Monthly Archive: November 2011

40 Years of Football Tears

On a night just like this in 1971, a legend was born. The legend that the movie Brian’s Song is the only movie that will make a grown man cry. I weep that there are men who can cry so easily.

Puzzles and Ping Pong

Will Shortz edits the New York Times crossword puzzle, sells millions of books (millions!)… and is a ping pong mogul?

Does the World Really *Need* a Photoshop Detector?

Scientists at Dartmouth have developed a top-secret tool that can show how much celebrity photos have been digitally altered.  The question is, how much do you want to know?

A Portrait of Billy Strayhorn

Jazz composer Billy Strayhorn wrote “Lush Life,” “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Satin Doll” — all while looking like a big kid.

Many Are Called, But Few Are Conan

Why is a really great new Sherlock Holmes novel still so elusive? And why do so many authors keep trying to write it?

The Handsome Man-Purse of Sir Ben Kingsley

I would just like to say that Sir Ben Kingsley’s leather satchel (or “man purse,” if you must) is pretty cool.  That is all.

How Old is Lindsay Ellingson?

Congrats to model Lindsay Ellingson, who’s landed a big gig on the Victoria’s Secret show this week. But she may be a bit older than her agency claims.

Yoda Sells Japanese Noodles

Yes, really! Yoda is the latest celebrity to go to Japan for the big advertising bucks, using The Force to boil up some noodle water.

The Bush Twins are 30 Years Old

Gee, they were only 18 when their dad was elected president. Now the Bush Twins have turned 30.  Tempus fugits itself once again.

Wenlock and Mandeville Take Over the World

 The mascots of the 2012 Olympics are secret symbols from the true heirs of Jesus that signal an imminent messianic event. But are they cute?

Letters to the Dallas Morning News, 1963

“A truly socialistic regime.” “Free enterprise is finished. States’ rights have vanished. We now have taxation without representation.” Gee, they’re talking about Barack Obama, right? Not quite.

Pride and Extreme Prejudice: Was Jane Austen Poisoned?

A British author is claiming that Jane Austen may have died of arsenic poison.  The symptoms: splotchy skin, a loss of energy, and the desire to sell a new crime novel about how Jane Austen might have been poisoned with arsenic.

Wow: Natalie Wood’s Death is Being Re-Investigated by Sheriffs

30 years after actress Natalie Wood died in a mysterious yachting accident off Catalina Island, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office has decided to reopen the case — apparently after hearing that the yacht’s captain has more to say.

Fighting Nazis and Body Odor

This soldier is home on furlough, probably resting from fighting Nazis. But now he’s found an evil as bad as Hitler, right there under our own arms.

Mount Rushmore 2.0: Reagan or JFK?

Republicans want Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore. Democrats want John F. Kennedy. But what if there were a solution that would satisfy both groups?  Say hello to The Rushmore Ten.

Dr. Sam Sheppard’s Murder Trials

 Dr. Sam Sheppard was acquitted of murdering his wife 45 years ago today, after he’d spent nearly a decade in prison. A happy ending, right? Wrong.

The End of the Gemini Space Program

On this day in 1966 the Gemini XII spacecraft landed safely, marking the end of the Gemini program and paving the way for Apollo and what followed. What did Gemini XII accomplish?

Happy Birthday, Georgia O’Keeffe!

It would have been Georgia O’Keeffe’s birthday today. She was born 124 years ago in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. In her honor I’ve drawn a cartoon — with a little of the southwestern flavor that made her famous.

Christo Does Colorado

French artist Christo has been given the go-ahead to put six miles of fabric across Colorado’s Arkansas River. Sounds crazy, right? But maybe not.

Time Flies: Laura San Giacomo is 50

The star of Just Shoot Me never quite made it big as a movie lead, but she’s been steady on the small screen.

Why Is Ma Named ‘Yo-Yo’?

Suppose you and your spouse are Chinese immigrants in Paris in 1955 and you can’t decide what to name your son.  And you already named one daughter “Yeou.”  Why not double up?

Kate Moss Statue Sells for $900,000

 Yeah, almost a million dollars for a foot-high statue of a famously skinny model. Must be some statue, right?

Joe Paterno is No Longer the Sportsman of the Year

From 1986: “In an era of college football in which it seems everybody’s hand is in the till or balled up in a fist, Paterno sticks out like a clean thumb.”

Andy Rooney is Dead

A few short weeks after his final 60 Minutes broadcast, the gently grumpy journalist has died after surgery.

Meet the Guy Your Guy Is Named For

The notorious Guy Fawkes was the inspiration for the word guy. But lasting fame didn’t come cheap.

Scans from a 1976 TV Guide

I scanned a few pages from the September 1976 issue of TV Guide that announced the new shows for the prime time season.

November is Native American Heritage Month

 President Barack Obama proclaimed this the month to honor “American Indians and Native Alaskans” for their contributions to the U.S., just like he did last year and the year before that.