Wednesday, 24 May 2023

the judgment of paris (10. 763)

Aptly alluding to the myth of a scorned guest and chaos agent, Eris, the goddess of Discord—who was not invited to the marriage ceremony of Greek hero Peleus and sea nymph Thetis and tossed a golden apple into the wedding party to be awarded to the fairest, a bone of contention that sparked the Trojan War, an international jury of wine experts convened in the French capital on this day in 1976 to carry out a blind-tasting—ultimately rating varieties of Napa Valley wines as superior to the historically more esteemed French vineyards. The results of course sparked controversy—top honours going to a 1973 chardonnay from Chรขteau Montelena and a cabernet Sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars whereas the opposite outcome was rather a foregone conclusion, and marked a pivotal moment in the California industry (see previously) with a follow up match in 2006 on the event’s thirtieth anniversary that re-certified the standings.

Thursday, 11 May 2023

executive branch (10. 734)

On this day in 1973, US president Richard abandoned his plans to reorganise government with the creation of a “super cabinet” consisting of three appointed secretaries who would over the the running of federal departments and agencies, having met staunch resistance from Congress and the broadening of presidential purview through delegated powers and the creation of an imperial post by dint of past failed attempts. Fresh from roundly defeating George McGovern to secure re-election, Nixon announced on 5 January, the inauguration, an “administrative” cabinet shuttle proposed during his first term (not without precedent as Harding, Taft, FDR and Truman had tried subject to legislative veto) to create a council to overstep consciousness bureaucracy. Although corrected by the press to the American spelling convention, Nixon’s orders and communiques named counsellors, senior advisors, equivalent to a minister without portfolio in the British system, a sinecure posting that had plentipotent, encompassing responsibilities and therefore none as a special conduit to the chief executive and so a triumvirate beholden to none. The Watergate scandal having brought this reshuffling to an ignominious end when exalted staff tendered their resignations but had this experiment continued one wonders what now might be considered executive overreach and regard for competent authorities.

datalagen (10. 731)

Enacted on this day in 1973 by Riksdag and going into effect in July of the following year, Sweden’s was the world’s data protection law passed on a national level (see previously) created a privacy protection authority to issue permits to information systems that handled personal information. Already Five decades ago, use of electronic file storage and communications in the country were quite advanced and Swedish society upheld the importance of access and transparency and a commission was established in 1969, returning its recommendations to the government three years later on the state of computers, future trends and how that intersected with the press and private lives—particularly in terms of creditworthiness. Subject to amendments and evolving as technology changed and spread, the law eventually was replaced the Personuppgiftslagen (Personal Data Law) in 1998 modelled after the European Union’s Data Protection Directive following its ascension to the EU.

Sunday, 23 April 2023

8x8 (10. 692)

caspar milquetoast: Public Domain Review presents Shy Guy (1947)—starring Dick York—via Nag on the Lake  

wicksy’s cocktails: a selection of non-alcoholic drinks from a 1986 Easter Enders’ cook book  

birdsite: the continuing rapid unscheduled disassembly of the platform  

here is a map to give you pleasure, a town reduced to your mantel’s measure: poetry on maps—via the Map Room  

ganja & hess: an under appreciated vampire film reexamined on its fiftieth anniversary  

smigadoon: virtual ghost villages in the clouds that have become the haunts of tourists  

rolling through the produce and said, now that’s a better buy: Toni Basil’s “Shopping from A to Z” 

schools of the air: a retrospective look at broadcast continuing education—see previously

Friday, 24 March 2023

jeff’s collie (10. 632)

Rather incongruously airing since 1954, the final, five-hundredth ninety-first episode of the Lassie franchise was broadcast on this day in 1973. Over nineteen seasons, the arc of narrative is broken generally into five segments—“The Miller Years,” “The Martin Years”—based on ownership with Lassie later the ward of forest rangers, on her own in 1970 without explanation traveling the country and helping out other animals and the final two years of programming in syndication—cancelled later that same year of wandering as part of the so called “rural purge” of network television to unburden themselves from still popular yet perhaps patronising, nostalgic shows set pointedly outside of urban and suburban settings, including Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, Hee Haw and Petticoat Junction—taking place at the Holden Ranch for troubled children.

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

goodwill sample displays (10. 626)

Reversing his tone from a wide-ranging and contentious press conference delivered five days before that forbid the Federal Bureau of Investigations from turning over its findings to a special congressional committee investigating the Watergate burglary and threatened to re-enter the Vietnam War and eliciting such a negative public response that a law was passed prohibiting the US from engaging in conflict in Indochina without the approval of Congress, Richard Nixon on this day in 1973 distributed fragments of lunar rocks to the fifty states of American and every country of the world collected during the final Apollo mission. Presented on wooden plaques with a miniture flag that went into the orbit around the Moon and back, each gift (see also) included a message of peace, acknowledging that the exploration of our satellite was an international effort and than humankind could surely achieve harmony on Earth.

