The Friday Irregular

26 August 2011

Edited by and copyright ©2011 Simon Lamont

The latest edition is always available at
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Friday 26 August   -   The Battle of Crécy, in which the supremacy of English longbows over crossbows and armoured knights was established, 1346. Artist Frans Hals died, 1666. Chemist Antoine Lavoisier born, 1743. The final eruption of Krakatoa reached its last stage, 1883. Writer Christopher Isherwood born, 1904. Aviator Charles Lindbergh died, 1974. Actor Chris Pine born, 1980. The final reports into the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster were released by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, 2003. Singer Laura Brannigan died, 2004. Women's Equality Day and National Toilet Paper Day in the USA.
Saturday 27 August   -   End of the Visigoth sacking of Rome, 410. Artist Titian died, 1577. Philosopher Georg Hegel born, 1770. The French National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 1789. Literary critic Rufus Griswold died, 1857. Composer Eric Coates born, 1886. The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein died, 1967. Actress Sarah Chalke born, 1976. The remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, and his sister Anastasia were discovered near Yekaterinburg, Russia, 2007. Independence Day in Moldova.
Sunday 28 August   -   Start of the Third Crusade Siege of Acre, 1189. Writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe born, 1749. Sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle died, 1785. William Herschel discovered Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, 1789. Writer Sheridan Le Fanu born, 1814. Geologist William Smith died, 1839. Martin Luther King, Jr addressed the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. delivering his I Have a Dream speech, 1963. Actress Jennifer Coolidge born, 1963. Actor Robert Shaw died, 1978.
Monday 29 August   -   Philosopher John Locke born, 1632. Start of the Seven Years' War, 1756. Card game expert Edmund Hoyle died, 1769. Artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres born, 1780. The United Kingdom parliament legislated to abolish slavery throughout its empire, 1833. Film director Richard Attenborough born, 1923. Writer William Archibald Spooner died, 1930. The Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb, 1949. Comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins died, 2008.
Tuesday 30 August   -   Theodoric the Great died, 526. HMS Pandora sank, a day after running aground on a reef, 1791. Frankenstein author Mary Shelley born, 1797. Founding of Melbourne, Australia, 1835. Nobel laureate chemist Ernest Rutherford born, 1871. Cosmetic manufacturer Max Factor, Sr died, 1938. Actress Sarah-Jane Potts born, 1976. Actress Jean Seberg died, 1979. The Space Shuttle Discovery took off on its maiden flight, on STS-41-D, 1984. International Day of the Disappeared.
Wednesday 31 August   -   Roman emperor Gaius Caligula born, 12. Writer John Bunyan died, 1688. Lewis and Clark set off on their expedition, 1803. Poet Charles Baudelaire died, 1867. Educator Maria Montessori born, 1870. Thomas Edison patented the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector, 1897. Journalist and former Parliamentarian Martin Bell born, 1938. Actor Michael Sheard died, 2005. Edvard Munch's The Scream, stolen on August 22, 2004, was recovered, 2006.
Thursday 1 September   -   Actor Edward Alleyn born, 1566. Philosopher Henry More died, 1687. Astronomer Karl Harding discovered main belt asteroid Juno, 1804. Writer Edgar Rice Burroughs born, 1875. Emma Nutt was hired as the world's first female telephone operator, 1878. Country musician Boxcar Willie born, 1931. Poet Siegried Sassoon died, 1967. The SR-71 Blackbird set a still-current record for flying from New York to London (114 minutes 56.4 seconds), 1974. Voice artist Don LaFontaine died, 2008. Disaster Prevention Day in Japan.


This week, Martin Luther King, Jr:
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.


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...

SOLED OUT! Wiltshire police in England have released CCTV footage of a woman attacking an ATM - with her shoe. She was recorded standing in front of the machine for several minutes before taking off her high-heeled stiletto and whacking the machine "almost 50 times" with it, damaging the screen and keyboard enough for it to be rendered unusable. Police say they have no idea why she attacked the ATM, or who she was, as her card was not found in the machine, and have appealed for help identifying her.

TOP OF THE WORLD! Austrian climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, 40, has become the first woman to climb all 14 Himalayan summits above 8,000m (26,000ft) without bottled oxygen - above that height the air is too thin to support human life for long. Two other women have ascended the 14 peaks, but they both used supplemental oxygen. Kaltenbrunner completed the achievement with an ascent - in the company of two other climbers - of K2, one of the most treacherous mountains in the world - it was her seventh attempt.

BIG PLANE, SMALL MOUSE. An SAS Airbus A330 due to fly from Stockholm to Chicago was grounded before takeoff last week after a mouse was seen scurrying across the floor before passengers started boarding. Despite an intensive search of the plane and the deployment of numerous traps (we don't know if they were humane or not), the rodent evaded capture and the plane was grounded as a safety precaution in case the mouse chewed wiring. The 250 stranded passengers were reported to be understanding, while the airline tried to rebook them, but as the A330 was one of their largest planes a replacement was hard to locate. "This is the most expensive mouse in the history of humankind," one passenger joked.

