The Friday Irregular

Issue #619 - 18th June 2021

Edited by and copyright ©2021 Simon Lamont
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  1. v. to shrivel as a result of exposure to excessive heat.
  2. n. hardened slag from a steel furnace.
  3. n. a brick deformed by excessive heating in a kiln.


Friday 18th June   -   Five Canterbury monks were recorded as having seen what could have been the impact on the Moon that formed the Giordano Bruno crater, 1178. Eleanor of Woodstock born, 1318. Translator and satirist Tom Brown died, 1704. Napoléon was defeated by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher at the Battle of Waterloo, 1815. Artist and illustrator James Montgomery Flagg born, 1877. Singer and WWII "Forces' Sweetheart" Dame Vera Lynn died, 2020.
Saturday 19th June   -   Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall and favourite of King Edward II of England, was killed, 1312. King James VI and I of the United Kingdom born, 1566. The First Roanoke Colony was abandoned, 1586. Sculptor Mary Callery born, 1903. Social worker and activist Grace Abbott died, 1939. Mass riots broke out in Shisou, China, over the death of a local chief in questionable circumstances, 2009.
Sunday 20th June   -   Tsar Feodor II of Russia was murdered, 1605. Japanese shōgun Tokugawa Ieharu born, 1737. A British garrison was imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta, 1756. Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother, 1893. Biographer Claire Tomalin born, 1933. Anthropologist Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain died, 1975. World Refugee Day.
Monday 21st June   -   Historian and author Niccolò Machiavelli died, 1527. Halifax, Nova Scotia, was founded, 1749. Sprinter Mona-Lisa Pursiainen born, 1951. Librarian and Executive Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick died, 1976. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical Evita opened in London, 1978. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, born, 1982. World Humanist Day (Humanism). World Hydrography Day. The summer solstice (northern hemisphere) and winter solstice (southern hemisphere).
Tuesday 22nd June   -   Galileo was forced to recant his heliocentric view of the universe by the Holy Office in Rome, 1633; Eppur si muove. Poet Katherine Philips died, 1664. Explorer George Vancouver born, 1757. The HMT Empire Windrush brought the first group of 802 West Indian immigrants to the United Kingdom, 1948. Actress Lindsay Wagner born, 1949. Comedian and actor George Carlin died, 2008.
Wednesday 23rd June   -   Egyptian king Caesarion, son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, born, 47 BCE. A Venetian fleet defeated a larger Genoese fleet at the Battle of Trapani during the War of Saint Sabas, 1266. Conquistador Pedro de Mendoza died, 1537. Christopher Latham Sholes was granted a patent for his "Type-Writer", 1868. Actress Frances McDormand born, 1957. Educator and civil rights activist Betty Shabazz died, 1997. United Nations Public Service Day.
Thursday 24th June   -   Hannibal ambushed and defeated the Romans at the Battle of Lake Trasimene, 217 BCE. Italian noblewoman and Governor of Spoleto Lucrezia Borgia died, 1519. Inventor Thomas Blanchard, pioneer of assembly line manufacturing, born, 1788. Pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine "saucer-like" objects in the sky while flying near Mount Rainier in Washington State, 1947. Tennis player Simona Dobrá born, 1987. Archaeologist and broadcaster Mick Aston died, 2013.


This week, George Carlin:
Tell people that there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.


A selection of quotations from films released in the same year. Answers next issue or from the regular address. Last issue's quotations were from films released in 1967:


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

IN BRIEF: A Barbie collector in Blackpool has taken to posting sightseeing videos of her dolls around her hometown. ● Four people had to be rescued after their boat became stuck on the edge of the Longhorn Dam in Austin, Texas. ● A Scotland soccer fan has marked his team's return to the European Cup by visiting streets across Scotland with the same names as all of the team's players. ● A gay couple in Wisconsin who were told to remove a Pride flag from their porch because it contravened new housing association regulations on political and movement flags, instead installed multicoloured lights to illuminate the whole exterior of their home in the Pride colours at night. ● A 38-year-old man has been rescued after being stuck inside a large fan at a Northern California vineyard for two days; he was charged with trespassing, drug possession and violations of probation. ● The developers of the French Calculus of Constructions programming language are looking for a new name for it because after three decades they have realised that CoC - renamed Coq in 1989, sounds rather naughty in English... ● A hair salon in Gloucestershire had its job ad removed from a JobCentre Plus because, it was told, describing itself as "a happy salon looking for happy people" was discriminating against unhappy people. ● American middle-distance runner Shelby Houlihan has blamed her failing a performance-enhancing drugs test on a pork burrito eaten the night before the test; WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, has acknowledged that certain breeds of pig produce nandralone, the muscle-building drug in question, naturally, and she is appealing against the ban, which would see her missing both the Tokyo 2020 (2021) and Paris 2024 Olympics. ● Someone has painted a large "WELCOME TO PERTH" message in huge letters on the roof of a building next to the airport in... Sydney, Australia, 2,450 miles (3,935km) away. ● A Wisconsin man who skipped his niece's wedding in Montana for a poker tournament in Las Vegas has promised to buy the newlyweds "a better wedding present" after winning $367,000 (£260,000).

CORONAVIRUS ROUND-UP: Registered nurse and anti-vaccine campaigner Joanna Overholt, testifying before the Ohio House health committee, claimed that the COVID-19 vaccination had made her body magnetic, and to prove it pressed a bobby pin [UK: hair grip] and a key to the side of her neck. When she moved her fingers away... they fell down, of course. Presumably her skin was not secreting enough sebum, a perfectly natural waxy substance all people secrete from hair glands regardless of vaccination, to hold small items, magnetic or not, in place, and the key was later found to be made of aluminium - which is not magnetic anyway...


Radio broadcaster Dom Busby (BBC Sport, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio York, 53), soccer player Neno (Benfica, Vitória de Guimarães, Portugal, 59), film producer David Lightfoot (Rogue, Wolf Creek, Bad Blood, 61), actress Lisa Banes (Gone Girl, Cocktail, Royal Pains, 65), actor Ben Roberts (The Bill, Jane Eyre [2011], Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, 70), actor Ned Beatty (Deliverance, Superman, Toy Story 3, 83), actor John Gabriel (Ryan's Hope, El Dorado, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, 90).


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
9, 19, 26, 33, 42, 52
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at


    Little Jennifer and her friend Little Mary had spent the afternoon at a riding school. When she came to collect them Little Jennifer's mother asked them if they had had fun. "Oh yes, Mummy," Little Jennifer said, "although Little Mary's pony was much politer than mine."
    "How so?"
    "Well when we got to the first jump, her pony stopped to let her go first!"

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