Thursday, 2 March 2023

kรฉpzelt riport egy amerikai popfesztivรกlrรณl (10. 581)

Set in Montana but giving a fictionalised recounting of the Altamont Free Concert, the musical by Gรกbor Presser, Anna Adamis and Sรกndor Pรณs—based on the novel of the same name by Tibor Dรฉry—An Imaginary Report on an American Rock Festival premiered in Budapest on this day in 1973. The production team portrayed the plot of a young Hungarian couple that defected to the West with themes violating taboo subjects of homosexuality, illicit drug use and the war and the Holocaust to the Department for Agitation and Propaganda as a criticism of hippie culture and were granted permission to go on with the show. Resonant among its target audience, many musical numbers became hits and the musical (see also) toured throughout Eastern Europe.

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

gui (10. 579)

Offered with a portrait-oriented monitor matching a sheet of paper and the first commercially available for lease with a graphical user interface after the desktop metaphor, the Xerox Corporation released its Alto model on this day in 1973. Prohibitive costs ($32 000 for a basic version) meant that only around two thousand units were produced but were ahead of the rest of the market by a decade in terms of its operating system. Apple Computer personnel received exclusive demonstrations from Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Centre) in exchange for the company to option Apple stock. Several peripheral devices were created for the Alto, including a mouse, a television camera, a printer and a parallel port.

Saturday, 18 February 2023

king biscuit flower hour (10. 554)

The syndicated radio show that featured concert performances debuted on this day in 1973, broadcasting Sunday nights through 2005, the programme taking its name from the earlier, pioneering Blues segment sponsored by the King Biscuit Flour Company—with a tip of the hat to “flower power.” This first show featured a line up of Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bruce Springsteen and the jazz ensemble the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Although associated with classic rock, much air time of the programme was given to emerging artists and genres and still exists as a digital station with much of its archive available for streaming.

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

verdens fรธrste bรธssebryllup (10. 534)

Though not accorded legal sanction by the Kingdom of Denmark for more than sixteen years later, the Danish Evangelical-Lutheran Church became the first Christian communion in modern times to recognise gay marriage on this day in 1973 when radical priest—semi-retired for advocating social anarchy and protesting against NATO upbuilding but not defrocked—Harald Sรธbye, at the suggestion of a tabloid journalist who was one of the grooms, presided over the world’s first gay marriage. The reporter had met a florist at a discotheque in Vesterbro and asked Sรธbye to do the honours. From then to 1989 when civil unions were legally recognised, Sรธbye performed over two hundred blessings or full matrimonial ceremonies. The Church of Denmark in 2012 decided not just to bless and accept same-sex marriages (see also) but to moreover administer the vows and host the celebrations as well.

Friday, 3 February 2023

learning fast as the weeks went past (10. 520)

Recorded in the studios of Chรขteau d’Hรฉrouville during the previous summer and put out as a pre-release for the forthcoming sixth studio album Don’t Shoot Me—I’m Only the Piano Player, the lead single by Elton John and Bernie Taupin climbed to the top of the charts in the US on this day in 1973—becoming the duo’s first number one hit in America—holding its position for three weeks. Played on a Farfisa (Fabbriche Riunite di Fisarmoniche) electric organ—derisively to imitate the nostalgic sounds of songs that sounds better in our memories though a popular instrument for Led Zepplin, Blondie, Pink Floyd and the B-52s—‘Crocodile Rock’ is a tribute to the Australian group Daddy Cool’s ‘Eagle Rock’ as a fun side project. While acknowledgedly derivative and escapist (and a number he stopped enjoying performing), John didn’t expect it to prove so popular and even rising to a lawsuit alleging plagiarism from the estate of the writer of the Pat Boone novelty song ‘Speedy Gonzales’ for the chord progression and falsetto. The matter was settled out of court.

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

la cage aux folles (10. 514)

The farce, “The Cage of the Mad Women,” by playwright Jean Poiret portraying the comedy of errors that ensues when the son of a Saint Tropez night club operator and his gay boyfriend invites his fiancรฉe’s conservative parents to meet their future inlaws had its debut this day in 1973 at the Thรฉรขtre du Palais-Royal, running for over eighteen-hundred performances. After being adapted as a Franco-Italian film—a trilogy ultimately, in 1978, it became a musical with book by Harvey Fierstein and music by Jerry Herman, with later cinematic premiere as The Birdcage in 1996.

Sunday, 29 January 2023

zero my hero (10. 507)

Turning fifty this month with its debut as a series with Multiplication Rock with songs written and performed by Bob Dorough going through the tables—see also—the interstitial animated educational shorts Schoolhouse Rock! was a staple of American Saturday morning cartoon programming, originally running through 1984. The original concept was suggested by an advertising executive of the influential firm McCaffrey and McCall’s that his young son was—despite being able to memorise the lyrics of Rolling Stones songs—struggling to rote lessons, resulting in the pre-canon “Three is a Magic Number” in 1971 before pursuing the project further. One of three between programming segments along with Time for Timer (“A Hankering for a Hunk of Cheese”) and the Bod Squad (“The Munchies,” “Don’t Drown Your Food”) and was followed by a second series, Grammar Rock, and for the US bicentennial in 1976, America Rock, culminating in the final run of Scooter Computer and Mister Chips.

