The Friday Irregular

Issue #445 - 6th October 2017

Edited by and copyright ©2017 Simon Lamont

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Unless otherwise indicated dollar values are in US dollars.



  n. The smell of earth after rain.


Friday 6th October   -   The Roman army under Gnaeus Mallius Maximus suffered its heaviest defeat, at the Battle of Arausio, 105 BCE. Joan II of Navarre died, 1349. Navigator & cartographer Martin Behaim born, 1459. Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, premiered in Florence, 1600. Soprano Jenny Lind born, 1820. The American Library Asociation was founded, 1876. Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson died, 1892. Actress Britt Ekland born, 1942. Mathematician Phyllis Nicolson died, 1968. National Noodle Day in the USA.
Saturday 7th October   -   French king Charles the Simple died, 929. One thousand french troops invaded Jersey and defeated 3,000 defenders, but failed to secure the island, 1406. Poet & playwright John Marston born, 1576. The Americans defeated the British at the Battle of Bemis Heights in the American Revolutionary War, 1777. Writer Edgar Allan Poe died, 1849. Activist Joe Hill born, 1879. KLM, the Dutch flag carrier airline, was founded, 1919. Cellist Yo-yo Ma born, 1955. Businessman Clarence Birdseye died, 1956.
Sunday 8th October   -   Pyrrhus of Epirus born, 319 BCE. Isabella of Angoulême, second wife of King John, was crowned Queen consort of England, 1200. Artist Filippo Lippi died, 1469. Historian Jacques Auguste de Thou born, 1553. Writer Henry Fielding died, 1754. Stephenson's steam engine The Rocket won the Rainhill Trials, 1829. Chef Albert Roux born, 1935. Che Guevara and his men were captured in Bolivia, 1967. Willy Brandt, 4th Chancellor of Germany & Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died, 1992.
Monday 9th October   -   The earliest known record of the Prague astronomical clock was made, 1410. Poet Henry Constable died, 1613. Sculptor & Egyptologist Joseph Bonomi the Younger born, 1796. Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, was founded, 1804. Astronomer, almanac writer & surveyor Benjamin Banneker died, 1806. French colonel Alfred Dreyfus, subject of the Dreyfus Affair, born, 1859. Hydroelectric generators at Boulder Dam (now named Hoover Dam) began generating electricity, 1936. Actor James Finlayson died, 1953. Model Bella Hadid born, 1996. World Post Day.
Tuesday 10th October   -   Saga, 52nd emperor of Japan, born, 786. Merchant & explorer Abel Tasman died, 1659. The Great Hurricane of 1780 killed between 20,000 & 30,000 in the Caribbean, 1780. Composer Giuseppe Verdi born, 1832. Philosopher Charles Fourier died, 1837. Felix Hoffman discovered an improved method for synthesising aspirin, 1897. Actor & presenter Nicholas Parsons born, 1923. The UK's first major nuclear accident, the Windscale fire took place, 1957. Singer-songwriter Édith Piaf died, 1963. World Porridge Day. World Mental Health Day.
Wednesday 11th October   -   The Ordinances of 1311 imposed a number of regulations upon King Edward II of England, 1311. Russian general Grigory Potemkin born, 739. John Stevens' Juliana became the first steam-powered ferry in operation, 1811. Physicist & brewer James Joule died, 1889. Businessman Henry J. Heinz born, 1944. Actor & comedian Chico Marx died, 1961. NASA launched Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, 1968. Actress Emily Deschanel born, 1976. Donald Dewar, 1st First Minister of Scotland, died, 2000. National Coming Out Day in various countries.
Thursday 12th October   -   Athenian statesman Demosthenes committed suicide, 322 BCE. Believing he had reached the Indies, Christopher Columbus' expedition made landfall in The Bahamas, 1492. King Edward VI of England born, 1537. The first insane asylum in America opened, 1773. Prison & social reformer Elizabeth Fry died, 1845. Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams born, 1872. Nurse Edith Cavell executed for treason in German-occupied Belgium, having helped some 200 Allied soldiers escape the country, 1915. The First Battle of Passchendaele took place, in World War I, 1917. Tenor Luciano Pavarotti born, 1935. UN Spanish Language Day.


This week, Edith Cavell, quoted in The American Journal of Nursing:
I can't stop while there are lives to be saved.


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


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

IN BRIEF: Aldi supermarket chain selling beef brisket burritos - beef wrapped in a Yorkshire pudding. Hubble Space Telescope photographs active comet 1.5 billion miles from Earth; activity believed to be from sublimation of super-volatiles rather than solar radiation as with other comets nearer the Sun. New species of giant (50cm; 19") rat discovered on Solomon Islands. Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded to researchers who discovered how the biological clock works - a protein accumulates during sleep and is then degraded during the day, in may organisms including humans. Eight-year-old St Bernard dog called Mo recognised as having Guinness world record for the longest tongue on a dog, at 18.58cm (7.31"). Boy who accidentally swallowed party hooter cannot stop squeaking. Disney launches wedding dress range based on film princess costumes. Remains of squid found in prehistoric aquatic reptile fossil's stomach. There is ice on Mars' equator, where it should not be possible.


