was originally placed by nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of diseases." [Was he saying that we cause our own diseases?]... Mr. Jenner died in 1823 in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Philip Johnson died today – 3 years ago

U.S. architect Philip Cortelyou Johnson was born on July 8, 1906 in Cleveland, Ohio.

He said, “Architecture is the art of how to waste space." [Some of it belongs in outer space. There's plenty of available space there.]... Mr. Johnson died in 2005 in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Ava Gardner died today – 18 years ago

U.S. actress Ava Lavinia Gardner was born on December 24, 1922 in Brogden, North Carolina. She had been married to Frank Sinatra, Artie Shaw, and Mickey Rooney.

She said, “What's the point? My face, shall we say, looks lived in." [It happens.]... Ms. Gardner died in 1990 in Westminster, London, England.

Al Capone died today – 61 years ago

Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born on January 17, 1899 in Brooklyn, New York.

He said, “Prohibition has made nothing but trouble." [That always happens when you interfere with someone’s constitutional rights.]... Mr. Capone died in 1947 in Palm Island, Florida.

Ouida died today – 100 years ago

English writer Ouida was born as Maria Louise Ramé on January 1, 1839 in Bury St. Edmunds, England. She said, “Petty laws breed great crimes." [Hmmm.]... Ouida died in 1908 in Viareggio, Italy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Put on a happy face

Why post a link to photos about Marilyn Monroe? Well, because it was there and because I can and because we might need some cheering up. Besides, I’m sure that Marilyn Monroe did something of interest to someone – even if it was just herself - on this day in any year before she died on August 5, 1962.

And then there's always that big smile.

Thurgood Marshall died today – 15 years ago

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland.

He said, “Sometimes history takes things into its own hands." [Oh, don’t let people off that easy.]... Mr. Marshall died in 1993 in Bethesda, Maryland.

L. Ron Hubbard died today – 22 years ago

U.S. writer and creator (think: Scientology) Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was born on March 13, 1911 in Tilden, Nebraska.

He said, “A person is either the effect of his environment or is able to have an effect upon his environment." [I’m tired of people saying that there are only two choices. Sometimes there is only one. And sometimes there are at least three.]... Mr. Hubbard died in 1986 in San Luis Obispo County, California.

Larry Fine died today – 33 years ago

U.S. comedian (“Three Stooges”) Larry Fine was born as Louis Feinberg on October 5, 1902 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He said, “Personally, I thought Curly was the greatest because he was a natural comedian who had no formal training. Whatever he did he made up on the spur of the moment." [If you say so.]... Mr. Fine died in 1975 in Woodland Hills, California.

Winston Churchill died today – 43 years ago

British Prime Minister (41st) Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born on November 30, 1874 in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.

He said, “There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion." [So true.]... Mr. Churchill died in 1965 in Hyde Park Gate, London, England.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

John Stewart died four days ago

Songwriter and singer John Coburn Stewart was born on September 5, 1939 in San Diego, California. He was in the Kingston Trio. He wrote the song "Daydream Believer" for "The Monkees".

Mr. Stewart died on January 19, 2008 in San Diego, California.

CNN’s Gerri Willis says, “Stay put, you little people.”

Well, not in those exact words.

Gerri Willis, personal finance editor on CNN, has been making her comments – I guess they’re hers; maybe they’re just written for her – about the recent stock market decline. She’s been advising the little people – she didn’t exactly use that phrase either, but it can be assumed from the context – not to sell their stock market holdings. She even used the entertainment phrase “shock jockey”.

Is she qualified to issue stock market advice? Her CNN biography doesn’t state what college degree she has, but it does state that she “attended Columbia Business School as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in 1991-92”. This site says that this program “offers qualified journalists the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of business, economics, and finance... during Columbia’s academic year from August through May... Up to ten Fellows are named each year and receive free tuition plus a stipend to offset living expenses in New York City.” How nice. Those people who have enough intelligence to learn what’s being repeated – I mean, taught – are paid to get it. (I tried to verify Ms. Willis’s attendance. This site wanted me to pay for “premium members” status to find out. I declined.)

