Monthly Archive: September 2011

Teddy Roosevelt and the History of Football

 This week the blog for has an article called “Score One for Roosevelt,” recounting how President Teddy Roosevelt helped “save” American football.

In the History of ‘African-American’

  This week there was an anniversary in the history of the American anti-slavery movement of the 19th century.  A minor piece by the great abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, in his publication The Liberator, made a suggestion that at the time that seemed trivial to white Americans, yet his advice eventually worked its way into our daily language.

Throwing Einstein on the Bonfire?

Neutrinos have been measured going faster than the speed of light. (Maybe.) Does that mean sweet old Uncle Albert Einstein was wrong about everything?

Who Was the Horta on ‘Star Trek’?

 Remember the Horta, from the Star Trek episode titled “Devil in the Dark”? I grew up watching Star Trek in black and white, so I’m always stunned to see it in color. It was news to me that the Horta was anything other than black with grey spots. In fact, it’s brown and orange, which makes it look like a shag rug or a wet piece of pepperoni pizza. And it turns out there’s a Hungarian underneath it, giving it life.

Kyle MacLachlan from ‘Portlandia’

Here’s a photo of actor Kyle MacLachlan on the set of the TV comedy Portlandia, the creation of SNL’s Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein (formerly of the rock band Sleater-Kinney).

Roy Acuff Has a Great Speckled Birthday

Country music star Roy Acuff was born on this day in 1903. Let’s puzzle over the confounding lyrics to his big hit, “The Great Speckled Bird.”

Vincent Price and a Black Cat

From the blog Thought Patterns, a photo of Peter Lorre and Vincent Price. The photo is part of a collection, “Audition for a Black Cat,” photos of people in line waiting to audition their cat for a part in a movie.

Jackie Kennedy on Indira Gandhi: ‘A Real Prune’

 Charles DeGaulle was “that egomaniac,” Martin Luther King “a phony,” and Indira Gandhi “a real prune — bitter, kind of pushy, horrible woman.” So says Jackie Kennedy in a fascinating seven-part interview from 1964, to be released this Wednesday for the first time. 

The Greatest Obituary Generation

The Greatest Generation are getting into their 90s now, and it just won’t be the same without their obituaries in the British papers.So while you can, meet Air Commodore ‘Dim’ Strong, the pilot who “enjoyed an all-night party with his Luftwaffe captors before being sent to Stalag Luft III.”

Broadway Shocker: Fired After Only 9832 Shows

 George Lee Andrews is being let go by The Phantom of the Opera a mere 23 years after he joined the Broadway cast. After 9832 shows he is back out on the street.Let’s look at the embarrassing details.

Hard Hats and Hisahito: This Week in Biographies

It’s not clear who to thank for Labor Day, but we give it a shot. Also: a Japanese prince turns 5, a Pretenders princess turns 60, and it’s quite clear who’s responsible for the only presidential baby ever born in the White House.Read it all >>