An extra-large and eclectic Report today, as we prep for the holidays...
Today is Thursday, December 22, the 358th day of 2016, with nine days remaining. There is one day until Festivus, two days until the start of Hanukkah, three days until Christmas Day, 29 days until Donald Trump becomes President of the United States, and 684 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.
On this day in 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven conducts and performs in concert at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, with the premiere of his Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto (performed by Beethoven himself) and Choral Fantasy (with Beethoven at the piano). This concert, then called an Akademie, occurred in a very cold hall and was approximately four hours duration. Its featured performers were an orchestra, chorus, vocal soloists, and the composer as piano soloist. Beethoven biographer Barry Cooper refers to the concert, in terms of its content, as the "most remarkable" of Beethoven's career".
(Playlist of Beethoven's 22 December 1808 Concert)
Among other things, today is also National Cookie Exchange Day. You know what to do.
Florida Man Interactive! The Tallahassee Democrat is allowing readers to vote for the top ten Florida Man/Woman stories of 2016. Their picks, on which we generally agree:
- Florida man arrested for tossing live alligator into Wendy's
- Florida woman seeking revenge sets wrong car on fire
- Florida debt counselor owes $100 million, files bankruptcy
- Florida man arrested when cops mistake donut glaze for meth
- Florida man robs gas station, uses drawn-on beard as a disguise
- Florida man kills lionfish with handgun
- Florida man trying to "time travel" drives his car through a building
- Florida man wearing bucket on head breaks into store to steal pigeons
- Florida man breaks into home, cooks and eats pizza while inside
- Florida man applies to be Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, citing successful fantasy football experience
As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 43,534 entries. Check it out.
Some persons born on December 22 who said interesting things:
- Donald Harington (1935-2009), American author;
- Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911), American Unitarian minister, author, abolitionist, and soldier;
- Lady Bird Johnson (1912-2007), First Lady of the United States (1963–69);
- Charles de Lint (1951), Canadian writer of Dutch origins;
- Susan Powter (1957), Australian-born American motivational speaker, nutritionist, personal trainer, and author, who rose to fame in the 1990s with her catchphrase "Stop the Insanity!";
- Jean Racine (1639-1699), French dramatist;
- Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982), American poet, translator and critical essayist;
- Mark Rutherford (1831-1913), British writer and civil servant, pseudonym of Hale White;
- Diane Sawyer (1945), American television journalist; and
- Edgard Varèse (1883-1965), French-born composer.
Quote of the day:
"The more people I meet, the farther out of my own little world I go,
the more I see that we are all alike. And there isn't one of us who can
afford to pick up the rock in the glass house."
in Japan, napping in the office is common and culturally accepted. And in fact, it is often seen as a subtle sign of diligence: You must be working yourself to exhaustion.
With age comes wisdom and, apparently, taste. 34 is the age when you start outgrowing IKEA furniture.
The AV Club has released its list of the 20 top movies of 2016. I've seen one of them. It my defense, a lot of these films never even played in Pittsburgh- or, at least, accessible suburban theaters. I did, however, manage to see two of the worst films of 2016, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice and London Has Fallen. I would have flipped their #1 and #20 positions, though, based on the high expectations for Batman v Superman. In London Has Fallen, I more or less got what I thought I would.
The Hollywood Reporter says CBS is working on a reboot of the iconic Jackie Gleason classic, The Honeymooners. Why? Why not do what was done with the network's efforts with I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show- colorizing a few exceptional episodes? What makes me especially wary is the effort is headed by Bob Kushell, who was responsible for the rather unpalatable Muppets reboot at ABC.
In 1965, no one believed that Charles Schulz’s story of an underdog sticking to his principles in the face of constant bullying would make for good TV. A Charlie Brown Christmas proved them wrong.
The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas
A fascinating piece on the minds of octopuses... How can an invertebrate sea creature exhibit seemingly mammalian intelligence, sentience, and awareness? "If we can make contact with cephalopods as sentient beings, it is not because of a shared history, not because of kinship, but because evolution built minds twice over. This is probably the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien." Meanwhile, in Hawaii, scientists stumble across a "ghost octopus" never before seen.
Cheesesteaks in paradise. Or in Florida, at least.
Although best known for his later The Price Is Right hosting duties, Bob Barker made history 60 years ago on Truth or Consequences, the first program to be recorded on videotape for subsequent airing in all time zones.
Aside from assorted holiday greetings and an eccentric post or two, this is the last full KGB Report for 2016. This has certainly been my annus horribilis, and I fervently hope yours has been better. Let's meet back here bright and early on Sunday, January 1, 2017, and we'll give the new little bastard year a run for its money.
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