Sunday, 31 January 2016

On This Day In History - 31st January


On This Day, 30th January 1606, the infamous Guy Fawkes was executed for his part in the Gunpowder Plot.
During his torture, I mean interrogation, there's a difference apparently, Guy Fawkes was asked the question, "What are you doing in possession of so much gunpowder."
He was found in the tunnels beneath the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels. Trying to explain your way out of that one and claim innocence would not be easy.
Guy Fawkes asked for the mildly hot poker to be removed from his bottom, a popular interrogation technique still used by the United States, and not torture, as there is a difference. He then said, "to blow you Scotch beggars back to your native mountains."
"To blow you Scotch beggars back to your native mountains."
- a popular English drinking game in the early 1600s.

King James, who would have been blown to teeny-tiny bits along with the Palace of Westminster, had Guy Fawkes been able to carry out his plan, had a mild admiration for Fawkes and his steadfastness, resolution, and ability to hold a poker face like no other before him.
The admiration didn't stop the King ordering Fawkes be tortured. I mean interrogated. Although he did indicate the torture, sheesh, interrogation, be light at first.
"Don't use the hedgehogs unless they are completely necessary,"
- the King was heard to say.

Guy Fawkes was tried and found guilty of high treason.
The Attorney General, Sir Edward Coke, took a sip of Pepsi and told the court the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot should be, "...put to death halfway between heaven and earth as unworthy of both."
And continued, "Their genitals would be cut off and burned before their eyes, and their bowels and hearts removed. After lunch, they would then be decapitated and their dismembered parts displayed so as to become 'prey for the fowls of the air'."
Yep. Sir Edward Coke was a pretty serious guy. Perhaps he should have switched to decaf.
On the 31st January 1606, Guy Fawkes and three of his fellow conspirators, Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood, and Robert Keyes, were dragged from the Tower of London by a horse to the Old Palace Yard in Westminster.
The other three had their punishments first. Guy Fawkes was to watch as they were hanged, some longer than others, but all were cut down before they died. Whilst conscious, they had their dangly bits sliced off, before they were disembowelled, and finally quartered.
Finally it was the turn of Guy Fawkes. But, it would seem, after being forced to watch the others go through a nasty ending, he didn't much like to suffer it himself.
As he climbed the ladder to the noose, he decided to jump and broke his neck. He was killed instantly. Some say he merely fell, but either way he avoided the eye-watering part of having is little Guy lopped off.
The rest of the procedure was still carried out. His body parts were then distributed to the four corners of the kingdom to be displayed as warning to any other that would consider traitorous thoughts.

Fun Fact:
The penis of Guy Fawkes found its way to the Scottish Highlands,
where it was impaled on a twig and set alight using gunpowder from one of the barrels
he had smuggled into the tunnels beneath the Houses of Parliament.

On This Day in 1649, the day after King Charles I of England was beheaded, his head was recovered and sewn back onto his body.
On This Day in 1945, Private Eddie Slovik of the United States Army, was executed for desertion. It was the first time any serving American soldier had been executed for desertion since the Civil War.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

