Archive for the ‘History’ Category

You’ve all heard of the 1980s movie Gremlins, right? What you may not know is that the little creatures in the movie were based upon allegedly real entities which, during the World War II and even before, plagued pilots with all manner of mischief and outright vandalism. In the skies of WWII crews of various aircrafts from all sides described seeing essentially the same thing –  bizarre impish beasts that were there with the sole intent of causing enough problems to bring down airplanes from the sky.

One of the first mentions of the creatures can be traced back to the early 1900s in a British newspaper called the Spectator:

The old Royal Naval Air Service in 1917 and the newly constituted Royal Air Force in 1918 appear to have detected the existence of a horde of mysterious and malicious sprites whose whole purpose in life was to bring about as many as possible of the inexplicable mishaps which, in those days as now, trouble an airman’s life.

Yikes. That’s wild stuff. The legend of the gremlins really took off in 1923 when a British pilot crashed his plane into the sea and later reported that the accident had been caused by tiny creatures which had followed him aboard his plane, created havoc, sabotaged the engine, messed around with the flight controls, and ultimately caused the plane to crash.

That story spread, and it wasn’t long before other British pilots began to complain of being harassed by similar miniature troll-like creatures with a mastery of technology and machinery which caused engine failures, electrical malfunctions, communications shutdowns, bad landings, freak accidents, and pretty much anything else that could possibly ever go wrong with an aircraft.

Gremlins were also said to engage in such a bunch of bad behavior like sucking the gas out of tanks through hoses, jamming radio frequencies, screwing up landing gear, blowing dust or sand into fuel pipes or sensitive electrical equipment, cutting wires, removing bolts or screws, tinkering with dials, knobs or switches, jostling controls, slashing wings or tires, poking or pinching gunners or pilots, banging incessantly on the fuselage, breaking windows, and a wide variety of other crazy acts.

They were also reported to be seen sitting out upon the nose of the plane or the wings of aircraft in midflight tampering with the wings or even the engines. On occasion the gremlins were said to shout, giggle, whisper, growl, or otherwise make noise so as to distract aircraft crews. Bottom line, by the end of the 1920s almost anyone who flew a plane had claimed to have seen the little beasts.

One of the most famous alleged gremlin accounts from this period was made by none other than Charles Lindbergh as he was taking his historic nonstop solo flight over the Atlantic from New York to Paris in May of 1927. In the 9th hour of his flight Lindbergh reported that he suddenly found himself surrounded by several strange looking beings in his cockpit, and they spoke to him and demonstrated incredibly complex knowledge of navigation and flight equipment. In this case, however, rather than cause mischief, Lindbergh said that the gremlins actually kept him alert and reassured him that he would remain safe on his journey.

Lindbergh kept this experience to himself for years until the account was finally published in his 1953 book The Spirit of St. Louis.

What did Gremlins look like, you ask? Well, actually the little monsters in the Gremlin movie were based on their description. They were said to look animalistic, with hairy bodies, large, pointed ears, deep red or even glowing eyes, and horns. Other reports spoke of gremlins as having hairless grey skin, being sort of reptilian in appearance, and having enormous mouths filled with pointy teeth. Some were even described as having bat-like wings. Holy moly.

One common trait in all reports is that through whatever means, gremlins were known to be able to adhere to the outer fuselage of planes and to withstand incredible temperature extremes, high altitudes, and violent winds.

Gremlins seemed to reach their peak during World War II when reports reached an all-time high. In fact, during the Battle of Britain gremlin reports were so prevalent that the British Air Ministry acknowledged the problem and even made serious attempts to investigate the phenomenon.

Hell, the Ministry even went as far as to have a service manual written up by a gloriously named “Gremlorist,” Percy Prune, which included the creatures’ exploits, how to placate or distract them, and various ways to avoid accidents due to their presence. You cannot make this stuff up, folks.

