The Friday Irregular
Issue #536 - 18th October 2019

Edited by and copyright ©2019 Simon Lamont
tfir@simonlamont.co.uk

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Contents

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^ WORD OF THE WEEK
inexpiable
  adj. unforgivable


^ ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Friday 18th October   -   Dagobert I was crowned King of the Franks, 1009. Botanist Nicholas Culpeper born, 1616. Mathematician & inventor of the mechanical computer Charles Babbage died, 1871. The British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) was founded, 1922. Rugby player Mike Tindall born, 1978. Writer Alan Coren died, 2007.
 
Saturday 19th October   -   John, King of England, died, 1216. The Universität Heidelberg, Germany's oldest university, held its first lecture, 1386. Polymath Sir Thomas Browne born, 1605. Germany withdrew from the League of Nations, 1933. Actor Michael Gambon born, 1940. Cellist Jacqueline du Pré died, 1987.
 
Sunday 20th October   -   Sculptor Jacopo della Quercia died, 1438. Three thousand Spanish soldiers waded through 15 miles (24.14km) of water in one night to relieve Goes during the Eighty Years' War, 1572. Architect Sir Christopher Wren born, 1632. Queen Elizabeth II opened the Sydney Opera House, 1973. Nobel laureate physicist Paul Dirac died, 1984. Singer-songwriter Jess Glynne born, 1989. World Osteoporosis Day.
 
Monday 21st October   -   Crusaders began the Siege of Antioch, 1097. King Charles VI of France died, 1422. Artist Domenichino born, 1581. Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, died at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805. Florence Nightingale and 38 nursing staff were sent to the Crimean War, 1854. Musician Dizzy Gillespie born, 1917.
 
Tuesday 22nd October   -   Mathematician and astronomer Erasmus Reinhold born, 1511. Four British warships ran aground in the Scilly naval disaster of 1707, precipitating the passing of the first Longitude Act seven years later, 1707. William IV, Prince of Orange, died, 1751. Actress Sarah Bernhardt born, 1844. Dr Hawley Crippen was convicted of poisoning his wife, 1910. Comic book artist Steve Dillon died, 2016. International Stuttering Awareness Day.
 
Wednesday 23rd October   -   Scotland and France signed the first treaty forming the "Auld Alliance" against England, 1295. French princess Charlotte of Valois born, 1516. Scientist Michel Benoist died, 1774. Blues musician Speckled Red born, 1892. Fashion designer Christian Dior died, 1957. BBC Ceefax, the world's first teletext service, ceased broadcast, 2012. Mole Day (chemists).
 
Thursday 24th October   -   Jane Seymour, third wife of King Henry VIII of England, died, 1537. Anthony Babington, leader of the eponymous plot against Queen Elizabeth I, born, 1561. The Thirty Years' war ended with the signing of the Peace of Westphalia, 1648. Bob Kane, co-creator of Batman, born, 1915. The Great Crash on the New York Stock Exchange began with Black Thursday, 1929. Filmmaker and actor Lamont Johnson died, 2010. United Nations Day. World Polio Day.


^ THE WISDOM OF...

This week, Charles Babbage, presaging the GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) computer maxim:
On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], "Pray, Mr Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.


^ FILM QUIZ

A selection of quotations from films with a common director. Answers next issue or from the regular address. Last issue's quotations were from films directed by Steven Spielberg:


^ WEIRD WORLD NEWS

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

IN BRIEF: Vicar in "Britain's most haunted village", Prestbury, Gloucestershire, bans ghost tours from walking through church graveyard. ● Linda Hamilton lost so much weight training for Terminator: Dark Fate that the costume department had to give her a fake bottom. ● Record number of poisonous Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish washing up on beaches around Cornwall. ● First-known example of diamond formed inside another diamond discovered in Russian mine. ● Former NASA scientist says 1970s Viking probes found evidence of life on Mars but agency dismissed it. ● UK to send robot spider to the Moon. ● Woman run over by her own car as she bought eggs from a roadside stall, after failing to fully engage handbrake. ● Tasmanian government department reveals sightings of thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, thought extinct for over 80 years, as recently as two months ago. ● Woman finds seashell bearing remarkable resemblance to Osama bin Laden.


^ TRUMPWATCH

    Republicans who got where are they were on the strength of their parentage including RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel (niece of Mitt Romney, granddaughter of a governor of Michigan, daughter and granddaughter of women who ran for the Senate and daughter of a candidate for Michigan attorney general) and Senator Rand Paul (son of Representative Ron Paul) question whether Hunter Biden got a seat on Ukranian gas company only because of who his father was, later joined by tweeted outrage from supreme-subject-of-nepotism Donald Trump, Jr (whose father was given his initial fortune - most of which he lost in bad business deals - by his own father...) ● Rudy Giuliani (apparently described by John Bolton as "a hand grenade") joins VP Mike Pence in refusing to co-operate with impeachment inquiry because there was no vote on establishing it put to Congress; a vote is not required. Giuliani's Ukrainian associates, one of whom paid him $500,000, and who are suspected of routing Russian money to the RNC and Trump's 2016 campaign, have been arrested trying to flee the US. ● Trump flunky Republican congressman Matt Gaetz thrown out of impeachment inquiry hearings because he was not on any of the three committees; tries to cry foul and complain of lack of transparancy. Impeachment inquiries are held behind closed doors to allow witnesses to speak freely without fear of reprisal, once impeachment moves to an actual trial in the Senate it becomes open. ● Trump has finally tweeted something that most of America can agree on. At the end of a tweet claiming median household income was at record levels he wrote "Impeach the Pres."