On This Day In History - 30 January

On This Day, the 30th of January 1606, Sir Everard Digby had an unfortunate encounter with an executioner. He was Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered.
Sir Everard Digby, as well as having an awesome name, is most known for being one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot -- the failed attempt on the 5th of November 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
Digby, along with his co-conspirators, were captured soon after their failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament after a brief attempt at fleeing. These guys weren't good at anything, were they?
In the early hours of the morning on the 30th of January, Sir Everard Digby and four of his fellow conspirators (Robert Wintour, John Grant, and Thomas Bates) were taken from their cells in the Tower of London (except Thomas Bates, he had been imprisoned in the Gatehouse Prison) and dragged behind a horse through the streets of London to the Old St Paul's Cathedral churchyard.
Digby was first up.
In a situation like this, not sure if it's good to go first or last. Although, considering what is about to happen to him, I'd say first is better.
Everard Digby had his clothes removed, although he was allowed to keep his shirt. Then, with a prod from behind, he was made to climb a ladder onto the scaffold. A rope was hooked about his neck, and he was hanged.
Not for long, though.
After a very short time, the rope was cut and he fell to the ground. Still alive.
Yay, he is saved.
Nope. Things are about to get worse. A lot worse.
Digby was then taken to the block and de-gentlemen'd. Holy cripes. OUCH! Yes, he was castrated. Then, disembowelled. All whilst fully conscious. After a few moments to allow Digby to observe his innards slipping out of his belly, and his fun stick trying to crawl across the ground to his wife, who was watching in horror, Digby was finally quartered.
Seriously. That must have hurt.
Digby's friends, Wintour, Grant, and Bates, who were now looking quite pale, underwent the same treatment as Digby. There was, apparently, more than a bit of screaming during the procedures.
The other four conspirators, who were still locked up in the Tower of London, would meet their fate the following day.
On This Day, the 30th of January 1649, King Charles-The-First-King-Of-England-To-Be-Tried-And-Executed, had his head separated from his shoulders by way of a really sharp axe.
After losing the English Civil war, King Charles-Not-A-Spaniel was imprisoned and tried for treason, and kicking a sick puppy that one time when he was a kid. But, little did the King know, that his days were numbered.
In fact, the king always believed he would be found innocent of all crimes, including puppy-kicking. He couldn't imagine, along with most of the country, that Parliament would not only find him guilty, but they'd also give him the death sentence.
The sentencing was driven by Oliver Cromwell, who hated the king and the monarchy. And puppies. He kicked more than a few in his time. But he had to be seen as a man of the people. So he switched to kicking kittens instead.
Most people break down before they are executed. They cry, they scream, they beg for their life.
Not the Charles-Needed-A-Different-Lawyer. The King asked to wear two shirts. The weather was biting cold, and he didn't want it to cause him to shiver. If the crowds observed him shivering, they might mistake it for fear.
An eyewitness to the execution was interviewed for the BBC News channel afterwards. "We all gasped, we did. They keel'd te king. T'was terrible. An awful thing. But fun."
The eyewitness continued: "They showed his head. Lifted it right up, they did. Dripped blood all over. So we dipped our handkerchiefs in it."
The spectators wanted a souvenir of the day. And those who were close enough dipped their handkerchiefs into the pools of blood dripping on the floor as the King's head was raised and shown to the crowds.
The eyewitness concluded: "That Oliver Cromwell, the one who beat the king, and killed him proper, he did. He watched and smiled. Real pleased with himself, he was. Right proud to kill a king. Watta-git."
The actual head of Oliver Cromwell.
On This Day, the 30th of January 1661, Oliver-What-A-Git-Cromwell, the former Lord Protector of England, and all round git, was executed on the 12th anniversary of the execution of his nemesis King Charles-The-First.
Should probably point out, that at the time of Oliver Cromwell's execution he was dead. And not from the execution. Cromwell had been dead for over two years.
When the monarchy was restored in England in 1660, Charles-Part-Two decided it would be a great idea to dig up Cromwell's corpse and publicly execute him. There were obviously some unresolved anger issues going on.
After Cromwell's all ready dead and rotting corpse was hanged in chains at Tyburn, he was thrown in a pit. Not before his head was also chopped off and put on display on a pole in Westminster. It remained there until 1685 until a heavy storm blew it off.
On This Day, the 30th of January 1835, Andrew Jackson became the receiver of the first attempted Presidential assignation.
It wasn't a grassy knoll, but it had it's moments. On January 30th 1835, Jackson was leaving the US Capitol in Washington when Richard Lawrence, a deranged painter, which is actually pretty standard for painters, shot at him with a pistol from a few feet away.
The gun misfired. Not perturbed, Lawrence drew a another pistol he had hidden down his butt-crack for emergencies. Come on, deranged painter, that's where they hide them. Must have been the humidity, but the second butt-pistol also misfired.
Now, Jackson, as you'd expect, was miffed. He charged at Lawrence like an angry bull doped up on Old Hickory. He took the would-be assassin down with his cane. He whipped him silly.
An investigation afterwards concluded you don't mess with the Andy Jack. And that both pistols were actually in perfect working order. The chances of both guns misfiring were found to be 125,000-1.
Don't forget to check out these posts:
On This Day in 1965, Sir Winston Churchill's funeral took place. Millions of mourners lined the streets of London for the State Funeral. It was, at the time, the biggest funeral in Britain's history.
Celebrity Birthdays
On This Day in 1951, roughly nine months after his parents spent a night having a Groovy Kind of Love, which ended up being Another Day in Paradise, and having his father beg his mother for One More Night, and his mother telling his father, You Can't Hurry Love, the genius of Genesis that is Phil Collins was born.
On This Day in 1974, Christian Bale was born. And do you know why? Because I'm Batman.

