Monthly Archive: December 2006

Notes on Rocky

Rocky Balboa opens tomorrow — the sixth film in Sylvester Stallone’s series about the rugged Philadelphia boxer with the broken nose. Thirty (count ’em) years have passed since the original Rocky won the Academy Award for best picture and best director of 1976. A few random Rocky notes:


Joseph Barbera, creator of Scooby-Doo and Fred Flintstone, has died at age 95. His partner Joseph Hanna died in 2001, and Hanna-Barbera is now part of Time-Warner.

Keeping An Eye on St. Nick

Google Earth has just announced a new gadget that “tracks” the travels of Santa Claus over the days leading up to Christmas Eve. The downer is that you must download both Google Earth and the Santa-tracking program (though they’re free), but on the upside, you get a flyby of Santa’s workshop at the North Pole and a peek at whimsical presents hidden around the world. It’s a nice gesture.

World’s Tallest Man Saves Dolphin

Strange but true (and wonderful): the world’s tallest man, a 54-year-old Mongolian herdsman, saved two dolphins at a Chinese aquarium by reaching into their stomachs and pulling out wayward chunks of plastic. The BBC reports that Bao Xishun is 2.36 meters, or 7 feet 8.95 inches, tall. Here’s a further story (with a fine photo) from CBS News.

Fun New Profile

Milton Bradley, creator of The Game of Life and founder of the Milton Bradley Company, maker of Yahtzee and Chutes and Ladders. Who knew he was born way back in 1836? Or that Abraham Lincoln nearly broke his heart?

Jeane Kirkpatrick, U.N. Bulldog

Jeane Kirkpatrick, a conservative bulldog for Ronald Reagan at the United Nations, has died at age 80.

The Day Nobody Was Born

December 6th is a special day at it’s the only day of the year on which nobody in our database was born. That’s 2843 famous people (and counting) and none of them born on December 6th.The 6th has been the lone holdout for a couple of years now. Even February 29 is well represented by rapper Ja Rule and Mother Ann Lee of the Shakers, among others.

Disney at 105

Animation pioneer Walt Disney died 40 years ago, but were he still living he’d be 105 today. Disney was born the same year as jazz great Louis Armstrong and chemist Linus Pauling. They both outlived him, but they were all outlasted by romance novelist Barbara Cartland, also of the class of ’01, who lived to the ripe old age of 100.Happy birthday, Walt!