So, is she qualified? She certainly seems to know the jargon of economics and finance. But I think that her comments now are just to try to get the “little” people not to panic and take their money out of the stock market. Now if the "bigger" people can get some money out of it, why can't the "little" people? Besides, there can't be a seller if there's no buyer.

Suzanne Pleshette died three days before yesterday

U.S. actress Suzanne Pleshette was born on January 31, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York.

In 1955, she said, "I don't sit around and wait for great parts. I'm an actress, and I love being one, and I'll probably be doing it till I'm 72, standing around the back lot doing 'Gunsmoke'". [She almost made it.]... Ms. Pleshette died on January 19, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

Johnny Carson died today – 3 years ago

U.S. TV host (“Tonight Show”) John William “Johnny” Carson was born on October 23, 1925 in Corning, Iowa.

He said, “People will pay more to be entertained than educated." [It takes a lot less effort to laugh.]... Mr. Carson died in 2005 in Los Angeles, California.

Captain Kangaroo died today – 4 years ago

U.S. TV entertainer Robert James Keeshan was born on June 27, 1927 in Lynbrook, New York.

He said, “It requires more strength to be gentle, so it's the everyday encounters of life that I think we've prepared children for and prepared them to be good to other people and to consider other people." [Blessed are the gentle.]... Mr. Keeshan died in 2004 in Windsor, Vermont.

Nell Carter died today – 5 years ago

U.S. actress Nell Carter was born on September 13, 1948 in Birmingham, Alabama.

She said, “Rich means you have to stay there to maintain it." [Well, give me some maintenance to do.]... Ms. Carter died in 2003 in Long Beach, California.

Salvador Dali died today – 19 years ago

Salvador Dali was born as Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech on May 11, 1904 in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain.

He said, “Wars have never hurt anybody except the people who die." [Think again.]... Mr. Dali died in 1989 in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain.

Giambattista Vico died today – 264 years ago

Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico was born on June 23, 1668 in Naples, Italy. He said, “Men first feel necessity, then look for utility, next attend to comfort, still later amuse themselves with pleasure, thence grow dissolute in luxury, and finally go mad and waste their substance." [Not a good prognosis at all.]... Mr. Vico died in 1744 in Naples, Italy.

Heath Ledger died yesterday

Actor Heathcliff Andrew Ledger was born on April 4, 1979 in Perth, Australia.

He said, "If you're just safe about the choices you make, you don't grow." [So take a risk... occasionally.]... Mr. Ledger died in 2008 in New York City, New York.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy died today – 13 years ago

Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on July 22, 1890 in North End, Boston, Massachusetts.

She said, “Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments." [And even sub-moments.]... Ms. Kennedy died in 1995 in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

Lyndon Baines Johnson died today – 35 years ago

U.S. President (36th, 1963-1969) Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908 in Stonewall, Texas.

He said, “You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered." [Like they have ever done or will ever do that.]... Mr. Johnson died in 1973 in Stonewall, Texas.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Peggy Lee died today – 6 years ago

U.S. singer Peggy Lee was born as Norma Deloris Egstrom on May 26, 1920 in Jamestown, North Dakota.

She said, “You can't beat The Beatles, you join 'em." [And so we did.]... Ms. Lee died in 2002 in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California.

Ann Sheridan died today – 41 years ago

U.S. actress Ann Sheridan was born as Clara Lou Sheridan on February 21, 1915 in Denton, Texas.

She said, "I can whistle through my fingers, bulldog a steer, light a fire with two sticks, shoot a pistol with fair accuracy, set type, and teach school..." [But can you act?]... Ms. Sheridan died in 1967 in Los Angeles, California.

George Orwell died today – 58 years ago

Writer George Orwell was born as Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, Bihar, India.

He said, “In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia." [Beware of politics.]... Mr. Orwell died in 1950 in London, England.

Lytton Strachey died today – 76 years ago

Biographer Giles Lytton Strachey was born on March 1, 1880 in London, England.

He said, “Discretion is not the better part of biography." [Oh, yeah!]... Mr. Strachey died in 1932 in Ham, Wiltshire, England.

Vladimir Ilich Lenin died today – 84 years ago

Vladimir Ilich Lenin was born as Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov on April 22, 1870 in Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk), Russian Empire.

