The Friday Irregular
Issue #462 - 9th February 2018

Edited by and copyright ©2018 Simon Lamont

The latest edition is always available at
The archives are at

The Friday Irregular does not set any cookies, but our host and linked sites out of our control may.

Unless otherwise indicated dollar values are in US dollars.



  n. A small cottage, especially one in a rural setting for communal use by farmworkers or walkers. [Scottish & Northern English]


Friday 9th February   -   The coronation of Zeno as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire, 474. Artist Gerrit Dou died, 1675. Activist Thomas Paine born, 1737. The British Parliament declared Massachusetts to be in rebellion, at the start of the American Revolutionary War, 1775. Writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky died, 1881. Actor Ronald Colman born, 1891. The Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, viewed by a record 73 million people across America, 1964. Model Amber Valetta born, 1974. Musician Bill Hailey died, 1981.
Saturday 10th February   -   Margaret II, Countess of Flanders, died, 1280. Admiral & politician William Cornwallis born, 1744. France ceded Quebec and other territories to Great Britain at the end of the Seven Years' War, 1763. Merchant & deviser of the eponymous loading line on ships, Samuel Plimsoll born, 1824. Writer Ellen Wood died, 1887. Edward VII launched HMS Dreadnought, the first dreadnought battleship, 1906. Singer-songwriter Roberta Flack born, 1939. Downed U2 spy-plane pilot Gary Powers was exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, 1962. Actress & diplomat Shirley Temple died, 2014.
Sunday 11th February   -   Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu, 660 BCE (Traditional date). Karl von Trier, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, died, 1324. Writer Honoré d'Urfé born, 1568. Mathematician & philosopher René Descartes stopped thinking and ceased to be, 1650. Jesse Fell first burned anthracite on an open grate as an experiment to heat homes with something other than wood, 1808. Egyptologist Auguste Mariette born, 1821. The BBC broadcast the world's first science fiction television programme, a section of Karel Čapek's play R.U.R., notable for the first application of the word 'robot' to describe an automated machine, 1938. Poet Sylvia Plath committed suicide, 1963. Actress Jennifer Aniston born, 1969.
Monday 12th February   -   Shōgun Kujo Yoritsune born, 1218. Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon on his second voyage to India, 1502. Lady Jane Grey, de facto Queen of England & Ireland for 9 days, executed, 1554. Biologist Jan Swammerdam born, 1637. Philosopher Immanuel Kant died, 1804. The Australian gold rushes began with Edward Hargraves' announcement that he had discovered gold in Bathurst, New South Wales, 1851. Lyons' LEO became the first computer used in business when it generated a payroll report, 1954. Cryptographer Phil Zimmermann born, 1954. Singer Al Jarreau died, 2017. Red Hand Day (United Nations). Darwin Day (International)
Tuesday 13th February   -   Catherine Howard, 5th wife of Henry VIII of England, executed, 1542. Galileo arrived in Rome for his trial by the Inquisition, 1633. Economist Thomas Robert Malthus born, 1766. Work began on covering the Senne in Brussels, 1867. Composer Richard Wagner died, 1883. Artist Grant Wood born, 1891. The Coso artifact, allegedly a 500,000-year-old rock encasing a spark plug, was discovered near Olancha, California, 1961. Tennis player Jamie Murray born, 1986. Kim Jong-nam, one-time heir apparent to his father, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, died, probably assassinated, 2017. World Radio Day.
Wednesday 14th February   -   Richard II of England died, possibly starved in captivity, 1400. Muslims in Granada were ordered to convert to Catholicism or leave Spain, in the Spanish Inquisition, 1502. Lucrezia de' Medici, Duchess of Ferrara, born, 1545. Engraver Abraham Bosse died, 1676. Great Ormond St Hospital in London, England's first hospital with beds specifically designed for children, was founded, 1852. Artist & writer Nina Hamnett born, 1890. Writer P.G. Wodehouse died, 1975. Model & actress Rie Rasmussen born, 1976. The Voyager 1 space probe took the photograph of Earth now known as Pale Blue Dot, 1990. Singles Awareness Day. Valentine's Day. V Day.
Thursday 15th February   -   Oswiu, King of Northumbria, died, 670. An English invasion force landed in La Rochelle, during the Anglo-French War (1213-1214), 1214. Astronomer, mathematician & physicist Galileo Galilei born, 1564. President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Sumpreme Court of the United States, 1879. Actress Gale Sondergaard born, 1899. Musical comedy composer Lionel Monckton died, 1924. Currency in the United Kingdom became fully decimilised on Decimal Day, 1972. Animator Brendon Small born, 1975. Physicist & Nobel Prize laureate, Richard Feynman died, 1988.


This week, P.G. Wodehouse, in The Code of the Woosters:
It is no use telling me that there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.


