The Friday Irregular

10 June 2011

Edited by and copyright ©2011 Simon Lamont

The latest edition is always available at
The archives are at


Friday 10 June   -   Alexander the Great died, 323 BCE. Optician John Dollond born, 1706. Antiquarian Thomas Hearne died, 1735. Captain James Cook ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, 1770. The first Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge universities, 1829. Playwright Terence Rattigan born, 1911. Actor Michael Rennie died, 1971. Apple shipped the first Apple ][ computer, 1977. Figure skater Tara Lipinski born, 1982.
Saturday 11 June   -   The sacking of Troy (according to Eratosphenes), 1184 BCE. King George I of Great Britain died, 1727. The Continental Congress appointed the Committee of Five to draft the American Declaration of Independence, 1776. Artist John Constable born, 1776. Explorer John Franklin died, 1847. Composer Richard Strauss born, 1864. Three inmates allegedly escaped from the Alcatraz Island prison, 1962. Actor Peter Dinklage born, 1969. Actor John Wayne died, 1979. Kamehameha Day in Hawaii.
Sunday 12 June   -   Wat Tyler and his group of rebel peasants arrived at Blackheath, 1381. Writer Charles Kingsley born, 1819. Actress Uta Hagen born, 1919. For her 13th birthday Anne Frank was given a diary, 1942. Bandleader Jimmy Dorsey died, 1957. Musician Robyn born, 1979. Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman murdered, 1994. The Boeing 777 made its maiden test flight, 1994. Composer György Ligeti died, 2006. World Day Against Child Labour.
Monday 13 June   -   Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, breaking the Roman Catholic celibacy rule for priests, 1525. Samurai Miyamoto Musashi born, 1584, and died, 1645. Writer William Butler Yeats born, 1865. King Ludwig II of Bavaria was found dead in Lake Starberg, 1886. Lifeboatman Henry Blogg died, 1954. Actress Ally Sheedy born, 1962. Pioneer 10 became the first man-made oject to leave the Solar System, 1983.
Tuesday 14 June   -   Composer Orlande de Lassus died, 1594. The US Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the Flag of the United States, 1777. Traitor Benedict Arnold died, 1801. Novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe born, 1811. Charles Babbage submitted a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society proposing a difference engine, 1822 (The computing machine would not be built until 1991). Mezzo-soprano Jane Bathori born, 1877. Tennis player Steffi Graf born, 1969. Argentine forces in the Falklands War surrendered unconditionally to the British, 1982. Writer Roger Zelazny died, 1995. World Blood Donor Day.
Wednesday 15 June   -   A solar eclipse was recorded by the Assyrians, 763 BCE. Edward, the Black Prince born, 1330. Rebel Wat Tyler died, 1381. Benjamin Franklin went kite-flying in a thunderstorm, 1752. Composer Edvard Grieg born, 1843. Poet Thomas Campbell died, 1844. Singer Nadine Coyle born, 1985. The Manchester bombing by the IRA, 1996. Singer Ella Fitzgerald died, 1996.
Thursday 16 June   -   Poet John Cleveland born, 1613. Philosopher Joseph Butler died, 1752. Start of the siege of Gibraltar, 1779. Apache leader Geronimo born, 1829. Epidemiologist John Snow died, 1858. Incorporation of the Ford Motor Company, 1903. Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space aboard Vostok 6, 1963. Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun died, 1977. Actress Missy Peregrym born, 1982. Bloomsday in Dublin (James Joyce fans).


This week, Robert Burns:
My love is like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June:
My love is like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
(A Red, Red Rose)


A mixed bag of quotations. Answers next issue or from the regular address. Last issue's quotations were:


Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...

WHEN PHONES ARE GOOD. Authorities in the English Lake District frequently advise walkers not to rely solely on the GPS provision of their smartphones but to carry maps and compasses and know how to use them, however two men found a use for a phone when one of them fell and broke his arm. His colleague phoned the Wasdale Mountain Rescue team and tried to describe where they were but the team was unable to pinpoint them based on his description, until team leader Mike Gullen suggested that he take a photo with his phone and send it to them. The team realised that the men were on Broad Crag near Scafell Pike and an RAF helicopter airlifted them to hospital.

LOOK DEEP INTO MY EYEZZZZZZ... Stage hypnotist David Days had just put three people into a hypnotic trance as part of his act at the Royal Manor Theatre in Portland, England, when he tripped over one of their legs and hit the floor, knocking himself out. When his team were unable to rouse him the audience was asked to leave, while the three "asleep" people were left sitting quietly on stage, oblivious to what was going on around them. Days came to soon after, and "woke up" the three, later posting to Facebook that it had been a "great show" and reassuring fans that he was OK and had not needed hospital treatment. His manager told reporters that had he not regained consciousness they have a backup tape and reserve hypnotist.