He said, “Fascism is capitalism in decay." [Hmmm.]... Mr. Lenin died in 1924 in Gorki, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Audrey Hepburn died today – 15 years ago

Actress Audrey Hepburn was born as Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium.

She said, “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others." [Oh, to be like a squid.]... Ms. Hepburn died in 1993 in Tolochenaz, Switzerland.

Barbara Stanwyck died today – 18 years ago

U.S. actress Barbara Stanwyck was born as Ruby Catherine Stevens on July 16, 1907 in New York City, New York.

Here's another interesting tribute to her... She said, “Egotism - usually just a case of mistaken nonentity." [Ouch!]... Ms. Stanwyck died in 1990 in Santa Monica, California.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hedy Lamarr died today – 8 years ago

Actress and inventor - check it out - Hedy Lamarr was born as Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on November 9, 1913 in Vienna, Austria. She said, “I can excuse everything but boredom. Boring people don't have to stay that way." [But they’re so good at it.]... Ms. Lamarr died in 2000 in Orlando, Florida.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon died today – 143 years ago

French economist, philosopher, and writer Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was born on January 15, 1809 in Besançon, France. He said, “Property is theft." [From whom? To have theft, you have to have an owner.]... If you're interested, here's a video about him... Mr. Proudhon died in 1865 in Passy, France.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Art Buchwald died today – 1 year ago

U.S. journalist Art Buchwald was born on October 20, 1925 in Mount Vernon, New York. He said, “Every time you think television has hit its lowest ebb, a new program comes along to make you wonder where you thought the ebb was." [But they keep trying.]... Mr. Buchwald died in 2007 in Washington, DC.

Curly Howard died today – 56 years ago

U.S. comedian (“Three Stooges”) Curly Howard was born as Jerome Lester Horwitz on October 22, 1903 in Brooklyn, New York. He said, “Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk!" [I just repeat this stuff.]... Mr. Howard died in 1952 in San Gabriel, California.

Rudyard Kipling died today – 72 years ago

English writer Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30, 1865 in Bombay (now Mumbai), British India. He said, “Borrow trouble for yourself, if that's your nature, but don't lend it to your neighbors." [Keep it to thyself.]... Mr. Kipling died in 1936 in the Middlesex Hospital, London, England.

John Tyler died today – 146 years ago

U.S. President (10th, 1841-1845) John Tyler, Jr. was born on March 29, 1790 in Charles City County, Virginia. He said, “The United States have adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent—that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgement. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgement of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mahommedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political Institutions.... The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid.... and the Aegis of the Government is over him to defend and protect him. Such is the great experiment which we have tried, and such are the happy fruits which have resulted from it; our system of free government would be imperfect without it." [Wow!]... Mr. Tyler died in 1862 in Richmond, Virginia.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hillary says, "Let Me Take Your Order."

Hillary Clinton has a clever ad below:

Of course, - being the voice of reason that it is - doesn't like it. Here it says that "Clinton quips about her campaign and poll numbers, takes swipes at the Bush administration, and sells herself, while pretending to be a flight attendant for the press corps."

Big deal. It's to be expected. I thought it was very, VERY clever. They just wish that they had thought of it... Heck, I wish that I had thought of it.

P.S. I did think of the "Let Me Take Your Order" line, since that's the title of a song in my musical play "Just Plane Love".

Virginia Mayo died today – 3 years ago

U.S. actress Virginia Mayo was born as Virginia Clara Jones on November 30, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri. She said, “I really wanted to be a dancer, but I ended up as an actress and I got to perform next to some of the greatest actors of our time." [OK.]...Check out this trailer for "A Song is Born"... Ms. Mayo died in 2005 in Los Angeles, California.

Barbara Jordan died today – 12 years ago

U.S. Representative (TX, 1973-1979) Barbara Charline Jordan was born on February 21, 1936 in Houston, Texas. She said, “But this is the great danger America faces. That we will cease to be one nation and become instead a collection of interest groups: city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual. Each seeking to satisfy private wants." [And so it did.]... Check out Ms. Jordan speaking in 1976... Ms. Jordan died in 1996 in Austin, Texas.