Friday, 29 January 2016

On This Day In History - 29 January

On This Day, the 29th of January 1820, King George III of Great Britain and Ireland, died.
George-The-Turd-Thrower enjoyed taking a dump on the throne and chucking it out the window at the commoners. He did this on instructions from the gorilla in the purple tutu. Yes, in case you had no doubt, George-Third-Of-His-Name was nutso-bonkers-crazy.
Although he did have the longest reign of any of his monarch'd predecessors.
King George III was the third British Monarch of the House of Hanover and was also King of Hanover at the same time. And, unlike the previous two Georges, he was actually born in England. He also spoke English, and Klingon when conversing with the tutu-clad gorilla, and never actually visited Hanover.
George III is best known for having many episodes of insanity. They took over his life in 1810, so much so, his son, the Prince of Wales took over running the country as Prince Regent. Upon the death of his father, the Prince Regent became King George IV.
Celebrity Birthdays
On This Day in 1945, a moustache was born. Not just any moustache, but THE moustache. Yes, I'm talking about the one super-glued to Tom Selleck's face. Happy Birthday, Magnum.
On This Day in 1954, Oprah Gail Winfrey is born.
Oprah went from poverty to becoming America's only female African-American billionaire. She is best known for her very popular talk show, cleverly titled, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which is the highest-rated television show of its kind in history.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

On This Day - 28th January

On This Day In History in 1393, Charles VI of France is almost killed, accidentally on purpose, by several masked dancers, who happened to be on fire.
The King of France was attending a masquerade ball, The Bal des Ardents, which translates as "The Ball of the Burning Men", which we hope was name after the event. If it was actually called that before it happened, then suspicions would have been aroused.
Charles VI was known for his awesome dance moves. That king could move. Think John Travolta on ice having an epileptic fit whilst holding seven octopi (or octopuses, or octopuddies) who are also having epileptic fits. Strobe lighting was very popular six hundred years ago. It was an issue.
The King of France, never wanting to miss an opportunity, decided to get up and dance. When shouts were heard from the spectators, "Yo, Kingy, You're On Fire!", Charles VI just assumed they were paying him compliments.
Little did he realise, he was actually on fire.
A torch had been brought into the event by his brother, Louis, Duke of Orleans. Now, we're not saying the King's brother had it in for him, but he really did. The two didn't get along. But, boys will be boys. What can you do?
Well, for starters, you can bring a torch into a packed area and set a few dancers on fire, hoping that fire would spread like, well, fire, and hope the king goes up like a roman candle. Pwoooof.
Although four of the dancers were killed, King Charles VI survived the ordeal.
Also in the news on this day in history
On This Day in 1547, King Henry VIII of England dies, and his 9-year-old son, Edward VI became King of England. Soon after, a pauper boy named Tom Canty swapped places with him.
On This Day in 1813, Jane Austen's book Pride and Prejudice was first published in the United Kingdom. It went on to sell over 20 million copies.
On This Day in 1878, the Yale Daily News, the United States first daily college newspaper, went on sale.
On This Day in 1915, by order of an act of Congress, the United States Coast Guard was created as a branch of the US Armed Forces.
On This Day in 1956, a little known singer by the name Elvis Presley made his first ever television appearance in America. 
On This Day in 1958, The Lego company patented its design for the Lego bricks, and those same bricks are still compatible with those sold today.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