AN APPLE A DAY BRINGS THE DOCTOR... Chinese news media reported this week that a teenager identified only as Little Zheng had sold a kidney to buy himself an iPad 2 tablet computer, which went on sale in the country last month. His mother reportedly became suspicious when she saw the device and noticed a scar on his torso. Organ trafficking is illegal in China, but the underground trade goes on.

SHEEP! New Zealand is mourning the death of Shrek the Sheep, a Merino ram who evaded shearers by hiding in caves until his 60lb (27kg) fleece - enough to make 20 large men's suits - was eventually removed in a televised event. Shrek even met the Prime Minister Helen Clark and became the subject of a number of children's books. Shrek, who also made a number of charity appearances (raising over £75,000) was described by his owner as "just an ordinary sheep [who] went AWOL and hid, and when he was found became the darling of the nation," adding how he loved children and was good with the elderly. A memorial service was planned at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo and a bronze statue commissioned for his local town. Shrek was euthanised because of age-related illness.

HAIR RAISING... The trend for hair extensions in America has led to a spate of thefts across the country. A beauty supply shop in Atlanta, GA, was ram-raided by thieves who took $10,000 (£6,119) worth of extensions, while $120,000 (£73,432) of unprocessed and untreated hair from India was taken in Houston - the burglar recorded on CCTV going straight for the hair, not bothering with a cash till. At least four other high-profile raids have taken place across Michigan, Texas and California. The stolen hair is often then sold via Craigslist or eBay (apparently despite eBay's ban on the sale of human tissue).


Sony hacked again, this time Nintento also hacked; no consumer data taken. UK govt review recommends age ratings for music videos. L.S. Lowry's Hawker's Cart auctioned for £555,000 (US$909,000). Chris Evans slams post-Sachsgate "culture of compliance" at the BBC. Adele forced to cancel rest of North American tour because of laryngitis. The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson appointed British Children's Laureate. Lloyd's of London suing promoter AEG Live for non-disclosure of "prescription drug use and/or addiction" over cancellation/non-appearance insurance policy for Michael Jackson's planned London concert. BBC commissions 14 more episodes of Doctor Who, currently on mid-season hiatus; Matt Smith signs on to continue in lead role. Serbian author Tea Obreht wins 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction for The Tiger's Wife. French TV and radio banned from naming social websites on air after watchdog rules that it would break advertising guidelines; can still give onscreen URLs... British Library launches iPad app providing page images for over 60,000 19th Century books. Bard on the Beach Vancouver Shakespeare festival launches iPhone app. Sienna Miller accepts £100,000 damages and court apology in News of the World phone-hacking scandal. John Malkovich to make Edinburgh Fringe directorial debut. Chistie Brinkley to play Chicago's Roxie Hart in London's West End. Sky to increase quantity of original programming. Rapper Ja Rule jailed for gun possession in New York. Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis retains control of festival, books Mike Batt's 70's novelty group The Wombles for hour-long set on 26 June. BFI to hold all-night screening of Harry Potter film series. BBC to broadcast Wimbledon singles finals in 3D. Modern Family and Mad Men lead first US Critics Choice Awards nominations. X-Men: First Class tops UK box office ahead of The Hangover 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Harrison Ford in training for fifth Indiana Jones film. poll names Jennifer Love Hewitt as worst film actress since 1985, ahead of Mena Suvari; Chuck Norris named worst actor. Duran Duran cancel more gigs as Simon Le Bon's throat problems worsen. Obits: singer/songwriter Andrew Gold (59), author Jennifer Worth (75), voice actor Roy Skelton (79), actress Miriam Karlin (85), TV writer/producer Leonard Stern (87), actor Donald Hewlett (90), artist M.F. Husain (95), author Lilian Jackson Braun (97).


Ever wondered how actor David Hasselhoff - best known since the end of Baywatch for his drink problem and claim to have personally brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall - got the judging gigs on ironically-named America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent? Well, he's the AntiChrist, at least according to this site. OK, so it's part spoof, part proof of how anyone can read anything into the Bible, but amusing nonetheless.


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
5, 6, 15, 30, 37, 40


   Little Jennifer's father was enjoying the peace and quiet of a Sunday morning, reading his newspaper in the living room when there was a loud thumping as his daughter ran down the stairs at full pelt. "Little Jennifer! Get in here!" he called.

   His daughter stuck her head round the door. "Yes, daddy?"

   "Little Jennifer, I want you to go back upstairs and come down again, but quietly." She disappeared, and he heard her going back up stairs. A quiet minute later she reappeared in the doorway. "That's much better. Now I want you to always come down the stairs like that. OK?"

   Little Jennifer's face lit up. "Sure, daddy. From now on I will *always* slide down the bannister!"

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