Ernest Benn died today – 54 years ago

English publisher Ernest John Pickstone Benn was born on June 25, 1875 in Oxted, Surrey, England. He said, “Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like." [As long as we can choose our masters, ...]... Mr. Benn died in 1954.

Rutherford B. Hayes died today – 115 years ago

U.S. President (19th, 1877-1881) Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born on October 4, 1822 in Delaware, Ohio. He said, “In avoiding the appearance of evil, I am not sure but I have sometimes unnecessarily deprived myself and others of innocent enjoyments." [Analyze it better.]... Mr. Hayes died in 1893 in Fremont, Ohio.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Arturo Toscanini died today – 51 years ago

Violinist, conductor, and composer Arturo Toscanini was born on March 25, 1867 in Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy... Check out his conducting and Beethoven here... He said, “To some it is Napoleon, to some it is a philosophical struggle, to me it is allegro con brio.” [Just play it.]... Mr. Toscanini died in 1957 in New York City, New York.

Carole Lombard died today – 66 years ago

U.S. actress Carole Lombard was born as Jane Alice Peters on October 6, 1908 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She said, “Hollywood is where they write the alibis before they write the story." [You gotta get that story right.]... Ms. Lombard died in 1942 in Mount Potosi (near Las Vegas) or Table Rock Mountain, Nevada in an airplane crash.

Marshall Field died today – 102 years ago

U.S. businessman Marshall Field was born on August 18, 1834 in Conway, Massachusetts. He said, “Good will is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy." [True. You do that all by yourself.]... Mr. Field died in 1906 in New York City, New York.

Edward Gibbon died today – 214 years ago

English historian Edward Gibbon was born on April 27 (or May 8), 1737 in Putney (near London), Surrey, England. He said, “History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind." [It depends upon which book you read.]... Mr. Gibbon died in 1794 in London, England.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mitt Romney, Job Creator Extraordinaire

In his attempt to get the most votes in the Michigan Republican Primary today, a day or so ago Mitt Romney said he would fight “"for every single job" in Michigan. Latter I heard him say that he would fight for “every good job” – some jobs being so bad that there’re just not worth getting back, and we know which one’s those are.

Well, he’ll be a very, VERY busy man doing all of that. Perhaps he’s gotten some extra strength since he was governor of Massachusetts. There, according to this article, he didn’t do such a good job getting jobs back. In fact, you could say that he did a lousy job. (Maybe that's one of the jobs that shouldn't be coming back.)

Anyway, we all know that it’s all just a bunch of rhetoric. “Tell ‘em what they want to hear” is the gimmick. Don’t tell ‘em what they NEED to hear... Let’s see if it works.

Harry Nilsson died today – 14 years ago

U.S. singer and songwriter Harry Edward Nilsson III was born on June 15, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He sings “Everybody's Talking” here. He said, “I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to points. I thought, 'Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn't, then there's a point to it.'" [So many points there.]... Mr. Nilsson died in 1994 in Agoura Hills, California.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Newsmax Brightens Your Day - With Hysterical Laughter has this story: "Poll: Fox Most Trusted News for Americans."... Stopped laughing yet? ... Trust walks a slippery slope.

Shelley Winters died today – 2 years ago

U.S. actress Shelley Winters was born as Shirley Schrift on August 18, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri. She said, “Every now and then, when you're on stage, you hear the best sound a player can hear. It's a sound you can't get in movies or in television. It is the sound of a wonderful, deep silence that means you've hit them where they live." [Or else they’ve fallen to sleep.]... Ms. Winters died in 2006 in Beverly Hills, California.

Clifford Truesdell died today – 8 years ago

U.S. mathematician Clifford Ambrose Truesdell III was born on February 18, 1919 in Los Angeles, California. He said, “There is nothing that can be said by mathematical symbols and relations which cannot also be said by words. The converse, however, is false. Much that can be and is said by words cannot successfully be put into equations, because it is nonsense." [Have you seen some of those equations?]... Mr. Truesdell died in 2000 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Donna Reed died today – 22 years ago

U.S. actress Donna Reed was born as Donna Bell Mullenger on January 27, 1921 in Denison, Iowa. She said, “If nuclear power plants are safe, let the commercial insurance industry insure them. Until these most expert judges of risk are willing to gamble with their money, I'm not willing to gamble with the health and safety of my family." [Great one!]... Ms. Reed died in 1986 in Beverly Hills, California.