On This Day In History - 27th January

Humorous History Presents:
On This Day in 1606, Guy Fawkes, along with a few of his other Gunpowder Plot conspirators, was put on trial for attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament and killing King James I.
Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
In front of a roaring fire, the wood crackling away and spitting embers onto the stone floors, Thirteen conspirators met in secret during the dark nights of 1604. They planned a meticulous strategy to transport 36 barrels of explosive gunpowder into the tunnels beneath the Houses of Parliament. Guy Fawkes would be entrusted to guard and set the fuses, and a route for his escape was mapped out.
The king would die. Parliament would be destroyed. The old order of the Catholic Church would be restored with the King's nine-year-old daughter raised to the thrown as a puppet for their future plans.


On This Day in 1832, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was born. You may not be familiar with that name, but you will be very familiar with the name he wrote under: Lewis Carroll.

Lewis Carroll was most famous for writing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

To understand some of Carroll's work, in particular his poems, you need to be drunk whilst chewing a hedgehog and standing on your head.

For example, this, from Jabberwocky:

Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
All mimsy were ye borogoves;
And ye mome raths outgrabe.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

On This Day In History 26th January

Humorous History Presents:

On This Day in 1992, Boris Yeltsin, the Russian President, and, despite being totally bonkers-mad-nutso, or maybe because he was, was actually a lot of fun at parties, announced Russia would cease targeting the United States of America with its nuclear weapons.
As a child, Yeltsin lost a thumb and index finger on his left hand whilst playing with a hand grenade. Pretty sure there's a lesson to be learned there, kids. Probably shouldn't mess around with hand grenades.
It was only later in life he lost his marbles.
Boris Yeltsin is not only famed for being a leading figure in the downfall of the USSR, but also for being slightly intoxicated most of the time. Okay, who are we kidding? He enjoyed his drink. In fact, he couldn't get enough of it. Many a time, on international visits, he was as drunk as a skunk.
There was an incident in 1992 in Kyrgyzstan when Yeltsin got smashed out of his skull, then began playing the spoons on the President of Kyrgyzstan's bald head.
Not as bad as when he was in Washington, staying at Blair House, the White House's official guest house. In 1995, he escaped his security and made it onto Pennsylvania Avenue.
Yeah, not too bad, I suppose. But, he was only wearing his underwear.
The Secret Service caught him staggering around the street drunk trying to hail a taxi so he could grab some pizza.
On This Day in 1998, President Bill Clinton, of the United States of-I-Did-Not-Have-Sexual-Relations-With-That-Woman, went on national television to announce he definitely, no way, didn't dangle any of his dingles in his former intern's sandpit.
He's the President, and a thoroughly nice guy, I'm sure it was later proved he didn't have any sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, former White House intern.
If the dress don't fit. You must be kidding?  He was wearing the actual dress he jiggied the intern with on national television. Sheesh, what an amateur.
Celebrity Birthday
On This Day in 1958, Ellen De|Generes was born.
Most know Ellen for her television show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and as the nicest person on television. However, she once chased a girl scout, who was merely trying to sell some Girl Scout cookies, down the road, in her car, before running her over. Several dozen times.
When asked about the incident, Ellen merely said, "The Girl Scout told me she was out of cookies. But I knew she had some left. Kid shouldn't tell fibs. It's just not plum."