BEER POWERED? Australian Christopher Petrie, 23, had his driving license revoked for nine months last week after taking to the road on an unlicensed... coolbox. He had bought the necessary parts to convert it to a vehice on the internet, and assembled it with a friend, but police didn't appreciate it when he tried taking it for a spin, as it was neither approved nor taxed for road use.

FREEDOM! DOH! Stephen Gough, also known as the Naked Rambler, who has been in jail for much of the last decade for repeatedly walking around naked was freed from Perth Prison but removed his clothes and was rearrested after less than a minute and charged with breaching the peace. He was sentenced to another 657 days, including the portion of his previous sentence that remained unserved (he was released early), a year for the breach of the peace, and 90 days for contempt of court after appearing naked in the dock despite a warning beforehand from Sheriff Michael Fletcher. Gough was unrepentant, so police will probably be waiting for him again next time he is released...


Warehouse 13 renewed for fourth season. Abercrombie & Fitch offer to pay cast of The Jersey Shore reality show not to wear its clothes for fear of damaging the brand. Tickets for Michael Jackson tribute concert going on sale despite criticism of the event from the Jackson family. Filming underway for Brad Pitt zombie film World War Z, set in America, filmed in... Glasgow. Comedian Mark Thomas shortlisted for Amnesty International Freedom of Expression award. Edinburgh International Book Festival underway, ends on Monday. Staines councillors criticise indie band Hard-Fi for describing their hometown as "like a ghost town". Signed copy of Beatles' Please Please Me single to be auctioned in Liverpool this weekend, expected to fetch around £7,000 (US$11,400). Items from BBC drama Casualty to be auctioned ahead of production move to Cardiff. Michael Winner to marry next month. Third Sex and the City movie and new TV series in works, according to star Sarah Jessica Parker. BBC to extend BBC Three broadcasting hours, add temporary additional service to Radio 5 Live and extend online video hours for coverage of London Olympics next year; promise to retain significant parts of the schedule including BBC2 peaktime and BBC Four free from sports. Amy Winehouse's Back to Black knocked from #1 UK album chart by dubsteppers Nero, but now the biggest-selling album in the UK so far this century. Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh to take over Shrek musical Fiona role two months earlier than planned due to Amanda Holden's pregnancy. The Help tops US, Canada box offices ahead of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Original series co-creator Dame Eileen Atkins leaving Upstairs Downstairs revival. X Factor pulls in 10.5m viewers for opening of latest UK series; Channel 5's Celebrity Big Brother panned by critics for lacklustre non-celebrities, debut draws 5.1m, since hovering around 2-3m; station owner Richard Desmond was hoping for 20m... UK local TV stations could have sponsored news. Liam Gallagher suing Noel Gallagher for libel over claim he cancelled a gig because he was hungover. Tracie Bennett to reprise role as Judy Garland as Peter Quilter's play End of the Rainbow crosses the Atlantic to Broadway. Ridley Scott to direct new Blade Runner film - either a prequel or a sequel, not a remake. Phil Spector denied permission to appeal murder conviction; Al Pacino's method acting as Spector in biopic reportedly scaring film crew. James Petterson tops Forbes list of highest-paid authors for May 2010-Aril 2011. US concerts by Janet Jackson, Lady Antebellum cancelled after stage collapse kills 5. BBC co-funded spy thriller Page Eight to close Toronto International Film Festival next month; broadcast on BBC in the UK this weekend. Glee 3D concert film flops at US box office, selling only about 500,000 tickets across over 2,000 screens on opening weekend. Disney shuts down Johnny Depp starrer The Lone Ranger in pre-production over budget concerns. AC/DC launch own label Australian wine. Cheryl Cole to make film debut with cameo in Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez starrer What To Expect When You're Expecting. Obits: filmmaker Tareque Masud (54), pop manager Frank Dileo (63), actor Huw Ceredig (69), Motown songwriter Nick Ashford (70), TV comedy producer John Howard Davies (72), songwriter Jerry Leiber (78), actor Shammi Kapoor (79), broadcaster Robert Robinson (83), director/screenwriter Jimmy Sangster (83), author Michael Legat (88).


Google users are an... interesting bunch. This week's site analyses what people type into Google's search box to see what "the net" thinks of various things.


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
5, 11, 15, 21, 33, 40


   Little Jennifer's mother was busy in the kitchen while Little Jennifer was watching television when the doorbell rang. "Can you answer the door, Little Jennifer? My hands are covered in flour. If it's charity collectors there's some money in the table drawer in the hall." She heard the front door opening and hushed conversation going on, then the door shut and Little Jennifer came into the kitchen. "Who was it?"

   "Oh, just charity people," Little Jennifer replied.

   "Did you give them the money?"

   Little Jennifer sat down and beamed. "No, mummy, when they said they were collecting for the old folk's home I told them where Grandma and Grandpa live."

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