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Dickens, Disney, Jones, McCarthy, Fonda, Falcon, Tesla, Nichols, Tsunami, Big Bang, Blazing Saddles
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Published Tuesday, February 06, 2018 @ 9:15 PM EST
Feb 06 2018

Note: KGB Report is published the evening before the issue date. For ongoing posts throughout the day, follow KGB Report or my personal page on Facebook.

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This is the KGB Report for Wednesday, February 7, the 38th day of 2018 in the Gregorian calendar, with 327 days remaining.

This is the 383rd day of Donald Trump's presidency, of which he has spent 93 days at golf courses at a cost to taxpayers of $50,860,444. There are 1,079 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign, is otherwise removed from office, or his unhinged, psychotic behavior results in the destruction of the republic.

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What happened on February 7 from On This Day.

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Among other things, today is "e" Day, Ballet Day, National Fettucine Alfredo Day, National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, International Clash Day, Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day, Rose Day, and Send a Card to a Friend Day. (from Checkiday.com)

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Machete-wielding Florida man attacks coworker in the Keys.

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Charles John Huffam Dickens (February 7, 1812 – June 9, 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.

Read the full Wikipedia article.

Quote of the day:

"Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule."
-Charles Dickens
(More Charles Dickens quotes)

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On this date: In 1904, a fire destroyed 1,500 buildings in Baltimore; in 1936, Felix the Cat debuted; in 1940, Walt Disney's second animated feature, Pinocchio, premiered in New York City; in 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed there were communists in the U.S. State Department; in 1961 Jane Fonda made her acting debut in the NBC drama A String of Beads; in 1964, the Beatles landed at New York's JFK airport for their first US tour;

In 1969, This Is Tom Jones debuted on ABC-TV. It was memorable for its stellar guests This episode alone featured Joey Heatherton, Mary Hopkins, The Moody Blues, Peter Sellers, and Richard Pryor.

Speaking of Richard Pryor, he was one of the writers of the film Blazing Saddles, which was released on this date in 1974. Director Mel Brooks wanted to cast Pryor as Black Bart (Cleavon Little got the part), but Warner Brothers considered him to be unreliable. Watch a 28 minute documentary on the making of this classic:

Roger Ebert gave the film four stars and called it a "crazed grabbag of a movie that does everything to keep us laughing except hit us over the head with a rubber chicken. Mostly, it succeeds. It's an audience picture; it doesn't have a lot of classy polish and its structure is a total mess. But of course! What does that matter while Alex Karras is knocking a horse cold with a right cross to the jaw?"

The film grossed $119.5 million at the box office, becoming only the tenth film up to that time to pass the $100 million mark.

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Billed as the world's most powerful booster since NASA's Saturn V, the Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center (KSC)- the same site used by NASA's Apollo moon missions and space shuttles- at 3:45 pm EST (2045GMT).

Musk announced in December that the "midnight cherry red" Tesla Roadster convertible, which he owns, would be the first Falcon Heavy payload. Then, on Monday, he revealed another surprise: a spacesuit-clad mannequin called "Starman"(a reference to David Bowie's song "Starman") in the driver's seat, with its right hand on the wheel and left arm resting on the door.

About 28 minutes into today's test flight, the second stage carrying the Roadster shut down its engine, ending the main phase of the Falcon Heavy test flight. If all goes well, the second stage will coast for six hours through Earth's Van Allen belts, regions of extremely high radiation, and then restart its engine to send the Roadster and Starman into orbit around the sun and, in turn, eventually carry the car and Starman about 248 million miles (400 million kilometers) from Earth to the planet Mars.

It also makes that one episode of Voyager a little less odd...

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I'd love to see a shut down if we can't get this stuff taken care of." Sure he would- he could jet back down to Mar a Lago at taxpayer expense and work on setting the record for chief executive who's spent the most time playing golf. Trump spent 93 days on the course so far, or roughly 25% of his total time in office.

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IRS warns tax preparers about a new refund scam. Because these fake returns contained all of the taxpayer's correct information, down to the right number of dependents, the IRS believes the scam started in tax- preparation offices. The agency assumes that the data was compromised because some preparers were taken in by phishing scams that then loaded malicious software onto their computer systems, making all the taxpayer information that was kept by these preparers vulnerable to theft.

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Watch Martin Luther King, Jr. convince Nichelle Nichols not to quit Star Trek on Drunk History. Maybe it's because I'm old and cynical, but I think this is apocryphal. The earliest I recall hearing Ms. Nichols telling the story was in the '90s. One would have expected her to do so much earlier. And there's no corroboration. Hey, I'm cool with it. What's the old saying- never let the truth get in the way of a good story? And at this point, I'm sure Ms. Nichols is certain of her memory.

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Amazon is worth more than Microsoft for the first time. See what you can do if you sell stuff people want and deliver it on time?

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It just snowed in the Sahara Desert for the second time in less than a month. But it's probably nothing.

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Poor Tiffany was just overwhelmed. The $156 million FEMA contract to her one-person company called for 30 million meals for Puerto Ricans. She delivered 50,000.

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AccuWeather warned customers a tsunami was coming- except it was only a test. And I thought the app on my new phone was misconfigured.

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More like a Big Bounce than a Big Bang. Our universe could be expanding and contracting eternally.

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How humans sank New Orleans. Engineering put the Crescent City below sea level. Now, its future is at risk.

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An unexpected country is shifting from oil to renewable: Saudi Arabia. Riyadh plans to build a $300 million solar farm that would generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes.

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Your cell phone probably won't give you cancer. But it might. Seriously, why do they even bother to do these studies?

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Many animals can count, some better than you. Still, humans have a strong innate number sense, and numerosity is deeply embedded in many aspects of our minds and culture. Researchers have determined that number words for small quantities- less than five- are strikingly similar across virtually every language studied, and the words are among the most stable, unchanging utterances in any lexicon.

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The judge Trump disparaged as 'Mexican' will preside over an important border wall case

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Trump's lawyers don't want the President to appear before Mueller for a very good reason... As anyone who's listened to him talk in public, it's virtually impossible for him not utter at least one lie or absurdity every minute his mouth is moving. As the New York Times puts it, His lawyers are concerned that the president, who has a history of making false statements and contradicting himself, could be charged with lying to investigators.

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Despite decades of design experience and advances in technology, paper jams still persist. solving a jam requires knowledge of physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, computer programming, and interface design. It's the ultimate challenge...

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