Monday, 25 January 2016

On This Day In History - 25th January

Humorous History Presents: On This Day In History - 25th January
On This Day in 1759, Robert Burns, the infamous Scottish poet and songwriter, was born.
Today, millions of Scots around the world, celebrate Burns night with recitals of the poet's works, songs, and the eating of one of the most disgusting foods on the planet. Yes, oranges. Nope, that's not right, although they are disgusting. I mean Haggis.
Robert Burns is also known as the Bard of Ayrshire, or simply as Rabbie Burns to his friends. Scotland regard him as their national poet, and a national treasure.
In fact, so much is he revered, not a night goes by in Glasgow when his poems aren't recited to the nearest lamppost after a night of gentle consumption of local ales.
Although Robert Burns is known outside Scotland, mainly to those Scots who have travelled, and to fans of his work, Burns might not be a household name throughout the world. But, you have all probably recited or sang one of his poems.
It has become a tradition when the bells strike on New Year's Eve, to sing Auld Lang Syne. Yes, you might not have realised, but you were singing one of Robert Burns' poems.
So, lift a glass of Glenfiddich and toast to Burns on this very special night.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

On This Day In History - 24 January

Image result for winston churchillHumorous History Presents: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY - 24th January
On This Day in 1965, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill died.
Winston Churchill is best known as the Prime Minister of Britain during World War 2, and for constantly smoking a big, fat, cigar.
Although, what you might not know about Winston Churchill, was that he was pretty good at seeing into the future.
Churchill predicted he would die on the same day as his father. And he did: Winston Churchill died on 24th January 1965 (aged 90), and his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, died the same day in 1895 (aged 45).
However, his supernatural ability to predict the day of his death didn't stop him being accident prone. The guy was a klutz. As a little nipper, Churchill threw himself off a bridge, as you do, and suffered a concussion and ruptured a kidney.
He also nearly drowned in a Swiss lake, dislocated his shoulder disembarking a ship in India, fell off more horses than you can shake a donkey at, and was hit by a car when he looked the wrong way crossing a street in New York.
He even tried learning to fly - and crashed the plane.
And this guy won the Second World War for us. Sheesh. Good job he didn't actually have to shoot a gun.
Also On This Day In History
On This Day in 76 (yes, that's a real year), the future Emperor of Rome, Hadrian, was born. Hadrian is best known for having a serious issue with Scotland.
In fact, Hadrian had such an issue with the Scots, that he went and built a giant wall stretching across Northern England to keep them out.
Hadrian's Wall snaked across the board of England and Scotland for 73 miles. It stood 6 metres high at most parts and 3 metres thick and a moderate amount of it still stands today.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

On This Day In History - 23rd January


On This Day, the 23rd of January 1570, James Stewart, not a very legitimate son of King James V of Scotland, and also Regent to his half-nephew, baby King James VI of Scotland, was assassinated.
What was most interesting about the assassination, was the method.
James Stewart, the Earl of Moray was taking a stroll down the main street in Linlithgow, you know, minding his own business, and planning to usurp the throne from his baby nephew, when James Hamilton killed him by way of bullet from a gun.
This was the first recorded instance of assassination by firearm in history.
Rumours that Lady Mondegreen was also shot and killed at the same time is a myth. It's all down to the mistranslation of a poem.
Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl o' Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.
In the original Scottish, the poem goes:
Ye Hielands an ye Lowlands O,
whaur hae ye been.
They hae slain the Earl o' Moray,
And lain him on the green.
On This Day, the 23rd of January 1950, Richard Dead Anderson was born.
Within minutes of him emerging from his mother, he was able to MacGyver a tank out of the placenta and assassinate three thousand Goa'uld after travelling through the Stargate to another planet.