Ray Kroc died today – 24 years ago

U.S. businessman (think: McDonald’s) Raymond Albert Kroc was born on October 5, 1902 in Chicago, Illinois. He said, “It’s easy to have principles when you're rich. The important thing is to have principles when you're poor." [Having enough money doesn't help in many cases. Think: ... Well, I'm sure you can find them.]... Mr. Kroc died in 1984 in San Diego, California.

Peter Finch died today – 31 years ago

English actor Peter Finch was born as Frederick George Peter Ingle-Finch on September 28, 1916 in London, England. He said, “If I was going to be broke I decided I might as well be with actors as anyone else. They were cheerful idiots and seemed to take it better." [They could always act themselves out of it.]... Mr. Finch died in 1977 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California.

Anaïs Nin died today – 31 years ago

French author Anaïs Nin was born as Angela Anais Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell on February 21, 1903 in Neuilly, France. She said, “There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person." [And that’s the philosophy of individualism.]... Ms. Nin died in 1977 in Los Angeles, California.

Jeanette MacDonald died today – 43 years ago

U.S. actress Jeanette Anna MacDonald was born on June 18, 1903 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She said, “I have no inhibitions about smoking or drinking, but I think too much of my voice to place it in jeopardy. I have spent many good years in training and cultivating it, and I would be foolish to do anything which might impair or ruin it.” [You must follow your priorities.]... Ms. MacDonald died in 1965 in Houston, Texas.

Humphrey Bogart died today – 51 years ago

U.S. actor Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born on January 25, 1899 in New York City, New York. He said, “Things are never so bad they can't be made worse." [Ain’t that the truth!]... Mr. Bogart died in 1957 in Los Angeles, California.

Lewis Carroll died today – 110 years ago

English writer Lewis Carroll was born as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on January 27, 1832 in Daresbury, Warrington, Cheshire, England. He said, “That's the reason they're called lessons, because they lesson from day to day." [I see.]... Mr. Carroll died in 1898 in Guildford, Surrey, England.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hubert H. Humphrey died today – 30 years ago

U.S. Vice President (38th, 1965-1969) Hubert Horatio Humphrey was born on May 27, 1911 in Wallace, South Dakota. He said, “I have seen in the Halls of Congress more idealism, more humaneness, more compassion, more profiles of courage than in any other institution that I have ever known." [He needed to get out more.]... Mr. Humphrey died in 1978 in Waverly, Minnesota.

Ernie Kovacs died today – 46 years ago

Comedian Ernest Edward Kovacs was born on January 23, 1919 in Trenton, New Jersey. He said, “Television: A medium. So called because it's neither rare nor well done." [Ouch!]... Mr. Kovacs died in 1962 in Los Angeles, California.

James Joyce died today – 67 years ago

Irish writer James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was born on February 2, 1882 in Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland. He said, “Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by posterity because he was the last to discover America." [Ah, hah!]... Mr. Joyce died in 1941 in Zürich, Switzerland.

Wyatt Earp died today – 79 years ago

Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was born on March 19, 1848 in Monmouth, Illinois. He said, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." [Yeah, for you.]... Mr. Earp died in 1929 in Los Angeles, California.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Maurice Gibb died today – 5 years ago

Singer (with the “Bee Gees”, of course) Maurice Ernest Gibb was born on December 22, 1949 in Douglas, Isle of Man. He said, “People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now, but they don't know what they're talking about. If you listen to our records, you'll find that there's dance music. But there are also ballads like 'More Than A Woman.' And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too." [You tell ‘em!]... Mr. Gibb died in 2003 in Miami Beach, Florida... Enjoy this performance on April 27, 2001.

Lawrence J. Peter died today – 18 years ago

Pop psychologist and writer Lawrence J. Peter was born on September 16, 1919 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He formulated the famous “Peter Principle” which stated that “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." [And sometimes well beyond.]... He also formulated “The Nixon Political Principle: If two wrongs don't make a right, try three." [Keep going until you REALLY get it wrong.]... Mr. Peter died in 1990 in Palos Verdes, California.

