The Friday Irregular

Issue #652 - 18th February 2022

Edited by and copyright ©2022 Simon Lamont
( Facebook  /  Twitter )

The latest edition is always available at
The archives are at

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

Unless otherwise indicated dollar values are in US dollars. Currency conversions are at current rates at time of writing and may be rounded.
The Friday Irregular uses Common Era year notation.






   adj. having a hangover without admitting to having been drinking. [C19th slang]


Friday 18th February   -   Artist and sculptor Michelangelo died, 1564. Explorer and cartographer Maarten Gerritsz Vries born, 1589. A Spanish fleet captured or sank 20 of 44 ships in an escorted Anglo-Dutch convoy at the Battle off Lizard Point during the Eighty Years' War, 1637. Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to be flown and milked in a fixed-wing aircraft, 1930. Actress Molly Ringwald born, 1968. Singer Maria Franziska von Trapp died, 2014.
Saturday 19th February   -   Eleanor of Aragon, queen consort of Portugal, died, 1445. Astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus born, 1473. The signing of the Treaty of Westminster ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War and transferred the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan Island to England, 1674. Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was published, 1963. Biochemist and CRISPR gene-editing pioneer Dr Jennifer Doudna born, 1964. Filmmaker and activist Derek Jarman died, 1994.
Sunday 20th February   -   Norway pawned Orkney and Shetland to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for Margaret of Denmark, 1472. Musette maker and player Nicolas Chédeville born, 1705. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City opened, 1872. Author and abolitionist Frederick Douglass died, 1895. Fashion designer and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt born, 1924. Nobel laureate physicist Maria Goeppert-Mayer died, 1972. World Day of Social Justice.
Monday 21st February   -   King James I of Scotland was assassinated in an attempted coup, 1437. Music theorist and composer Sethus Calvisius born, 1556. A force of 1,400 French soldiers invaded Britain and were defeated by 500 British reservists, 1797. Indian state queen and freedom fighter Kittur Chennamma died in prison, 1829. The Washington Memorial was dedicated, 1885. Singer-songwriter Nina Simone born, 1933. International Mother Language Day (UNESCO).
Tuesday 22nd February   -   Explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci died, 1512. A storm surge flooded the Frisian coast, causing 15,000 deaths, 1651. George Washington, general and 1st President of the United States, born, 1732. Frank Woolworth opened his first five-and-dime store in Utica, New York, 1879. Poet Edna St Vincent Millay born, 1892. Journalist Marie Colvin was assassinated on the orders of the Syrian government, 2012.
Wednesday 23rd February   -   Diarist Samuel Pepys born, 1633. The Cato Street Conspiracy to kill the Prime Minister and all the cabinet ministers was exposed and its members arrested, 1820. Poet John Keats died, 1821. Actress Musidora born, 1889. Soprano Nellie Melba died, 1931. Supernova 1987a became visible in the Large Magellanic Cloud, 1987.
Thursday 24th February   -   Explorer, scholar and jurist Ibn Battuta born, 1304. Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, one of the first recognised operas, premiered, 1607. Physician and censor Thomas Bowdler born, 1825. Nancy Astor became the first woman to speak in the British House of Commons, three months after her election as an MP, 1920. Actress Emmanuelle Riva born, 1927. Physicist, mathematician and "human computer" for NASA, Katherine Johnson died, 2020.


This week, Nancy Astor:
One reason I donít drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.


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 2019:


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

IN BRIEF: Parents of small children beware. There are plans for a full-length film based on the Baby Shark earworm video... ● Englishman Paul Bishop, 63, was on a night out in Benidorm in 2011, drank too much cider and was sick in a bin, losing his false teeth in the process. Eleven years later Spanish authorities have sent them to him. They had been found in a landfill and DNA records led to him... ● The country of Turkey is reportedly planning to rebrand itself as Türkiye. ● Northern Powergrid, which maintains electricity supplies in the northeast of England, recently mailed out compensation cheques to customers whose power was cut off for days by Storm Arwen last November. A number of customers in Halifax and Newcastle have - thanks to a clerical error - been sent cheques made out for trillions of pounds. One that went viral online was for £2.3tn ($3.12). ● A bored security guard at the Yeltsin Center in Yekatarinburg, Russia, has been accused of using a ballpoint pen to doodle eyes on a Soviet-era painting of three abstract - and eyeless - figures. ● Lockheed Martin have modified a Black Hawk helicopter to be able to take off, fly itself around obstacles and land autonomously. ● Reports of a loud bang and shaking across parts of Lancashire and Merseyside earlier this week were initially thought to be an earthquake but finally confirmed by BAE Systems as a sonic boom from one of their Typhoon aircraft. ● Mazda are having to recall some 2014-17 cars in Washington State as a faulty component leaves their radios permanently set to the National Public Radio network, as well as disabling navigation and bluetooth. ● A group of teenagers who fell through ice on a Missouri lake were saved by firefighters who were doing ice rescue training on the lake at the time. ● Firefighters in Somerset were called to rescue a woman from a tree after she became stuck, having climbed it to try to catch her pet parrot that had escaped. Reports did not mention the fate of the parrot.

CORONAVIRUS ROUND-UP: New Zealand authorities dispersed several hundred ant-vaccine-mandate protesters who had camped outside the Parliament building by using the public address system to play loops of Barry Manilow songs and "Macarena", as well as turning on the lawn sprinklers. ● An Ohio man who wanted to get in on the protests in the Canadian capital Ottawa decided to phone in a bomb threat, to divert police from the protest. Unfortunately the 20-year-old from Akron called the authorities in Ottowa, a village in Ohio about 154 miles (248km) west of where he lived instead of Ottowa, Ontario, 545 miles (877km) northeast... The Ohio police were reported as mulling charging him.

UPDATES: The first image from the James Webb Space Telescope has been released. The picture of 18 multiple-exposed stars is part of work to align its reflectors. The first proper image is expected in June or July. ● Astronomer Bill Gray, who identified the rocket section heading for an impact on the Moon has corrected his initial report of its origin. Rather than part of a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster he now says it is a Chinese rocket stage launched in 2014 for a lunar mission. It is due to hit the Moon on March 4th. ● Elon Musk has blamed the "fun police" for making Tesla recall cars to remove the option to make fart and goat noises as pedestrian warnings. ● The Enigma 555.55 carat black diamond sold for £3.16m ($4.3m).


Author & satirist P.J. O'Rourke (Rolling Stone, National Lampoon, A Cry From the Middle, 74), musician Ian McDonald (King Crimson, Foreigner, Honey West, 75), film director & producer Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, National Lampoon's Animal House, Stripes, 75), singer & musician Betty Davis ('the Godmother of Funk', "Uptown (to Harlem)", Summer of Soul, 77), TV producer Beryl Vertue (Men Behaving Badly, Sherlock, 2012 Royal Television Society Lifetime Achievement Award, 90), film producer Judd Bernard (Double Trouble, The Marseille Contract, Point Blank [1967], 94).


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
2, 8, 18, 25, 33, 34
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at


    Little Jennifer had come home from school early. "Why are you back so soon," her mother asked her.
    "Well, Mummy," Little Jennifer said, "the headmaster was teaching us a boring history lesson and I was the only one who correctly answered a question."
    "Gosh, what was the question?"
    Little Jennifer smiled as only she could. "It was 'Who threw that eraser?'"

^ ...end of line