Friday, 22 January 2016

On This Day In History - 22nd January

On This Day, the 22nd of January 1645, William Kidd was born.
That's Captain William Kidd. Not to be confused with Billy The Kid, who was a cowboy.
Captain William Kidd was a famous 17th century pirate. Although, in reality, Captain William Kidd's level of piracy is very much disputed.
Kidd was employed by the Governor of the Island of Nevis to sail his ship, Blessed William, with a small fleet of likeminded Captains, to protect the English settlement against the French. They were given permission and the authority to pillage the French ships of whatever plunder they wanted.
Kidd was later tasked with hunting enemy pirates and capturing or destroying their ships. So, far from being a pirate himself, he was actually hunting them down. He did this for a number of years and soon had a reputation for being a cruel Captain who didn't think twice about killing his crew or captives.
He came unstuck when he captured an American flagged ship carrying French papers. Normally, it would have been a good prize (at the time England was at war with France and an American ship carry French passes was basically a French ship).
Unfortunately, the ship was actually captained by an Englishman. Word got around and his actions were considered to be piracy on the high seas.
A fleet was sent after Kidd, and he was soon captured and brought back to England to stand trial, in front of Parliament itself. It didn't go well for him. Captain William Kidd was tried, found guilty, and executed on the 23rd May 1701.
Kidd's body was then gibbeted over the river Thames for three years as a warning to anyone else that would dare to be a pirate.
Out of all the pirates in history, Kidd is the only documented one who is confirmed as having hidden, buried treasure. He hid it when he found out he was being hunted, and planned to use it as a bargaining tool at his trial.
The loot has yet to be found.
Famous Births
On This Day in 1552, Sir Walter Raleigh, a famous English sailor, and maybe one-time lover of Queen Elizabeth I, was born.
On This Day in 1561, Sir Francis Bacon, the first person to see a pig and think, "Could fry that up and put it in a sandwich", was born.
On This Day in 1940, Sir John Hurt was born. He is most famous for being an English actor who has starred in loads of stuff. But, let's face it, he is The War Doctor, from Doctor Who.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

On This Day - 21st January

On This Day, the 21st of January 1793, King Louis XVI of France was executed by way of having his head severed from his shoulders by the infamous guillotine.
Louis XVI had been arrested the previous August (13th August 1792) and imprisoned in the Temple, and ancient fortress in Paris. When the National Assembly met on the 21st of September, they had nothing but bad things to say about the king.
In fact, they went as far as saying he was a big poo-poo-pants and that France should no longer have a king because he was a big poo-poo-pants. They declared France to be a Republic and ordered the monarchy be abolished.
At first, they were content to keep the King locked up. But the discovery of the armoire de fer, or iron chest, in the king's bedroom, was the straw that broke the king's back. He was riding a camel at the time. And the camel also suffered the pain.
The iron chest contained compromising documents. Mostly relating to camel porn. And correspondence, mainly to Camel Illustrated, a camel swimsuit magazine, that detailed erotic stories the king had written where he played out his fantasies.
The scandal discredited the king. A lot.
On the 11th of December 1792, the King was escorted from the Temple and brought before the National Convention. He was accused of High Treason and crimes against the State. As well as indecent exposure to a humped animal.
The Convention voted and delivered their verdict on the 15th of January, 1793. To say the King was vexed by the decision they made would be an understatement. They had decided to separate his head from his person. He was well and truly vexed out of his mind.
But, what annoyed King Louis XVI even more than the decision, was that his own cousin, Philippe Egalite, the former Duke of Orleans, had also voted for the King's execution. What-A-Git.
But, there's always a silver lining. Philippe Egalite, the King's cousin and friend, was executed, also by way of guillotine, the following year.
Charles Henri Sanson, the King's Executioner, testified after Louis XVI was executed, that the King, or rather, former King, as they had de-king'd him prior to the beheading, met his fate most bravely. A death worthy of a King. Or former King. Because you can't execute a King. That'd be wrong.
De-King'd Louis XVI gave a short speech at the top of the scaffold before his death. Well, it had to be before, as giving it afterwards would have been scary as hell for those watching.
The de-king'd Louis was gracious and calm as he pardoned "those who are the cause of my death."
He then whispered under his breath, "Apart from my cousin. Guillotine the hell out of that son-of-a-bitch."
Also in the news:
On This Day, the 21st of January 1908, The Sullivan Ordinance was passed in New York City. The Ordinance made it illegal for women to smoke in public.
A bit unfair and sexist if you ask me. And the Mayor of New York at the time agreed. He went on to veto the Ordinance, so now everyone, no matter what sex they are, can smoke in public in New York City. What? They can't? Really? No one? Is smoking bad for you or something?
On This Day, the 21st of January 1968, ONE OF OUR FRIGGING BOMBS IS MISSING. Should we not be worried?
A United States Air Force B-52 bomber from the 380th Strategic Aerospace wing out of Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, flew a secret airborne mission after being put on a nuclear alert.
The bomber was carrying a payload that included four nuclear bombs.
As it flew near Thule Air Base, the plane crashed detonating the high explosives in the units of all of the B28 nuclear bombs. Thankfully, neither nuclear or thermonuclear reactions took place. However, it did contaminate the entire area.
Although the Pentagon maintained, and still does, all four bombs were destroyed, an investigative reporter with the BBC News found that the United States Air Force was unable to account for one of the weapons.
It's gotta be around there somewhere.
Celebrity Birthday
On This Day, the 21st of January 1976, Emma Bunton was born.
Emma is best known for being Baby Spice in the globally successful pop group Spice Girls.
And it was a really successful. However, as a solo artist, after the band split, Bunton wasn't. He debut album peaked at number four in the UK charts and ranked as the 147th best-selling album in 2001.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