It wasn’t just the British who saw the little pranksters, either. German pilots saw them, Americans too, and the only common denominator was that they were almost always seen over European soil or water. Strange but true.

One of the stories told by an American pilot is a rather chilling one. He said he looked outside to his right and saw a freakish “entity” outside of the plane’s window and latched onto the plane. He described a creature that was about 3-feet tall with abnormally long arms, grey hairless skin, deep red eyes, a gaping mouth full of teeth, and pointed ears with tufts of black hair at the ends like “owl ears.” He said it was just staring in at him from beyond the glass. When the terrified pilot looked to the nose of the aircraft he was astonished to see yet another one of the creatures apparently dancing about out there and pounding away haphazardly at the fuselage. He said that the strange creatures appeared to be laughing maniacally, and that they gleefully cavorted about outside of his plane pulling on whatever they could get their clawed hands on, banging on the aircraft with all of their might, obviously trying their best to bring the plane down.

Good God almighty.

Crazy stuff, man. So what are gremlins? A figment of a bunch of pilot’s imaginations? What were all of these people seeing or experiencing? It’s been pointed out that the lack of adequate pressurization of aircraft back in those days may have led to hallucinations, but why would so any people have basically the same hallucination? Some have said that gremlins may have been an excuse for human error, with pilots blaming accidents on these creatures. “Captain, I was doing one helluva job flying my plane until those damn gremlins made me crash.” Seriously?

To this day nobody knows for certain, but one thing is undeniable – to thousands of pilots who flew back in the early 1920s up through to the end of World War II, gremlins were real.

So, next time you’re flying somewhere and feel a little turbulence or bouncing of the plane, or maybe you hear a strange noise outside, take a gander out the window. You just might see a gremlin peering back at you.

PS: You know the old Twilight Zone episode where the monster is on the wing? It was inspired by gremlins. A couple pics above were taken from the 80s remake of that episode.

PPS: Disney even had a book about gremlins. That’s cray-cray.

 

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So Paris Hilton went and tweeted this out a couple days ago . . .

Of course this wasn’t true and the worldwide interweb proceeded to make the necessary corrections. Enjoy . . .

[click the photo to enlarge]

Attaboy, internet.

Ever find an old photo and think, “Holy shit, grandma was hot!” Yep, we always seem to think of our parents and grandparents as old, but they too had their heyday. What follows is photographic proof of that, along with comments by people who found them. Check it out, and click on the photo to read the caption.

This Picture Was Next To My Grandmother’s Coffin At Her Funeral

 

Hey, let’s give these folks a break. They didn’t know asbestos, DDT, cigarettes, and eating butter like you’d eat a Milky Way could kill you. They were also a little slow in the uptake with the “women being equal” thing. Pretty funny to look back and see how much times have changed.

This is not misogynistic at all, other than in every way possible. I bet Trump makes this acceptable again.

I have no idea what this means and I have no desire to find out. I do prefer my Mimsys clean though. I think.

This was used in many a building back in the day until we figured out it also caused cancer. Good times.

We know now that DDT can cause a malady of problems, like cancer, and can even lead to Alzheimer’s. Oops?

One of my very sick players did this before a game years ago. It worked.

For you youngbloods out there, cigarettes actually used to be recommended by doctors for pregnant women. True story.

This one actually was ahead of its time, amirite?

Hey, I ain’t mad at them. This is exactly the way I ate butter as a kid.

Because nothing says “Let’s Party” like getting your 8-year old daughter sauced.

Rough indeed.

Theodore Roosevelt was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, and naturalist, who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He was also either the most daring, toughest SOB who ever lived or he was crazy as a loon. You be the judge. What follows are 11 of the wildest things my man TR ever did.

HE GOT SHOT IN THE CHEST AND PROCEEDED TO GIVE A 90-MINUTE SPEECH

Yep. That’s the shirt.