    Trump's redirection of military funding for his vanity border wall by declaring a national emergency has been declared unlawful by Texas federal disctrict court judge David Briones, as it violated a budget law approved by Congress which stated "none of the funds made available in this or any other appropriation may be used to increase" federal funding for the election campaign promise.

    As predicted when he ordered a US withdrawal from northern Syria the real winner in the region is Russia, who are now aiding the Kurds as well as advising Bashar al Assad's government in pushing back against Turkey, with Vladimir Putin due to meet Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the next few days. ● Trump claimed on October 10 that "we have no soldiers in Syria"; in fact there were 1,000 American military personnel still in the country. ● Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has revealed that when he was in office Trump asked him to persuade the Justice Department to drop its criminal case against Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who was also a client of one Rudi Giuliani (before Giuliani became Trump's personal hand grenadelawyer). Tillerson refused, stressing that such a request would be illegal. ● Trump has stated his belief that Mexicans are a bigger threat to the US than the 785 prisoners affiliated to the "Islamic State" who escaped from northern Syrian prisons after the US military withdrew.

    Both Queen and the estate of musician Prince are up in arms over Trump's use of their music at campaign rallies. A year ago his lawyers sent the Prince estate a letter responding to an earlier complaint confirming "the campaign will not use Prince's music in connection with its activities going forward." "Purple Rain" was played at Trump's recent Minneapolis rally. Queen are complaining after "We Will Rock You" was used in a campaign video. Pharrell Williams, Sharon Osbourne (speaking for Ozzy) and Rihanna have all complained about the Trump campaign using their music.

    Trump adds another nonsense word to his lexicon, tweeting that the impeachment inquiry is a "Wirch Hunt" - too late for the OED though [viz. Weird World News, above]. ● Trump's attempts to smear potential rival Joe Biden are following the playbook of a former president who smeared his rival, Ed Muskie. That president was one Richard Nixon. ● Robert De Niro on Trump: "Today we have a weird twisted president who thinks he's a gangster — who's not even a very good gangster. Gangsters have honor, you shake a hand and they have your word and you have theirs and that's it. But with this guy, it's not the case." ● Last Sunday (October 13) Trump tweeted birthday wishes to the US Navy, founded October 13, 1775, but not to his daughter Tiffany (born October 13, 1993). ● Trump tweets "rumor" (the only person who heard it apparently was himself) that CNN's chief Jeff Zucker is about to resign. CNN responds with single word: "lol" [laughing-out-loud]. ● Donald Trump Jr tweets that Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris is "the only person that laughs at her jokes"; Harries replies "You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you."


^ OBITUARIES

K-pop singer, songwriter and actress Sulli (f(x), 25), actress Leah Bracknell (Emmerdale, Judge John Deed, A Touch of Frost, 55), agent Joe Rice (Robert Englund, Joel Tobeck, Michael Richards, 61), ice hockey player Danny Grant (Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Detroit Red Wings, 73), actor Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks, 78), actress Juliette Kaplan (Last of the Summer Wine, Coronation Street, Doctors, 80), actor Stephen Moore (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, A Bridge Too Far, The Queen's Nose, 81), cosmonaut Alexei Leonov (the first person to perform a spacewalk, commander of 1975 Soyuz-Apollo, the first US-Soviet joint mission, 85), screenwriter Sam Bobrick (Get Smart, The Andy Griffith Show, created Saved by the Bell, 87), TV producer/screenwriter Reg Watson (co-created Neighbours,Crossroads, Prisoner: Cell Block H, 93).


^ DUMBLEDORE BEAR'S LOTTERY PREDICTOR!

Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
9, 30, 32, 38, 39, 44
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at http://www.simonlamont.co.uk/tfir/dumbledore.htm.


^ AND FINALLY...

    It was break time at Little Jennifer's school and she was talking to a girl from another class. "I think the headmaster is an idiot," Little Jennifer was saying, "he cancelled our Halloween party this year and I had a really good costume my Mummy made me for it!"
    "Do you know who I am?" the other girl asked.
    "No," Little Jennifer replied.
    "I'm Anne, his daughter."
    Little Jennifer thought for a moment. "Do you know who I am, Anne?" she asked.
    "No."
    "Good."


^ ...end of line