Agatha Christie died today – 32 years ago

English writer Agatha Christie was born as Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on September 15, 1890 in Torquay, Devon, England. She said, “I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness - to save oneself trouble." [Then give me some more idleness.]... Ms. Christie died in 1976 in Cholsey, Oxfordshire, England.

Pierre de Fermat died today – 343 years ago

French mathematician Pierre de Fermat was born on August 17, 1601 in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France. He said, “It is impossible for any number which is a power greater than the second to be written as a sum of two like powers. I have a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain." [Whatever.]... Mr. de Fermat died in 1665 in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thomas Hardy died today – 80 years ago

English writer Thomas Masterson Hardy was born on June 2, 1840 in Stinsford, Dorchester, England. He said, “The resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible." [Gotta’ start somewhere.]... Mr. Hardy died in 1928 in Dorchester, Dorset, England.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Edmund Hillary died today

Explorer Edmund Percival Hillary, the guy who climbed some big, high mountain called Chomolungma (also named Qomolangma or Sagarmatha) (that's Mount Everest to us) on May 29, 1953, was born on July 20, 1919 in Tuakau, North Island, New Zealand. He said, "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." [So true.]... Mr. Hillary died in 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Paul Lynde died today – 26 years ago

U.S. comedian and actor Paul Edward Lynde was born on June 13, 1926 in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He said, “I'm Liberace without a piano." [What can I add to that?]... Mr Lynde died in 1982 in Beverly Hills, California.

Coco Chanel died today – 37 years ago

French designer and cosmetician Gabrielle Bonheur ”Coco” Chanel was born on August 19, 1883 in Saumur, France. She said, “Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door." [But eventually you'll have an opening, won't you?]... Ms. Chanel died in 1971 in Paris, France.

Sinclair Lewis died today – 57 years ago

U.S. novelist and writer Harry Sinclair Lewis was born on February 7, 1885 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. He said, “When facism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." [Oh, my!]... Mr. Lewis died in 1951 in Rome, Italy.

Carl Linnaeus died today – 230 years ago

Swedish botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus was born on May 23, 1707 in Råshult, Älmhult, Sweden. He said, “To live by medicine is to live horribly.” [So stay healthy.]... Mr. Linnaeus died in 1778 in Uppsala, Sweden.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tony Harris, Stop Hmmm-ing, Start Humming.

CNN’s Tony Harris needs to stop “hmmm”-ing while another person is talking. It’s VERY annoying. Does he realize that he does it? Does anybody else notice it? Does anybody else even care? Does he or someone think it’s cute or clever? I don’t care! It’s ANNOYING! Stop it! Mute his mike. I don’t want to hear it anymore.

Well, I’ve cleared my psyche on that one. What’s next? Everyone trying to talk over each other in those "Hollywood Square"-style boxes? Yeap! Mute 'em. Problem solved.

U.S. Dollar Trades Lower, But Not From Trade

I receive an emailed health newsletter called the “Daily Dose” from Dr. William Campbell Douglass II. It offers what seems to be good alternative choices to the there’s-a-drug-for-everything-so-you-don’t-really-have-to-do-anything-but-swallow group. Of course, as usual when a person has some knowledge, that person branches out and thinks that he/she knows everything about everything else. A recent case in point was Mr. Douglass’s article entitled “Dropping dollar is dragging the US down with it.”

Mr. Douglass states that the U.S. Dollar is losing purchasing power because of “the free-trade policies… on Bill Clinton’s watch”, specifically NAFTA. Now, blaming that on one person is ludicrous. After all, where was Congress during all of this? Sleeping? Well, probably intellectually, but that’s another story.

I don’t like to say it, but Mr. Douglass got it wrong on this one. The U.S. Dollar's decline is due SOLELY to massive money-printing - actually its modern-and-much-more-efficient alternative: credit expansion. It is not due to trade per se. Mr. Douglass does finally sorta admit something like this when he states that the “United States government is spending like the proverbial drunken sailor.” (It does a lot of this with borrowed money.) And what would those expenditures be? Well, there are – among other things - the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq and the war in... Well, you get the idea.