Friday, 27 January 2023

and the girl in the corner is everyone’s mourner—she could kill you with a wink of the eye (10. 502)

Inspired by a unruly audience driving the band off the stage on this day in 1973 whilst performing in Kilmarnoc at the Grand Hall of the Palace Theatre—the booing and bottling ensuing perhaps the British glam rock group didn’t fit in with the rest of the line up—The Sweet would go on to release in September one of their biggest hits narrating the tense moments before their exuent. The Ballroom Blitz has been covered numerous times and featured in the soundtrack of several films including Wayne’s World.

paris peace accords (10. 500)

Negotiations finalised between Lรช ฤแปฉc Thแป and Henry Kissinger on 24 January and nearly derailed the day before by the Battle of Cแปญa Viแป‡t, the treaty officially known as the Agreement of Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet Nam (Hiแป‡p ฤ‘แป‹nh vแป chแบฅm dแปฉt chiแบฟn tranh, lแบญp lแบกi hรฒa bรฌnh แปŸ Viแป‡t Nam) was signed on this day in 1973 at the Hรดtel Majestic on Avenue Klรฉber in the XVIe arrondissement by representatives of the governments of the United States, the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the Republic of South Vietnam (the Provisional Revolutionary Government, representing South Vietnamese communists). All US and allied forces agreed to complete withdrawal in exchange for the release of prisoners-of-war, with all parties acceding to an immediate cease-fire, the establishment of council of national reconciliation, a peaceful reunification free of foreign interference, withdrawal of foreign troops from Cambodia and Laos and financial aid from the US for war-ravaged Indochina. Despite also securing a commitment from America to replace materiel and armaments on a one-by-one basis, congressional support for further appropriations evaporated and lapsing during the Watergate scandal, North Vietnam made their final offensive operations in April of 1975, precipitating the fall of Saigon and the capitulation of the Republic of Vietnam.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

410 u.s. 113 (10. 487)

On this day in 1973, overturning bans by individual state jurisdictions during the first three months of pregnancy on a woman’s right to reproductive autonomy, the US Supreme Court under the leadership of Warren Burger, in a seven to two vote, rendered its verdict on Roe v Wade, with the prevailing argument that such restrictions deprive women of liberties absent recourse to due process. For nearly a half century afterwards, there legal challenges and modifications that arose with the divide between anti-abortion and pro-choice factions until the court of Chief Justice John Roberts overruled settled law by hearing the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation.

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

dglflf (10. 478)

A unit of the Ministry of Culture and Communications and successor to the “High Committee of the French Language” which was established on this day in 1973 by the government of Charles de Gaulle to find authentically French substitutes for some three hundred and fifty creeping Anglicisms, la Dรฉlรฉgation gรฉnรฉrale ร  la langue franรงaise et aux langues de France, essential is a continuation of that original mission and charge, though now importantly acknowledging a plurality of languages of the country—see also here and here. Five decades ago, changes included dropping flashback for retrospectif, palmarรจs for charts or hit parade and navire citene for tanker.

Thursday, 10 November 2022

silent movies, talking pictures (10. 289)

With the above working-title released just over a month earlier, Elton John’s seventh studio album on this day in 1973 climbed to the top of US record charts, holding the number one spot for eight weeks. Widely considered to be the artist’s magnum opus, the seventeen tracks include the eponymous tune (below) as well as “Candle in the Wind,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” and “Benny and the Jets” and was recorded at the studios of Chรขteau d’Hรฉrouville, the setting inspiring the band to add more songs and to release the work as a double album (LP).

Sunday, 10 April 2022


improper fraction arena: Via friend of the blog Nag on the Lake’s superb Sunday Links and the depths of Wikipedia comes a list of articles submitted and ultimately rejected by dint of insanity  

possible to express in words: a useful term with a surprisingly sparse corpora 

reprise: another look at Davie Bowie’s 1973 The 1980 Floor Show through some raw footage—see previously 

a moveable feast: a look at the mode, median and mean dates for Easter and the method of computus  

a kitty bobo show: Kevin Kaliher’s pilot that went ungreen-lit in favour of Kids Next Door  

micromachines: researchers developing tiny molecular motors that could be deployed en masse to suck carbon from the air, supplement our own organs—via Slashdot  

did you know: from the depths to the Main Page

Monday, 7 March 2022

c/1973 e1

Sighted on this day in 1973 by namesake astronomer Luboลก Kohoutek the approaching comet was hailed by the media as the “Comet of the Century,” and rather unfairly when the Kuiper-belt object that only visits every seventy-five thousand years failed to live up to the hype and expectations became a metonym for a colossal let-down—a sort of Al Capone’s vault for the decade though the discoverer made may other contributions to astronomy in the form of minor planets and nebulae, and even rejected by a doomsday cult when it appeared as barely visible in the night sky. In rapt anticipation and in response to the subsequent underwhelming estimation the comet was the subject of several musicians and artists including a story arc in Peanuts, an R.E.M. ballad, a Burl Ives’ number, a Sun Ra concert and the below Kraftwerk song, Kometenmelodie: