Tuesday, February 26, 2008

February 27

"Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information."
- Michael Scott, The Office.
What do I do when I have nothing of substance to write? I could leave you at peace and just do nothing, but that wouldn't be any fun. What I do is hit up Wikipedia and let you in on some little-known facts.
First, February 27 is Chelsea Clinton's 28th birthday. Today is also Mary Frann's 65th birthday. Mary played Bob Newhart's beautiful wife on Newhart - the one in Vermont. She died in 1998 in her sleep, from an undiagnosed case of lipomatosis, which is a scarring of the heart muscle. I had no idea she was dead. She was America's Junior Miss in 1961. I always figured Bob out-kicked his coverage with his TV wives. Suzanne Pleshette, Mary Frann and Carlene Watkins. Bonus points if you can tell me in which show Carlene Watkins played his wife.
On this day in 1940, Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered carbon-14, which is the substance used in carbon dating. One wonders (at least I do) how they could have discovered something that tells you how old things are. Think about it. Or don't.
And now ... did you know?
  • ...that speed limits on Guam Highway 1 may differ depending on which side of the road you are on?
  • The Golden Gate Bridge is a frequent site for suicide. After a fall of approximately four seconds jumpers hit the water at 75 miles per hour (121 km/h), which is nearly always fatal. An official suicide count was kept, sorted according to which of the bridge's 128 lamp posts the jumper was nearest to when he or she jumped. The count exceeded 1,200 when the count ended in 2005, and new suicides were averaging one every two weeks.

  • The weapon used by Anton Chigurh in the film "No Country for Old Men" is a captive bolt pistol. It is most widely used in the slaughter of cattle to stun the animals before they are butchered.

  • At one point before Juno visits Mark (in the film "Juno"), he is sitting at his computer reading Diablo Cody's (the movie's screenwriter) real-life blog, known as "The Pussy Ranch."
  • In "There Will be Blood", the infamous "I drink your milkshake!" is, in part, a real quote. Paul Thomas Anderson found the metaphor in congressional transcripts from the 1920's Teapot Dome scandal, in which New Mexico Republican Senator Albert Fall was convicted of accepting bribes for oil drilling rights to various lands. According to Anderson, "I think it was Albert Fall, who was asked to describe drainage before Congress. And his way of describing it was, 'If you have a milkshake and I have a milkshake, and my straw reaches across the room ...' I'm sure I embellished it and changed it around and made it more Plainview. But Fall used the word milkshake, and I thought it was so great. It was mad to see that word among all this official testimony and terminology - a fucking milkshake. I get so happy every time I hear that word."
  • Michael Clayton's birth date is stated to be in September of 1959. Later in the film he states that he is 45 years old, placing the events of the film somewhere between 2004 and 2005.
  • In "Atonement", Briony's appearance next to the stained glass window featuring Saint Matilda, may also be a reference to the saint's status as patron of falsely accused people. I didn't see the movie, so that one is for those who did.
Tomorrow ... more interesting stuff.


Laura said...

was carlene watkins bob newhart's tv wife in the show titled Bob?

Anthony said...

Correct! The show where he played the cartoonist.

Bonus points for you.

(Bonus points have no monetary value)

Mandy Lou said...

It's good to know extra random facts - you never know whenyou're going to get the call from Jeopardy!

kimmyk said...

i love random.
i want to see michael clayton. did you see it?

never heard of there will be blood til the other night when my daughter told me that movie some won award.

the movie the bridge is based on the golden gate bridge. sad movie. but intriguing.

love random!

rattln along said...

Trivia is not trivial!!

I love stuffing my head with bizarre things that link to everyday happenings. For example: Who was Bob's first TV wife and who was her husband. And what characters did he play on Bob's shows?