On This Day - 20th January

Britsh Palace of Westminster

On This Day, 20th January 1265, The first ever English Parliament to include not just Lords, but also the common people, was held at the Palace of Westminster.

The English Parliament, or Simon de Montfort's Parliament, only lasted a few months, but it was the start of what would become the new normal for English politics. The summoning of both Commoners and Lords alike to discuss the politics of the nation.

Simon de Montfort didn't start this tradition out of his belief the people should be represented in parliament. He did it as his power was dwindling and this was the only way to get it back.

Simon de Montfort had taken control of England after defeating King Henry III at the Battle of Lewes. But, soon after, his power was being threatened. He needed more support. And that support wouldn't be found with the barons, as they were getting annoyed with Montfort.

He decided to summon representatives of the barons, although only a few dozen showed up, as he didn't invite all of them. He also summoned the knights of the shires and also burgesses from the major towns.

They discussed radical reforms and Montfort had control again. Although that didn't last. Later that year, Montfort was mutilated at the Battle of Evesham. However, the idea of inviting commoners to parliament held, and when Edward I became king, he continued to do it, the idea proving quite popular.

In Other news

On This Day, the 20th of January 1936, Edward VIII became king of England. Then went and abdicated the daylights out of it a few months later.

On This Day, the 29th of January 1649, King Charles-The-First-Of-Two-Soon-To-Be-Three is put on trial for crimes that included treason and stealing candy from a baby.

Celebrity Birthdays

On This Day, the 20th of January 1934 Thomas Stewart Baker was born.


Yes, Doctor Who.

It's none other than Tom Baker, who is famed for playing the fourth incarnation of The Doctor in the hit Sci-Fi show, Doctor Who.

On This Day, the 20th of January 1920, Jackson DeForest Kelly, better known as DeForest Kelly, was born.

Of course, he's dead, Jim, dead Jim, he's dead, Jim. But not as we know it. DeForest Kelly died on the 11th of June, 1999.