Assassin's Creed: Origins to include combat/storyline-free 'discovery' mode to explore history of ancient Egypt. George Harrison's sitar (reported earlier) auctions for $62,500 (£46,581) to anonymous bidder. Critical, audience, ratings for Flatliners remake, er, flatline. Hugh Hefner to be interred in crypt adjacent to Marilyn Monroe's. Kate Winslet signs on to Avatar sequels despite vowing never to work with James Cameron again after Titanic. BBC bringing back Saturday morning children's TV with Saturday Mash-Up! on both BBC Two and CBBC. James Cameron's slights at Wonder Woman film called "thuggish jabs" from "a poor soul" who was "ill advised" by 70s TV Wonder Woman Lynda Carter. Marilyn Manson forced to cancel 9 shows after a section of stage scenery fell on him. Carla Bruni releasing covers album featuring songs by, amongst others, The Rolling Stones and AC/DC... Pixies gig in Portland evacuated during encore after smoke machines set off fire alarms. Belle and Sebastian embarking on UK tour. Nicki Minaj is only woman to make list of 20 richest hip-hop musicians (at #15). MTV Europe Music Awards returning to London, hosted by Rita Ora. Madonna does standup routine. Nicole Scherzinger rejoining Pussycat Dolls for reunion gigs next year. 90s US drama Party of Five (Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert, Jennifer Love Hewitt &c) reboot based on Latino family in development. Third Sex and the City movie plans shelved. Star Trek: The Next Generation voted greatest Star Trek series ever as it marks its 30th anniversary. Strictly Come Dancing still pulling almost double the ratings for The X Factor. Amazon developing shows based on Greg Rucka's comicbook Lazarus, Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash and Larry Niven's book series Ringworld. BBC releases report into pay gap at the corporation, reveals that men typically make 9.3% more than women (UK average is 18%), director general Tony Hall vows to close gap by 2020. Kanye West's album The Life of Pablo is first to be certified gold in UK from streaming alone. Singer Charlotte Church marries in secret ceremony. Doctor Foster series 2 finale splits both viewers and critics. The Toxic Avenger musical returning to London. The White Princess, sequel to The White Queen BBC adaptation of Philippa Gregory's novel, to air on Drama from November 11. The Grand Tour gearing up for season 2 with release of behind-the-scenes pictures. Noel Clarke confirms Kidulthood TV series in development. Rumour grows that Downton Abbey movie could be announced imminently. Commodore 64 80s home computer following Nintendo SNES, ZX Spectrum in coming back as a small retro games machine reboot, though one you can attach a keyboard to. Research shows that pop song intros have fallen from 20+ seconds in the mid-1980s to around 5 seconds as a result of music streaming and shorter attention spans.


Singer-songwriter Tom Petty (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Traveling Wilburys, 66), actor Benjamin Whitrow (Pride and Prejudice, Chicken Run, 80), voice actor Ryūji Saikachi (Dragon Ball Z, Castle in the Sky, 89), US game show host Monty Hall (Let's Make a Deal, 96), retired soldier Donald Malarkey (Oldest surviving member of Easy Company, portrayed in Band of Brothers by Scott Grimes, 96).

Las Vegas Strip shooting victims: Hannah Ahlers (35), Heather Alvarado (35), Dorene Anderson (49), Carrie Barnette (34), Jack Beaton (54), Denise Burditus, Sandra Casey, Thomas Day, Jr (54), Austin Davis (29), Christina Duarte (22), Stacee Etcheber (50), Dana Gardner (52), Angela Gomez (20), Charleston Hartfield (34), Chris Hazencomb (44), Jennifer Topaz Irvine (42), Jessica Klymchuk (34), Rhonda LeRocque (42), Jordan McIldoon (23), Calla Medig (28), Sonny Melton (29), Adrian Murfitt (35), Rachael Parker (33), Jennifer Parks (35), John Phippen (56), Quinton Robbins (20), Cameron Robinson (28), Rocio Guillen Rocha (40), Lisa Romero-Muniz (48), Christopher Roybal (28), Bailey Schweitzer (20), Susan Smith (53), Neysa Tonks (46), Bill Wolfe, Jr (42), Michelle Vo (32), Kurt Von Tillow (55) and at least 22 others (unnamed at time of writing) plus 530+ injured.


As noted above, the first extant reference to Prague's astronomical clock was recorded 607 years ago this week. This week's site is Prague City Line's guide to the legends surrounding the clock.


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
3, 5, 18, 19, 32, 55
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at


    It was October and Little Jennifer's mother had taken her shopping. All the shops had Hallowe'en displays up except one. It had a large Christmas tree in the window. "Oh, look at that, Little Jennifer," her mother sighed. "We haven't even had Hallowe'en yet, but that store has started on Christmas."
    Little Jennifer stood, looking at the Christmas tree, in deep thought, before looking up at her mother and smiling sweetly, "Mummy, perhaps it's just a regular tree that wanted to dress up as a Christmas tree for Hallowe'en..."

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