Archive for the ‘p.t. barnum’ Tag

01/18/2023 🎥Hollywood History🎥   Leave a comment

I thought I’d pander to my readership today since so many of you love information about celebrities and Hollywood and blah, blah, blah. I won’t be writing too much on the current list of celebrities that everyone seems to adore but will step back into the near past for some actual interesting trivia. I don’t care who they’re currently dating, I don’t care what they have to say about anything, and least of all who they might or might not be sleeping with. I find historical trivia when it comes to the Entertainment industry much more interesting. Here we go . . .

  • The American chemist Robert Hare discovered that a blow pipe flame acting upon a block of calcium oxide, which is lime, produces a brilliant white light that can be used to illuminate theater stages. We speak of someone who faces the glare of publicity as being in the “limelight”.
  • In the mid-1960’s, the motion picture director-producer Stanley Kubrick wanted from Lloyds of London an insurance policy protecting against losses should extraterrestrial intelligences be discovered before completion and release of his far-out motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey. Lloyds declined.
  • By 1929, two years after the introduction of the “talkies”, motion pictures in the United States were attracting 100 million patrons every week.
  • Northwestern University once conferred an honorary degree on a dummy of the wooden variety. On ventriloquist Edgar Bergen’s dummy, Charlie McCarthy.
  • The English indirectly owe the preservation of Shakespeare’s birthplace to P. T. Barnum. In 1850’s, the Stratford-on-Avon cottage was neglected, and Barnum began to negotiate to acquire the house and have it shipped to his museum. The English were horrified and banded together to buy it and turned it into a national monument.

  • In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Charlie Chaplin was probably the most celebrated man in the world. During a visit to his native London, the motion picture comedian received 73,000 letters in just two days.
  • Acting was once considered so frivolous an occupation that authorities in Virginia, in 1610, forbade immigration of actors from England. Because of the evils that were thought to be associated with the craft, the cast of the first English play in colonial America in 1665 was arrested in Virginia, but later acquitted.
  • The stellar cataclysm in the motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey was filmed by Stanley Kubrick in an abandoned corset factory in New York City. The cataclysm was a close-up shot of paint dripping in a bucket.
  • There are songs in all of Shakespeare’s plays except for Comedy of Errors. That play was the basis for a Broadway musical in 1938 that won the Pulitzer Prize: The Boys from Syracuse, by Richard Rogers and Larry Hart.
  • In 1957, Frank Sinatra was quoted as describing “rock-and-roll” as “funny and false and written and played for the most part by cretinous goons”. But when Elvis Presley finished his Army stint three or so years later, Sinatra paid him $125,000 to appear for 6 minutes on a television special.

GOTTA LOVE HOLLYWOOD . . . RIGHT?

06-14-2013   Leave a comment

Today started out as a day to just lay back and take it easy.  That’s usually an easy thing to do if you don’t leave the house.  Once I’m out and about and see other people then my mind starts working overtime and sometimes not in a good way.  I love people watching but they  just make it so easy for me to criticize them.

I was heading to my bank for a little cash retrieval which should have been no big deal.  I pull in line behind one vehicle and made the incorrect assumption I’d be on my way  fairly quickly.  Not a freaking prayer.  I’m waiting and waiting and not moving.  I open my door and what do I see?  There’s a homeless guy standing at the drive-thru ATM getting some cash to carry him over for a few hours or maybe a few drinks.  If you’ve got an account with money in it at BOA why are you homeless.  I’ve seen that same dude every time I drive through this town standing at the side of the road at a main intersection begging for cans.  It’s entirely possible he’s making more goddamn money than I am and he too has an account at Bank of America. 

My better-half insisted after the ATM fiasco that we make a short visit to a local flea market.  If she doesn’t buy at least one thing every day she goes into a weird shopper’s withdrawal.  The flea market in question is well known for having some of the highest “bargain” prices in southern Maine. 

We arrived there and the place is crawling with tourists.  We got lucky and found a decent parking spot and then the fun began.   I never know what I might buy in places like this until I see it and so I spent the next hour diligently looking through mountains of so called antiques (junk) with nothing catching my eye.   I did notice one thing though.  The prices for this crap were through the roof.  I think we can thank those oh so popular American Pickers and the dozens of other TV programs that have convinced America that every piece of crap more than ten years old is a valuable treasure.   Thanks for nothing TV.

I saw one item of interest which was four inches high and maybe three inches square, a hard carved wooded block.  It was filthy dirty and had no price tag which is not a good sign.  If there’s no tag it means the seller first checks out the potential buyer and charges them a price he thinks they can afford.  I politely asked for the price and the guy tells me $80.00.  I could only stand there until the shock wore off.  I guess my comment" “you’ve got to be freaking kidding me” made him a little unhappy.  He then proceeds to tell me that he purchased that exact piece for $400.00 in Kenya three years ago and has the paperwork to prove it.  I then asked what the exchange rate was with Kenya at the time.  Probably $200.00 Kenyan dollars for each American dollar. I just laughed and walked away with him chattering in the background.

That’s two hours out of my life I’ll never get back.  It’s also the last time I’ll be visiting that place.  I feel for those stupid and gullible tourists from all over the country being bamboozled into buying this junk for outrageous prices.  Like P. T. Barnum always liked to say “there’s one born every minute”. 

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