Tuesday, June 26, 2007

You look like a monkey, and smell like one, too

My favorite Wikipedia articles are the ones that list the history for a single calendar day; every significant event, every important birth, every famous death, all listed on one page. It's fun, and strangely fascinating.

For example, on this day, June 26th, we find the following interesting events:
  • This was supposedly the day the Pied Piper used his pipe to lure the children away from the town of Hamelin, because the greedy assholes who lived there wouldn't pay him for getting rid of the rats. Bastards. (1284)
  • The bicycle was patented. (1819)
  • Christmas became a federal holiday in America, the only religious holiday to gain such treatment. You'd think that violates the first amendment, which states that Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion, but actually...well, no, it does, doesn't it? (1870)
  • The first practical helicopter took its first flight. It was called, no kidding, the Fucke-Wulf. Which is way cooler than Airwolf. (1934)
  • The United Nations Charter was signed. (1945)
  • John F. Kennedy delivered his famous "I am a doughnut" speech in Berlin. (1963)
  • The UPC was scanned for the first time. (1974)
  • Toronto's CN Tower was opened. This would later show up in the background of an early episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, as an image of an alien city. Well, it is in Canada. (1976)
  • On this day, the Supreme Court gets a little sexy. In 1997, they ruled the Communications Decency Act was unconstitutional, giving hope for internet pornographers everywhere. And in 2003, they overturned sodomy laws.
Cool, huh?

So to which notable people should we say "Happy Birthday" to today?
  • Abner Doubleday, the father of baseball.
  • Lord Kelvin, the physicist after whom the Kelvin scale is named.
  • Peter Lorre, an actor. He was in Casablanca, but I first became familiar with him because the Looney Tunes would impersonate him at every opportunity. He's got a distinctive voice.
  • Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis's manager.
  • John Beasley, an actor you've never heard of -- he played the security guard in Little Big League, the one who helps the team fool Ken Griffey, Jr. with the most elaborate hidden ball trick ever conceived.
  • Mark McKinney, one of the Kids in the Hall. (He played the Chicken Lady.)
  • Richard Garfield, the guy who created Magic: The Gathering.
  • Colin Greenwood, Radiohead's bass player.
  • Chris O'Donnell, an actor whose career was one of the several destroyed by Batman & Robin.
  • Paul Thomas Anderson, one of the best filmmakers in America. He wrote and directed Boogie Nights, Punch-Drunk Love, and, most importantly, the glorious Magnolia, for which he will always be my hero. (He apparently has a new movie coming out this year or next.)
  • Derek Jeter, New Yankees shortstop/douchebag.
  • Jason Schwartzman, the star of Rushmore and I Heart Huckabees.
  • Michael Vick, quarterback/dog fighting promoter.
Oh, and me. Yay me. Though I'm only notable in the sense that this is my blog, and I decide who is notable. Your not-so-humble author is, therefore, notable. So there.

(Of course, my friends have far more interesting birthdays than me. Like René, who has the eruption of Vesuvius, the first Gutenberg Bible, the British torching of the White House, Pete Rose's ban from baseball, and the births of Jorge Luis Borges, Yasser Arafat and Vince McMahon. You suck.)

2 comments:

  1. Steve8:30 AM

    I left it out of my email this morning, but Happy B-Day dude!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, you still get to share a birthday with Richard Garfield. That wins so many points from me.

    I haven't played Magic in years.

    ReplyDelete