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


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

IN BRIEF: Traffic wardens ticket car with legal parking permit displayed - because it was covered in snow & they could not see the permit. ● Runner in Cardiff uses tracking app to spell out "THANK YOU" on beach after receiving successful organ donation. ● Cookery broadcaster Nigella Lawson shares recipe for Marmite pasta. ● River in Tyumen, Russia, turns blood-red, and nobody knows why (authorities are waiting for test results). ● Man buries cheap plastic skeleton beneath decking before moving house to prank future owners. ● New York bar puts up notices banning customers from saying "literally" when they mean "figuratively". ● You should keep chocolate in a cool, dark, dry place, but not the fridge, apparently. ● Police called to ASDA supermarket in Altrincham after fighting breaks out over heavily discounted sandwiches, and to a Harvester restaurant in Liverpool after fight breaks out after someone queue-jumps to use a toaster for an "all you can eat" breakfast buffet. ● Man trying to modify his IKEA desk saws it in half, discovers that it was not veneered wood - it was veneered cardboard (He was not angry about it, and IKEA has confirmed that they sometimes use compressed cardboard for its light weight).


Doctor Foster creator Mike Bartlett hints at third series. Netflix use Super Bowl ad to announce untrailed release of third film of J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield franchise, The Cloverfield Paradox. BBC drop 2 of 4 filmed filmed episodes of Mel and Sue's Generation Game before broadcast, announce that the show (presumably one or both of the retained ones) will include Basil Brush. Amazon developing Conan series, based on Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, written by Colony co-creator Ryan Condal. Upcoming Labyrinth film will be a spin-off from the cult David Bowie/Jennifer Connelly original, not a reboot, directed by Evil Dead's Fede Alvarez, co-written by Alvarez & Metal Gear Solid's Jay Basu; casting underway, filming expected to start this autumn. Speculation that Doctor Who could move from Saturday to Sunday nights to avoid being pushed past younger children's bedtimes by Strictly Come Dancing. Manchester Art Gallery removes J.W. Waterhouse's Hylas and the Nymphs, claimedly to start debate on how classic pictures depicting naked adolescent girls should be displayed in the modern age, instead gets backlash and allegations of puritanical censorship and political correctness. 2017 interview with Heath Ledger's sister suggests that he was keen to reprise role of the Joker in third Christopher Nolan Batman film before he died. Despite co-creator Reece Sheersmith's earlier claims that just-ended series of Inside No. 9 would be the last, BBC recommissions it for another series. HBO outbids Apple for Demimonde, J.J. Abrams' first self-penned TV show since Fringe. Justin Timberlake to tour UK this summer. Paul Simon announces retirement from touring (but not one-off gigs) after this summer. Smashing Pumpkins stoke rumours of reunion. Queen (with Adam Lambert) playing London's O2, venues in Italy & Germany this summer. P!nk slams critics after national anthem performance at Super Bowl; alleged chewing gum was a throat lozenge after she'd caught 'flu from her children. Lady Gaga forced to cancel last 10 dates of European tour on medical advice after fibromyalgia flare-up. Man arrested in Orlando after 'credible' kidnap threat to Lana Del Ray. Parklife festival bans, er, potato peelers at the behest of Liam Gallagher (something to do with the feud with his brother, apparently). Matt Smith to play Charles Manson in film Charlie, directed by American Psycho's Hannah Murray. Spice Girls announce reunion (though some speculation that Victoria Beckham only agreed on condition that she does not have to sing); Nadine Coyle announces Girls Aloud reunion as, er, solo performances of band's hits. US police name Robert Wagner a "person of interest" in the 1981 death of his then-wife Natalie Wood after new evidence comes to light & reanalysis of his "conflicting" accounts of what happened that night. RCL pledge new delivery date for Sinclair ZX Vega+ handheld games device after Indiegogo threatens action to recover backers' money. British public vote on which song will not win this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Ozzy Osbourne announces another retirement tour. Cast of The Greatest Showman top UK album chart ahead of Craig David & Ed Sheeran; Drake tops UK singles chart ahead of Ramz & Eminem ft. Ed Sheeran. UK govt announces review into demise of traditional printed news press including rise of online "clickbait" and "fake news" [Because "fake news" has never appeared in the printed newspapers, has it?... -Ed]. Nintendo announce Super Mario (presumably animated) film with Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions); hopefully better than 1993's Bob Hoskins live actioner...


Actor Ole Thestrup (Borgen, Ronal Barbaren, 69), actor John Mahoney (Frasier, Say Anything..., 77), singer Dennis Edwards (The Temptations, 74), mathematician Alan Baker (1970 Fields Medal winner, 78).


The Pale Blue Dot photograph of Earth by Voyager 1 at a distance of 4 billion miles (6.4 billion km) was taken at the behest of astronomer Carl Sagan. This week's site has the photograph and an extract from Sagan's 1994 book, also called Pale Blue Dot.


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
9, 20, 25, 46, 55, 57
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at


    Little Jennifer was staying at her grandparents' house for the weekend while her parents were away, and it was teatime. "Would you like a chocolate biscuit, Little Jennifer?" her grandmother asked her.
    "Yes please, Grannie," Little Jennifer replied.
    Her grandfather smiled at them. "It is good to see someone with such polite manners, isn't it? I do like people who say 'please' and 'thank you'," he said.
    Little Jennifer quickly finished her biscuit and smiled as only Little Jennifer could. "I'll say both if it gets me a big slice of that cake in the kitchen, Grandpa," she said.

^ ...end of line