In October of 1912, Roosevelt was on the campaign trail stumping for the Bull Moose Party. During a speech in Milwaukee, he was shot in the chest by some crank named John Flammang Schrank. Because our man Teddy deduced that he was not coughing up blood, he elected to continue his speech, because hell yes he did. We’re talking about a man very familiar with the effects of gunshot wounds. He’d already shot and killed pretty much every animal on the planet (more on that later) and had watched men bleed out on the battlefield during his military service. Then he had the would-be assassin brought to him and told him “It takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” Jesus that’s badass. Then, before he spoke, Roosevelt declared, “I was going to make a long speech, and there is a bullet… the bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best.” When people in the crowd questioned this he simply opened his jacket to show his blood-soaked shirt. 90-minutes later the speech ended.

And oh, by the way, Roosevelt carried the bullet in his chest for the rest of his life.

HE OVERCAME CHILDHOOD ILLNESS THROUGH SHEER FORCE OF WILL

When young Teddy Roosevelt would have asthma attacks, his father, Theodore Sr., would take him on carriage rides to force air into his lungs. And when young T.R.’s illnesses would prevent him from keeping up with other children his age, his father simply said to him: “You have the mind but you have not the body. You must make your body.” Young T.R.’s many health ailments would soon recede as he took up athletics, hiking, and hunting. Only Teddy R could fend off sickness without medicine and with only pure force of will. Teddy, man.

HE’S BASICALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MODERN FOOTBALL AS WE KNOW IT

Football was once a bloody, brutal, potentially deadly sport. In 1904, there were 18 football related deaths and 159 serious injuries. On a related note, today’s players are wussy-like pansies of the highest order. Anywho, in order for the sport to survive, modern rules needed to be put in place. T.R. invited the head coaches of the top collegiate football teams to the White House on several occasions, strongly urging them to reconsider the rules of the game. He wrote at the time that his goal was not to emasculate the game – but simply to make it less lethal. By 1906, radical rule changes to the game of football were implemented.  “I believe in rough games and in rough, manly sports. I do not feel any particular sympathy for the person who gets battered about a good deal so long as it is not fatal.” Seems logical enough, amirite?

TEDDY AND HIS SON KILLED 512 ANIMALS IN ONE SAFARI

Listen, everyone knows I’m a big animal guy. No excuse for this bullshit. And turning an elephant’s foot into a trash can takes a special kind of crazy. If you ever take a tour of The Summer White House, Roosevelt’s Long Island home at Sagamore Hill, you will notice that it is full of such disgusting and sometimes wondrous animal trophies. Numerous elephant foot trash receptacles. A rhino foot pen holder. Bear and mountain lion rugs. Bison, moose, and deer wall ornaments. An elk hat rack. The North Room, at his estate on Long Island, is truly a spectacle to behold. Visit it. You will be amazed.

DURING HIS HONEYMOON HE SNUCK OUT TO CLIMB THE FREAKING MATTERHORN

Seriously. During his honeymoon. Dead serious. While a student at Harvard, Dr. Dudley Sargent had warned Roosevelt, who had been a sickly child that, because of a weak heart failure to lead a sedentary life could have fatal consequences. TR would have none of it. “Doctor, I’m going to do all the things you tell me not to do. If I’ve got to live the sort of life you have described, I don’t care how short it is.” A year after graduation, Roosevelt took time from his European honeymoon with wife Alice to scale the 15,000-foot Matterhorn.

HE ONCE STAYED UP 40-STRAIGHT HOURS TO WATCH 3-OUTLAWS HE’D CAPTURED

After his wife and mother died – on the same damn day – T.R. grieved in his own unique way: by leaving the city behind for the wild of the American West to become a cowboy, because what the hell else would you expect from him? He operated a cattle ranch in Little Missouri in the Dakotas for a few years, learning to ride, rope, and hunt. He worked alongside men who made him tougher, stating that they “took the snob out of him.” During his years in the West, he wrote several books on the subject, before returning home and running for office. Anyway, while living in North Dakota T.R. became a deputy sheriff, which by now should be in no way surprising. During this time, he once pursued three boat thieves through a frozen river. After capturing them, he personally took them to the town of Dickinson for trial rather than allow them to be hanged by vigilantes. On the journey, he watched them for 40-hours straight without sleep. Of course, he read Tolstoy to keep himself occupied. “I kept guard over the three prisoners, who were huddled into a sullen group some twenty yards off, just the right distance for the buckshot in the double-barrel.”  Bad. Ass.

HE HAD A HUGE TATTOO OF THE ROOSEVELT FAMILY CREST ON HIS CHEST

Yes kids, Teddy Roosevelt was the only US president who was inked up. That is all.

HE WENT ON AN UNCHARTED JOURNEY DOWN AN ANACONDA AND PIRANHA-INFESTED RIVER IN SOUTH AMERICA

Listen to this one – Accompanied by his son Kermit and famed explorer Colonel Candido Rondon, they set off on a journey down a river in South America known as the River of Doubt. Things were not going great, and by not going great I mean things were going horrifically wrong. They lost 5 of 7 canoes. They were in close vicinity to cannibalistic tribes. One sailor died in the rapids. Another was murdered by a crew member gone mad. Then, incredibly, things got worse. T.R. badly cut his leg trying cross the river in order to free two jammed canoes. His injury led to an infection, which led to a fever. Near death, he pleaded with his son to leave him behind to die, but Kermit refused. In the end, T.R. of course finished the journey, albeit 60-pounds lighter.

HE WAS BLINDED IN ONE EYE DURING A BOXING MATCH

Roosevelt’s love of boxing can be traced back to his Harvard roots, where he competed as a light heavyweight with moderate success. His exploits at Harvard were legendary. He continued to box he was the New York City Police Commissioner, the Governor of NY, and the President of the United States, because who the hell was going to tell Teddy Roosevelt he couldn’t? His last boxing match came in 1908, when a young military aide who had been invited to spar at the White House landed a devastating punch that dislocated Roosevelt’s left retina, leaving him mostly blind in that eye for life. Didn’t slow him down for a second.

HE GAVE HIS 9-YEAR OLD SON A WILD BADGER AS A PET. OH, AND ALSO A WILD HYENA

Annnnnd, there it is.

Because what else would Teddy Roosevelt give his son? Yessir, Archie was just 9-years old when his father decided it would be appropriate to give him a wild badger as a pet. Josiah the badger was supposedly quick to anger but had a “good heart” according to T.R. According to young Archie: “He bites legs sometimes, but he never bites faces.” Good to know! Other Roosevelt family pets included Bill the Lizard, a quintet guinea pigs named Admiral Dewey, Dr. Johnson, Bishop Doane, Fighting Bob Evans, and Father O’Grady, Maude the Pig, a blue macaw named Eli Yale, a hen Baron Spreckle, an owl because why not, a rabbit named Peter, Algonquin the family pony, and of course they had this – an actual wild hyena.

AT 58-YEARS OLD HE VOLUNTEERED TO LEAD A REGIMENT INTO WORLD WAR I

At the outbreak of World War I, the 58-year-old ex-president was eager to return to the front lines. If this surprises you then you haven’t been paying attention. Roosevelt vehemently lobbied President Woodrow Wilson to send him to France at the head of a 200,000-man expeditionary force. Around the country, supporters of the hero of San Juan Hill staged rallies of support, but Roosevelt would not get called to fight in the war that eventually claimed his son Quentin, who was killed in action when his plane was shot down over France in 1918. It’s a damn shame he was turned down, because I’m pretty sure the war would have ended a lot sooner.

So there ya go. And hey, I never even mentioned his exploits as leader of the legendary Rough Riders. Anyway, early 1900s? That was when men were men and Teddy Roosevelt was either batshit crazy or a bona-fide American badass. I’m thinking he was a little of the former and a lot of the latter.