Trade is not the culprit. How that trade is financed, could be. To read more about how trade is beneficial, check this out.

Peter Cook died today – 13 years ago

English comedian Peter Edward Cook was born on November 17, 1937 in Torquay, Devon, England. He said, “I could have been a Judge, but I never had the Latin for the judgin'. I never had it, so I'd had it, as far as being a judge was concerned." [He could have moved to a non-Latin country.]... Mr. Cook died in 1995 in Hampstead, London, England.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Joseph A. Schumpeter died today – 58 years ago

Moravian economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter was born on February 8, 1883 in Triesch, Moravia, Austria-Hungary. He said, “Capitalism inevitably and by virtue of the very logic of its civilization creates, educates and subsidizes a vested interest in social unrest." [Is that what freedom is all about?]... Mr. Schumpeter died in 1950 in Taconic, Connecticut.

Paul Verlaine died today – 112 years ago

French writer Paul-Marie Verlaine was born on March 30, 1844 in Metz, France. He said, “The poet is a madman lost in adventure." [OK.]... Mr. Verlaine died in 1896 in Paris, France.

Galileo Galilei died today – 366 years ago

Italian scientist and astronomer Galileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564 in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy. He said, “The Sun, with all the planets revolving around it, and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else in the Universe to do." [A thing of many talents.]... Mr. Galilei died in 1642 in Arcetri, Tuscany, Italy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hair Dryer Not Just For Drying Hair Anymore.

According to this article, your hair dryer has a new use: it can be used to stay healthy.

“14. Inhale air from your blow-dryer. It sounds nuts, we know. But one study conducted at Harvard Hospital in England found that people who breathed heated air had half the cold symptoms of people who inhaled air at room temperature. Set the dryer on warm, not hot, and hold it at least 18 inches from your face. Breathe in the air through your nose for as long as you can -- 20 minutes is best.”

Wow! Apply a coat or two of paint on that face and you're ready to go out for the evening.

Edison Loved His Electricity.

Check out this story and video.

P.S. A posted translation would be appreciated.

Nikola Tesla died today – 65 years ago

Inventor Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, Gospić, Military Frontier, Austrian Empire (today Lika-Senj County, Croatia). He said, “Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality." [Guess what they’ve done with it now?]... Mr. Tesla died in 1943 in New York City, New York.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dizzy Gillespie died today – 15 years ago

U.S. trumpeter John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was born on October 21, 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina. He said, “They're not particular about whether you're playing a flatted fifth or a ruptured 129th as long as they can dance to it.” [I've probably had a few of those.]... Mr. Gillespie died in 1993 in Englewood, New Jersey.

Rudolf Nureyev died today – 15 years ago

Russian dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev was born on March 17, 1938 near Irkutsk, Siberia, Soviet Union. He said, “A pas de deux is a dialogue of love. How can there be conversation if one partner is dumb?" [Use sign language?]... Mr. Nureyev died in 1993 in Paris, France.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Jean Kerr died today – 5 years ago

U.S. writer and humorist Bridget Jean Collins was born on July 10, 1922 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She wrote “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” in 1957. [I haven't eaten any since... or before... but I had considered dandelions]... She said, “Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn't permanent." [So be grateful for instability... that is, change.]... Ms. Kerr died in 2003 in White Plains, New York.

Sonny Bono died today – 10 years ago

U.S. singer and entertainer Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono was born on February 16, 1935 in Detroit, Michigan. He was married to... well, you know. He said, “We all love the environment, but we have placed creatures above people. A rat is a rat." [Who said anything about conserving the rats? ... Oh, them.]... Mr. Bono died in 1998 in South Lake Tahoe, California.

Max Born died today – 38 years ago

German physicist Max Born was born on December 11, 1882 in Breslau, Germany. He said, “The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world." [But I do know the truth... at least some of it.]... Mr. Born died in 1970 in Göttingen, Germany.

Calvin Coolidge died today – 75 years ago

U.S. President (30th, 1923-1929) John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont. He said, “Any man who does not like dogs and want them about does not deserve to be in the White House." [And I thought it was parrots.]... Mr. Coolidge died in 1933 in Northampton, Massachusetts.

