Archive for March, 2009

Thank you, Whitcomb Judson

March 31, 2009

When you got dressed this morning, you probably didn’t even think to thank Whitcomb Judson for making your life easier.  Judson was a Chicago inventor who patented the “hookless fastener” on March 31, 1896 an early form of today’s zipper.



Congratulations, Stacy and James!

March 28, 2009


Stacy and James were married in the Los Angeles Temple today.  It was a wonderful ceremony.  Congratulations to the happy couple.


March 23, 2009

Actually, two.

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Authorities said a 63-year-old man suspected of drunken driving crashed his pickup truck into a neighbor’s house, leaving a gaping hole and revealing a small marijuana farm inside. San Diego police got a search warrant after the Sunday afternoon crash and confiscated more than 20 pot plants from the house.

Police Sgt. David Jennings said no one was inside the house, and neighbors told officers the residents were gone on a ski trip.

No one was injured in the crash.

And this one . . .

DENVER (AP) – The manager of a Blackjack Pizza outlet in Denver got a start when he discovered a man’s legs hanging from a vent above the restaurant’s oven. Police said the dangling legs were accompanied by a voice yelling, “help me, help me” Friday morning. Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said the 5-foot-10, 170-pound man told officers and firefighters he’d been stuck in the duct for five or six hours.

Jackson said the man was arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Police haven’t identified the suspect or the manager. The store was closed later Friday.

Jackson said the man could have been asphyxiated if the oven had turned on automatically or if the manager hadn’t come in early.

Happy Birthday, Bach!

March 21, 2009

Johann Sebastian Bach was born March 21, 1685 in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach, Germany.  He was orphaned when he was 10 years old and was raised by his brother, an organist.  He was exposed to the works of the great Southern German composers.

During his lifetime, Bach was known as an accomplished organist, but less known as a composer.  Interest in his music was revived in the 19th century and today he is considered one of the greatest composers of all time.

4:44 AM PDT

March 20, 2009

By the time you read this, Spring will have sprung.  The Spring equinox occurred at 4:44 AM today when the Sun crossed the celestial equator, moving south to north.  Today the Sun will rise due East and will set due West.  Night and day will be approximately the same length.

In Los Angeles, the “equinox” was actually on March 16th.  The day was 12 hours 3 seconds long.  Today, the day is  12 hour 8 minutes 36 seconds.  The days will continue to lengthen until June 20th when the day will be 14 hours 25 minute 46 seconds in Los Angeles.

If you happen to be in the Southern Hemisphere, today is the first day of Autumn.

Any Wonder Why the Kid is a Problem

March 19, 2009

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A Rhode Island woman is accused of punching and biting her 11-year-old son’s school principal after she was told the boy was being suspended.

Police say 30-year-old Aleyda Uceta also bit an officer trying to arrest her after Friday’s incident at Roger Williams Middle School in Providence.

She is charged with assault on school officials, assault on police officers and resisting arrest.

Police say Uceta punched Principal Rudolph Moseley Jr. in the face and bit his left arm after he told her that her son would be suspended for three days for refusing to go to a room for misbehaving students.

Attempts to reach Uceta by phone for comment were unsuccessful.

Sometimes when you see the parents, it is easy to understand why their kids are problem children.

Can I Have Some Money?

March 17, 2009

PHARR, Texas (AP) – A bank robber in South Texas held up the place from the comfort of his car. Police said a man used the drive-thru lane Monday morning to rob Lone Star National Bank. Police said the driver slipped a note to a female teller, who provided an undetermined amount of cash, then he drove away.

Lt. Guadalupe Salinas said the man was alone in the car and did not appear to display a weapon. Salinas told The Associated Press there’s no indication that the robbery was an inside job.

Law officers declined to release the contents of the note. Police are reviewing bank surveillance video.

The FBI declined comment.

While the police don’t think it is an inside job, don’t you think the teller didn’t quite think this one though?  “Hey, give me some money.”  “Sure, how much do you want?”

Perhaps she used to be a goverment employee and is just in the habit of giving away “stimulus” and “bail out” money.

Fanfare for the Common Man

March 12, 2009

During the World War II years, the world was in need of cheering. Eugene Goossens, the conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, commissioned composers to write a fanfare that would instill a sense of patriotism and nobility in the listeners. More than a dozen pieces were produced, but the one that became the most popular was Aaron Copland’sFanfare for the Common Man.” Goossens and his orchestra premiered the piece on this date in 1943.  Source:

Luther Burbank

March 7, 2009

Do you like McDonald’s French fries?  Thank Luther Burbank.  He developed the Burbank potato in the 1870’s.  McDonald’s French fries are made exclusively from the Burbank potato.  Burbank sold the rights to his potato for $150 and used the money to move from Massachusetts to Santa Rosa, California.  In Santa Rosa, he continued his cross breeding experiments and developed many fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals.

Santa Rosa Plum

Santa Rosa Plum

Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy

Burbank was criticized by the scientists of his time for not keeping careful records of his experiments.  He was more interested in getting results than in conducting basic research.

Burbank was born on March 7, 1849 and  died in 1926.  His last words were “I don’t feel good.”

Burbank, California wasn’t named after Luther Burbank, but for a local dentist.  However Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, CA was named for him.

Oreo Cookie Day

March 6, 2009

The Oreo cookie was first sold on March 6, 1912.  Over the years, there have been several variations on the theme—Double Stuff, Chocolate coated, chocolate stuff, etc–but in my mind the icon is just the plain Oreo cookie.

So, today, get a glass of cold milk and a stack of Oreos and celebrate properly.