In the 1770s, the states of Pennsylvania and Virginia laid claims and established control over areas that form parts of today’s Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Maryland. These claims would have been sorted by the Mason-Dixon Line that demarcated Pennsylvania from Maryland, but the survey was abandoned in 1767. In 1776, inspired by the ongoing Revolutionary War and fearing a civil war between both states, citizens of the disputed region declared independence and renamed the region “The Province And Government of Westsylvania.” Thereafter, they petitioned Congress to admit them as the 14th state of the Union. Congress ignored the petition, and the two states settled their border dispute in 1780. True story that I bet you did not know.

Yep. This used to happen.

Violence in cartoons was intense back in the day, man. People thought it was the height of comedy to have cartoon characters blow each other up or blast each other’s heads off. And even movies cartoons could be emotionally intense. Check out this scene when Bambi’s mother got shot by hunters:

Hell, that scene can scar a 7-year old for life. It’s tough for even me to watch it right now. Guess we were a little more callous back in the day.

Don’t get me wrong, kids are probably exposed to more violence today, it’s just not disguised as humor. If you don’t believe me just take a look at video games like Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat or Postal. They’re blood orgies to put it mildly.

Like I said, the interesting aspect of the older cartoons is that they were contained within these cute little TV shows about, usually, talking animals of all things. We’ll take a look at just a few, but first, a video so you can get the vibe:

Sort of jarring when you see it all at once, ya know?

After perusing just a few Tom & Jerry cartoons on the YouTube I viewed the following:

  • Jerry stuffing a lit stuck of dynamite into Tom’s mouth, where it explodes.
  • Tom shooting himself in the head with a shotgun.
  • Jerry slamming a red-hot waffle iron shut on Tom’s tail.
  • Jerry getting impaled through the groin with a pool stick. Not kidding.
  • Jerry slicing Tom’s tail to shreds with a pair of scissors.

Check it:

I swear, what happens on these shows rivals any torture or murder ever seen on the show Criminal Minds. Those little scamps were evil, dude.

And everyone remembers Pepe Le Pew, right?  Little bro was a French skunk with an aversion to taking no for an answer, Le Pew’s adventures read like a “How To” book on sexual harassment. Narcissistic, creepy, and obsessed with every female prospect that crossed his path, Le Pew was the ultimate anti-role model for a society trying to make steps towards gender equality. Here’s a sample of Pepe sexually harassing a cat. Yes, I just typed that:

Finally, what about the morbidly obese Fat Albert? Hell, today those friends that called him fat would find themselves in Sensitivity Training, since obesity is now being called a psychological condition. And the callousness doesn’t end there, kids. Consider poor Dumb Donald, Mushmouth, Weird Harold, and Bucky. Poor victims were given cruel nicknames that mocked their greatest insecurities and handicaps, over which they have little or no control. Tragic really. Here’s poor Mushmouth, who clearly had issues:

Oh, and what about Popeye? Dude used to beat the hell out of everyone.

Sadly, many brutal scenes have been edited out when shown nowadays, and that’s sort of sad. I mean, we all turned out OK, right?

Right?

Fort Boyard is a fort off the west coast of France. Though a fort on Boyard bank was suggested as early as the 17th century, it was not until the 1800s under Napoleon Bonaparte that work began. Building started in 1801 and was completed in 1857. Check out the photos as well as the video down below. Cool stuff.

[click on a photo to peruse]

Napoleon was not short, at least relatively for his time. At 5′-6″ he was above average for the late 1700s and early 1800s.

 

Vikings helmets never had horns. Those were created later, by a 19th century costume designer for a Wagner opera.

 

 

False.

Also false.

When Blackbeard captured the ship that would become Queen Anne’s Revenge, there were 455 African slaves aboard. Many of the Africans chose to become pirates rather than become slaves. At the time of Blackbeard’s death, 1/3 of his crew were former slaves.

 

Months before the United States dropped an Atomic Bomb called “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan, they knew they had a weapon that was more powerful than the world could possibly comprehend. Having an idea of how destructive the bomb would be, the US military dropped leaflets over the city 5-days prior to the bombing as a warning of sorts.  Here’s what a citizen of Hiroshima would have read if he’d bent over to pick up one of these flyers, or perhaps grabbed it as it fluttered from the sky. It was printed in Japanese:

Civilians! Evacuate at once! These leaflets are being dropped to notify you that your city has been listed for destruction by our powerful air force. The bombing will begin within 72-hours. This advance notice will give your military authorities ample time to take necessary defensive measures to protect you from our inevitable attack. Watch and see how powerless they are to protect you. Systematic destruction of city after city will continue as long as you continue to blindly follow your military leaders whose blunders have placed you on the very brink of oblivion. It is your responsibility to overthrow the military government NOW and save what is left of your beautiful country. In the meanwhile, we encourage all civilians to evacuate at once.

Knowing what we know now, a pretty clear warning. Definitely some subtle hints there. “Systematic destruction” and “brink of oblivion” sort of lays it out there. Still, the Japanese had no real way of knowing what type of hell would soon rain down on them.

In addition, one week prior to these leaflets being dropped, President Harry Truman had issued a simple but chilling warning that if Japan did not surrender immediately, it would face “prompt and utter destruction.”

He wasn’t bluffing.

On August 6th, 1945, that’s exactly what happened. Little Boy exploded above Hiroshima, sending out a white flash of light 10-times brighter than the sun. The surrounding air ignited and the sky erupted into a fireball 300-yards wide. The heat on the ground directly below the explosion (it detonated nearly 2,000-feet above ground) reached 6,000 degrees.

Thousands of men, women and children within a 1/2 mile radius were instantly reduced to lumps of charcoal. Then came a shockwave as the blast rolled outward with the force of 16,000 tons of TNT at a speed of 2-miles per second, followed by a cloud rising 50,000 feet into the air, sucking up with it the vaporized remains of possibly 70,000 people.

Nearly every human and building within a 1-mile radius of the explosion simply vanished. Beyond this, burns maimed and disfigured thousands, many who lived miles away.

Not to mention the radiation that would kill people for months and years to come.

So yeah, bad. Nightmarishly bad. Those who stayed simply didn’t heed the warning, for whatever reason. Nobody, outside of a select few, really knew how powerful this new weapon would be, nor could they have possibly imagined. But they were warned, even if they couldn’t comprehend the warning.

Historians still debate whether the use of the bomb was the correct decision, although most agree that it was. Most presidents since then have supported the act and have agreed that tens of thousands of American servicemen’s lives were saved because of it. The bombing of Hiroshima, and a few days later Nagasaki, prevented an invasion of Japan that would have been long and deadly.

Still, over 70-years later, the effects linger and the results of the weapon are still difficult to comprehend. And remember this – today’s bombs are thousands of times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Here’s a pretty good re-enactment of the dropping of the bomb:

 

 

Junius Booth preached that all life was sacred, even that of a housefly, and once held a funeral for pigeons. Junius died 13-years before his son John Wilkes assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

 

 

 

 

The fax machine was invented the same year as the Oregon trail migration. It was invented in 1843 by a Scottish mechanic named Alexander Bain. This early model used a combination of synchronized pendulums, electric probes and electrochemically sensitive paper to scan documents, and then send the information over a series of wires to be reproduced. At this same time, the “Great Migration” on the Oregon trail began, when a wagon train of about 1,000 migrants began to travel west.

 

Perhaps some of you know of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. Shaw was born into a prominent abolitionist family, and because of his beliefs he accepted command of the first all-black Union regiment, the 54th Massachusetts. He actually encouraged his men to refuse their pay until it was equal to the white troops’ wage. Sadly, at the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, a beachhead near Charleston, South Carolina, Shaw was killed while leading his men to the parapet of the enemy fort. Although they were overwhelmed and driven back, Shaw’s leadership, as well as the performance of his men, passed into legend and inspired tens of thousands of African-Americans to enlist for the Union and contribute to ultimate victory for the North. Incredibly, before this battle near Charleston most people had serious doubts regarding how blacks would perform under fire.

Anyway, I just finished a book about the Civil War, it told Colonel Shaw’s story in detail, and one part really stood out to me. It seems that after Colonel Shaw’s death, Confederate commander Johnson Hagood not only refused to return Shaw’s body to the North, he ordered it thrown into a mass grave. Hagood’s statement?

We have buried him with the n—–s.

That racist statement actually became a rallying cry for Union troops, and rather than be offended, Shaw’s parents said the following:

“We would not have his body removed from where it lies surrounded by his brave and devoted soldiers. We can imagine no holier place than that in which he lies, among his brave and devoted followers, nor wish for him better company. What a bodyguard he has!”

Awesome.

Note: On a related note, you may have learned about Colonel Shaw in the movie Glory, starring Matthew Broderick. Great movie, but it doesn’t mention Colonel Shaw’s burial or his family’s reaction to it.

The 1969 moon landing was accomplished with computers less powerful than the laptop I am currently typing on.

In a mere 66-years, America went from having no flight technology to landing a man on the moon 239,000 miles away.

 

Being the history freak that I am, I’m constantly scouring the interweb for stuff I’ve never seen before. Recently, during one of my late-night forays into the dark recesses of the internet, I came across a couple gems. Both are related to the events of 9/11/2001.

The first is called “September 11th As It Happened: The Definitive Live News Montage” and it basically garners all the news footage from that morning and splices it together as the events unfolded. The second video is from the Howard Stern Show and follows Howard and the members of his show as they follow the events as they sit in Manhattan.

It’s interesting, as least to me, to listen to the people as they first think they’re seeing a random accident, then realizing they’re watching a terrorist attack. It’s also fascinating to watch as the first tower falls and the news people sort of go into denial as to what they’re actually seeing. As for the Stern show, they start by laughing about the first plane, then sobering up as the grim realization hits them.

Anyway, the videos aren’t for everyone, but I find them riveting and I know some of you will too.

September 11th As It Happened: The Definitive Live News Montage

RADIO HISTORY: Howard Stern On-Air As 9/11 Happens

 

The modern day battery was invented 1-year after George Washington died.

 

No, Michael Jackson did not invent the Moonwalk. Did he improve upon it? Oh yes he did. But invent it? Oh no he din’t. When Michael unveiled his “Moonwalk” back in the early 80’s on that Motown Special it sort of startled the living hell out of everyone, including me. Here’s a clip. Wait for the 3:40 mark, when the audience actually shrieks at this seemingly impossible move. On a related note, if you don’t see the talent of MJ in this video you are blind, ignorant, and unfit to live in a civilized society.

But as I said, although MJ may have improved upon it, he didn’t come up with it. Here’s a cool cat named Bill Bailey who moonwalked right off the stage back in ’55. Wait. Nobody walked on the moon until ’69. Perhaps it was called something else? Research required. Anywho, here he is . . .

Next up we have my man Ronnie Hawkins. The Hawk sort of got lost in the whole Elvis/Carl Perkins/Jerry Lee Lewis and others madness, but damn was he good. He did something called The Cosmic Glide or Front Glide, pretty close to a moonwalk fo sho. The Hawk was cool.

And here’s a dude from back in the day named Dick Van Dyke. He was an actor on the creatively named Dick Van Dyke Show. Trust me kids, it was pretty funny. Anyway, this isn’t technically a dance, but it has all the elements of a moonwalk nonetheless. Behold . . .

Finally, here’s a video showing Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Bailey and others busting MJ-like moves long before that Motown Special. Pretty cool.

Cleopatra lived closer in time to the moon landing than the construction of the pyramids.

 

France was still using the guillotine when the first Star Wars came out.
And here’s the lucky guy . . .