George Washington Carver died today – 105 years ago

U.S. chemist George Washington Carver was born on January 12, 1864 in Diamond, Missouri. He said, “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these." [Remember where you were and where you are and where you’ll be.]... Mr. Carver died in 1903 in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Les Brown, Sr. died today – 7 years ago

U.S. bandleader Les Brown, Sr. was born on March 14, 1912 in Reinerton, Pennsylvania. Watch his “Band of Renown” play “Sentimental Journey” in Branson, Missouri here. He said (about Doris Day), “She was every bandleader's dream, a vocalist who had natural talent, a keen regard for the lyrics, and an attractive appearance." [Oh, yeah!]... Mr. Brown died in 2001 in Los Angeles, California. (Note: While says that he died on January 4, Wikipedia says that he died on January 24. In any case, let's remember him.)

Christopher Isherwood died today – 22 years ago

English writer Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood was born on August 26, 1904 in High Lane, Cheshire, England. He said, “We live in stirring times—tea-stirring times." [Need cream and sugar with that?]... Mr. Isherwood died in 1986 in Santa Monica, California.

T.S. Eliot died today – 43 years ago

U.S. writer Thomas Stearns Eliot was born on September 26, 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri. Don't forget - how could we? - that the Broadway musical "Cats" was inspired by Mr. Eliot's 1939 book "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats". [I love cats.]... He said, “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." [Kinda like the “circle of life”, which is actually a lot of zig-zaggy lines.]... Mr. Eliot died in 1965 in London, England.

Albert Camus died today – 48 years ago

Existential philosopher Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913 in Mondovi, Algeria. He said, “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." [Ya' gotta keep up... somehow.]... Mr. Camus died in 1960 in Villeblevin, France.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Will Eisner died today – 3 years ago

U.S. sequential artist William Erwin Eisner was born on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He said, “The term ‘comics’ long ago became obsolete and inaccurate. It merely defined the content of the early joke-based comical strips. ‘Sequential Art’ is a more accurate description of the form. I first suggested it because I believed something needed to be done to correct the feeling of inferiority by artists and writers in this field." [And movies are sequential photographs and books are sequential dictionaries and songs are sequential piano tunings and...]... Mr. Eisner died in 2005 in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida.

Edgar Cayce died today – 63 years ago

U.S. “psychic” Edgar Cayce was born on March 18, 1877 near Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He said, “There is progress whether ye are going forward or backward! The thing is to move!" [Which way was he going?]... Mr. Cayce died in 1945 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

James Elroy Flecker died today – 93 years ago

English writer James Elroy Flecker was born on November 5, 1884 in London, England. He said, “The poet's business is not to save the soul of man but to make it worth saving." [So keep poeting.]... Mr. Flecker died in 1915 in Davos, Switzerland.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Jack Carson died today – 45 years ago

Actor Jack Carson was born on October 27, 1910 in Carman, Manitoba, Canada. He said, “Fans are people who let an actor know he's not alone in the way he feels about himself." [OK.]... Mr. Carson died in 1963 in Encino, California.

Dick Powell died today – 45 years ago

U.S. actor Dick Powell was born on November 14, 1904 in Mountain View, Arkansas. He said, “The best thing about switching from being an actor to being a director is that you don't have to shave or hold your stomach in anymore." [I’ll look forward to it.]... Mr. Powell died in 1963 in West Los Angeles, California.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ray Walston died today – 7 years ago

U.S. actor Ray Walston was born on December 2, 1914 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He said, “You could walk the streets, no matter how hungry people were, not matter how long they'd been out of jobs, you could walk the streets, you could ride the subways in New York, and you would not get knocked in the head." [Ethics has nothing to do with income level. In fact, it’s often in an inverse relationship. But then, you knew that.]... Mr. Walston died in 2001 in Beverly Hills, California.

Maurice Chevalier died today – 36 years ago

French singer and actor Maurice Auguste Chevalier was born on September 12, 1888 in Paris, France. He said, “The French are true romantics. They feel the only difference between a man of forty and one of seventy is thirty years of experience." [Keep experiencing.]... Mr. Chevalier died in 1972 in Paris, France.