Posts Tagged ‘humor’
Marion Crane: Do you have any vacancies?
Norman Bates: Oh, we have 12 vacancies. 12 cabins, 12 vacancies.
See Psychos (“This… comes from a place of ‘total affection, openness, and honey bought directly from a beekeeper’”) here. And browse “Salon des Refusés“ for Soderbergh’s list of movies and TV shows seen, books read, and music heard in 2013, for his appreciation of Josef von Sternberg, and for gobs of other goodies…
* Norman Bates
As we recall Norman’s adage that “a boy’s best friend is his mother,” we might spare a thought for comic genius Harold Clayton Lloyd, Sr.; he died on this date in 1971. While your correspondent marginally prefers the extraordinary Buster Keaton, Lloyd has some real claim to being the finest physical comedian of the silent film era (even as his career extended to talkies and radio). Like Keaton, Lloyd did his own stunts– many of them, breathtakingly dangerous. Indeed, after 1919, he appears wearing a prosthetic glove, masking the loss of a thumb and index finger in a bomb explosion at Roach Studios.
… and sometimes not even then.
Let the binging begin…
… at House of Carbs.
* Mark Twain
As we treat ourselves to the BBC’s original, which is at least as good, we might recall that it was on this date in 2007 that the British House of Commons voted ten times on a variety of reforms for the upper chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords. Outright abolition, a wholly appointed house, a 20% elected house, a 40% elected house, a 50% elected house and a 60% elected house were all defeated in turn. But the vote for an 80% elected chamber carried by 305 votes to 267, and the vote for a wholly elected chamber was won by an even greater margin: 337 to 224. Significantly, this last vote, won by an overall majority of MPs, had political authority.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”*…
Given how most people take selfies, you’d probably think it was some 1990s teenage girl armed with an early Kodak digicam, or maybe a group of late-1960s flower children armed with a Polaroid camera. But no, 21st-century-style selfies are actually an early 20th-century affair. In fact, this photograph taken in December in 1920 might be the first modern selfie…
Snapped in New York on the roof of the Marceau Studio on Fifth Avenue, across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, this picture features five mustached photographers holding an antediluvian analog camera at arm’s length. Because this camera would have been too heavy to hold with one hand, Joseph Byron is propping it up on the left, with his colleague Ben Falk holding it on the right. In the middle, you have Pirie MacDonald, Colonel Marceau, and Pop Core…
What’s interesting here is that these five gentlemen were the photographers of the Byron Company, a photography studio founded in Manhattan in 1892, which was described by the New York Times as “one of New York’s pre-eminent commercial photography studios.” Joseph Byron is the founder, and the studio actually still operates in the hands of his descendants, seventh-generation photographer Thomas Byron and his son, Mark Byron. The possible creators of the first selfie are still in business!
These incredible photographs are just two of 23,000 Byron Company prints that have been digitized as part of the Museum of the New York City’s digital collection. You can check out more of their incredible photographic library online here.
Read more at “This Might Be The First Selfie In Photographic History.”
Your correspondent’s Facebook followers will recall that there’s an earlier candidate for “first selfie”:
According to the Library of Congress, this photo of chemist and metallurgist Robert Cornelius is believed to be the first photographic portrait; and as he shot the daguerreotype himself in 1839, the first self-portrait. But as for we we typically mean these days by “selfie”– a shot taken with camera held at arms length– it appears the Byron boys have it.
* Genesis 1:27
As we turn to catch the light, we might recall that it was on this date in 2012 that a Nebraska woman sold a three-year-old McDonalds Chicken McNugget on eBay. Rebekah Speight of Dakota City explained in her offer:
Approximately 3 years ago, I treated my children to “99 cent McNugget Tuesday” and play time at our local McDonald’s. As I was cleaning up, I noticed one particular nugget and began to laugh. I picked it up for a closer look, and sure enough it was in the likeness of President George Washington. I decided to take it home and show my husband this hysterical find.
When he arrived home, I pulled it out of the freezer and he could not believe his eyes. We shared a moment of laughter as we joked about putting it on eBay. Then back in the freezer it went.
The students of Family Worship Center in Sioux City, Iowa are in the process of trying to raise $15,000 for Church Camp this summer. My husband and I felt led to auction this “President George Washington Chicken McNugget” as part of our fund-raising effort. 100% of the money raised will go to Family Worship Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
By bidding on this rare “President George Washington Chicken McNugget” … not only will you have an opportunity to be the new owner of this rare find, but you will be investing in the lives of children.
In view of the cause, eBay waived its prohibition on the offer of “expired food.” The McNugget fetched $8,100.
See other prandial pennants at Marvelous. [Grateful TotH to reader @krasney]
Foreigners cannot enjoy our food, I suppose, any more than we can enjoy theirs. It is not strange; for tastes are made, not born. I might glorify my bill of fare until I was tired; but after all, the Scotchman would shake his head and say, ‘Where’s your haggis?’ and the Fijan would sigh and say, ‘Where’s your missionary?’
-Mark Twain, Roughing It
* Clementine Paddleford (quoted in Charles Wysocki’s Americana Cookbook)
As we ask for extra mayonnaise, we might recall that it was on this date in 1960 that Elvis Presley was honorably discharged after two years in the U.S. Army; he left with the rank of sergeant. Presley, whose career had been carefully stoked with banked material during his service, went right back to work: within a month he recorded and released a single, “Stuck on You,” that went straight to Number One, the ballads “It’s Now or Never” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, and the rest of Elvis Is Back!, which went straight to Number Two on the album chart. And he hit the sound stage as well, making G.I. Blues in time to release it that summer– and watch it climb to Number Two on Variety‘s box office chart.
A bringing together of beloved belles lettres, this chart diagrams 25 famous opening lines from revered works of fiction according to the dictates of the classic Reed-Kellogg system. From Cervantes to Faulkner to Pynchon, each sentence has been painstakingly curated and diagrammed by PCL’s research team, parsing classical prose by parts of speech and offering a partitioned, color-coded picto-grammatical representation of some of the most famous first words in literary history. Whether you’re a book buff, an English teacher, or a hard-line grammarian, this diagrammatical dissertation has something for the aesthete in all of us…
* Blaise Pascal
As we analyze our way to an appreciation of the classics, we might recall that it was on this date in 1952 that Ernest Hemingway completed his short novel The Old Man and the Sea. He believed it to be the best writing he had ever done. The critics agreed: the book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953, and became one of his bestselling works.