The Friday Irregular

Issue #648 - 21st January 2022

Edited by and copyright ©2022 Simon Lamont
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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.






  shining brightly; radiant


Friday 21st January   -   Samurai and daimyō Matsudaira Tadamasa born, 1598. The Treaty of Stockholm between Sweden and Prussia was signed, 1720. King Louis XVI of France was guillotined during the French Revolution, 1793. Edith Tolkien, wife of J.R.R. Tolkien, born, 1889. A B52 bomber carrying a nuclear payload crashed near Thule Air Base in Greenland; one of its four nuclear bombs remains unaccounted for, 1968. Singer Peggy Lee died, 2002.
Saturday 22nd January   -   Chinese emperor Cao Rui died, 239. Courtier and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh born, 1552. The Convention Parliament convened to determine whether King James II and VII had vacated the throne when he fled to France the year before, 1689. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom died, 1901. Actress Piper Laurie born, 1932. Apple introduced the Macintosh computer with an iconic commercial aired during the broadcast of Super Bowl XVIII, 1984.
Sunday 23rd January   -   Holy Roman Emperor Otto III died, 1002. London's Royal Exchange opened, 1571. John Hancock, 1st Governor of Massachusetts and possessor of a notable signature, born, 1737. Ballerina Anna Pavlova died, 1939. Journalist and fashion designer Dawn O'Porter born, 1979. Netscape announced Mozilla, with the intention to release their Communicator Internet suite code as open source, 1998.
Monday 24th January   -   Roman emperor Caligula was assassinated by the Praetorian Guard, 41. Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, born, 1444. King Henry VIII of England suffered an accident while jousting that may have affected his later life, 1536. Author Delphine de Girardin born, 1804. James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento, sparking the California Gold Rush, 1848. Lawyer and politician Lord Randolph Churchill died, 1895.
Tuesday 25th January   -   King Henry VIII of England married his second wife, Anne Boleyn, in secret, 1533. Scientist Robert Boyle born, 1627. Physician and scholar Robert Burton died. 1640. Nellie Bly completed her round-the-world journey in 72 days, 1890. Shirley Ardell Mason, whose possible dissociative identity disorder was dramatised in the book and later films Sybil, born, 1923. Actress Ava Gardner died, 1990. Burns Night in Scotland and Scottish communities.
Wednesday 26th January   -   Composer Antonio Maria Abbatini born, 1595. The British First Fleet sailed into Port Jackson, Australia, to establish Sydney, 1788. Immunologist Edward Jenner died, 1823. The Cullinan, the world's largest diamond, was found at the Premier Mine in South Africa, 1905. Artist, model and writer Jeanne Hébuterne died, 1920. Gymnast Natalia Yurchenko born, 1965.
Thursday 27th January   -   Dante Alighieri was exiled from Florence, 1302. Captain, privateer and explorer Sir Francis Drake died, 1596. Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna of Russia born, 1708. A Russian expedition discovered the Antarctic continent, 1820. Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason born, 1944. Actress Zelda Rubinstein died, 2010. International Holocaust Remembrance Day and related observances.


This week, Sir Terry Pratchett:
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.


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 1956:


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

IN BRIEF: Baby Shark Dance [YouTube; it is an earworm - don't say we didn't warn you...] is now officially the most-viewed video on YouTube, and the first to surpass 10 billion views. ● A group of cryptocurrency investors who paid £2.2m ($3m), a hundred times the estimate, for a rare illustrated screenplay of an unproduced 1974 14-hour adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune by Alejandro Jodorowsky, with illustrations by Jean 'Moebius' Giraud, announced plans to make it public and develop "an original animated limited series" before social media users pointed out that what the group had bought was just a book, not the rights... ● Police alerted to a dead body being transported wrapped in a carpet in a car on the M11 motorway discovered that it was a Prince Charming mannequin being taken to a themed birthday party. ● Emma Timmis has successfully run the length of New Zealand [we presume with a ship or plane involved somewhere... -Ed]. She is waiting for her time, just under 21 days, to be verified as a world record. ● A hotel in Edinburgh had to be evacuated last Saturday after a 'mysterious' smell was detected. Scottish Gas Networks ruled out a gas leak and the smell was later reported as drifting towards the city centre. ● The Indonesian government has approved a bill to relocate the capital from Jakarta on Java to a yet-to-be-built city on Borneo to ease the chronic congestion and environmental problems faced by Jakarta. ● Marks & Spencer have renamed Midget Gem sweets as Mini Gems after a campaign by a Liverpool Hope University disability studies lecturer. Other supermarkets are reported as reviewing the name of their products. ● App monitoring firm App Annie has reported that across ten markets including India, the US, Turkey, Mexico, Japan, Singapore and Canada people are spending an average of 4.8 hours on their mobile phones, with users in Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea spending more than 5 hours. ● The Villa Aurora in Rome was put up for auction this week. Filled with artworks including statuary by Michelangelo and the only surviving mural painted by Caravaggio the six-story house had a starting price of €471m (£394m; $537m). There were no bids. It is expected that another attempt to sell it will be made in April with a reduced price. ● The world's largest offshore wind farm is to be built about 43 miles (70km) off the English and Welsh coasts in the Celtic Sea.

CORONAVIRUS ROUND-UP: China is blaming a case of the Omicron variant detected in Beijing on a letter sent from Canada. With the city in near-lockdown no tickets will be sold for the Winter Olympics due to open on February 4th and the Games will operate in a closed 'bubble' only accessible to participants, officials and invited guests. ● The Washington County Detention Centre in Arkansas is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of inmates who claim they were given the horse anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to counter COVID-19 without their consent. There is no scientific evidence that Ivermectin is effective against anything but parasites in equines.

UPDATES: New cases of "Havana syndrome" have been reported in Geneva and Paris, with four US diplomats falling ill to the unidentified neurological condition speculated as having been caused by targeted microwave energy. ● Spencer Elden, whose lawsuit against Nirvana over the use of a photograph of him as a naked swimming baby on the cover of Nevermind, has filed an amended suit after the original was thrown out following his failure to respond to a motion to dismiss it.


Tigress Collarwali (Spy in the Jungle, raised the profile of Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, gave birth to 29 cubs, 16), screenwriter Brandon Murphy (Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, The Last Drop, the Drunk Old Ladies art collective, 43), singer Ronnie Spector (The Ronettes, "Be My Baby", "Baby I Love You", 78), actress Yvette Mimieux (The Time Machine, The Black Hole, Toys in the Attic, 80), singer Fred Parris (The Five Satins, "In the Still of the Night", Fred Parris and the Restless Hearts, 85), gardening writer and broadcaster Peter Seabrook (Gardeners' World, Gardeners' Question Time, The Victory Garden, 86), military pilot Charles McGee (The Tuskegee Airmen, flew more than 400 missions during WWII and the Vietman and Korean Wars, National Aviation Hall of Fame, 102), organist and composer Francis Jackson (York Minster organist and director of music [1946-1982], president of the Royal College of Organists [1972-1974], Toccata, Chorale and Fugue (1955), 104), supercentennarian Saturnino de la Fuente Garcia (Guinness World Record holder as the oldest man, 112).


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
2, 11, 22, 39, 44, 53
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at


    Little Jennifer came home from a playdate with some of her classmates. "Did you have fun?" her mother asked.
    "Well, Mummy," Little Jennifer replied, smiling, "Little Simon asked me to play doctor and patient with him."
    Somewhat concerned, her mother asked her what happened. Little Jennifer looked up at her and smiled as only she could. "He made me wait for half an hour, glanced at me, scrawled something I couldn't read on a bit of paper and told me to take it to the pharmacy!"

^ ...end of line