However, he lived long and prospered, very illogically, as the infamous Doctor Bones McCoy in Star Trek.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

On This Day 19th January

On This Day, the 19th of January 1946, the one, the only, Dolly Parton was born. And, holy cow, she's still going strong. Her full name is Dolly Rebecca Parton Dean, or Good-Golly-Miss-Dolly.
Dolly Parton is a singer with an amazing voice. Seriously, it's amazing. He voice will tickle your anus from over two hundred feet away.
Back in the day she had a massive problem with another women, who she begged not to take her man. This woman's beauty was beyond compare. She had flaming locks of auburn hair, and ivory skin beyond compare. Doesn't stop her being a complete hussy, though. Oh, Jolene. Jolene. Don't take her man just because you can.
On This Day, the 19th of January 1942, Michael Crawford was born.
Most of those as old as Crawford, who is old, but oh boy, does he look good for it, will know him as the hapless Frank Spencer in the television series Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Those a bit younger will know him as the star of The Phantom of the Opera.
Those who are even younger than that will be going, "Who the heck is Michael Crawford?" and "Phantom of the what?" and "Opera? I really love watching her television show."
Michael Crawford originally got the role as the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera completely by chance. Although it may have involved some under the table tickling of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Little Lord Fauntleroys. No one is quite sure as to the details. But the tickling got so out of hand at one restaurant, the riot police were called.
Andrew Lloyd Webber originally cast British Rocker, Steve Harley, in the role of the Phantom. However, Lord Webber soon realised that was a huge mistake and released Harley from his basement.
Webber started his search for a more operatic singer. By chance, Sarah Brightman, Lord Lloyd Webber's wife, who would play Christine, the female lead (wonder how she ended up with that role?), was taking singing lessons.
Michael Crawford happened to be taking lessons at the same place as Sarah. When Webber heard him sing, he asked Crawford to audition, and was hired immediately. Well, immediately after the first round of under-table-tickling. Apparently, apart from a magical voice, Crawford also has magical fingers.

Monday, 18 January 2016

On This Day 18th January

On This Day, the 18th of January 350, Magnentius, played by Sir Ian McKellen, opposite what-a-really-smooth-head Patrick-Make-It-So-Stewart, deposed the Roman Emperor Constans and proclaimed himself the new all-powerful Mutant Magnet Magnentius Emperor of Rome.
On This Day, 18th of January 532, in Constantinople, the tit-for-tat between the supporters of two teams of chariot racers (the Blues and the Greens) which escalated into The Nika Riots a week ago, finally came to an end.
For the last seven days, Constantinople had been plunged into chaos. Half the city was burned and destroyed, and thirty thousand people were killed.
Celebrity Birthday
On This Day, the 18th January 1955, American actor, direct, producer, singer, Kevin Costner was born.
He once built a baseball stadium for ghosts that was engulfed in water, along with the entire world, before protecting Whitney Houston from a killer as he delivered the post.
And we shouldn't forget that stint he did robbing from the rich to give to the poor, whilst not particularly bothering with an English accent.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

On This Day 17th January

On This Day, the 17th of January 1595, King Henry IV of France, the first king of the House of Bourbon, declared war on Spain.
Henry had been raised a protestant. When he became King of France in 1589, he was pretty much forced to convert to Catholicism, due to France being a catholic country, and them placing nipple clamps on him until he agreed.
Everyone was happy about the King's sudden and unexpected change of religion, except for the protestants. They were not. At all.
It also appeared that Spain wasn't happy. Mainly with Henry, who they didn't like as he didn't share any of his chocolate biscuits with them. Spain kept pestering Henry, who finally had enough and declared war. My biscuits. My lovely crème biscuits. You not get none of these fabulous Bourbon Crème Biscuits.
King Henry IV had many people try to kill him over the years. And not just the entirety of Spain. Pierre Barriere tried to assassinate him in August 1593. And then in December 1594 Jean Chatel tried. Both were unsuccessful.
It wasn't until the 14th of May 1610, when another assassin by the name of Francois Ravailla thought he'd have a go, that the King of France died. He was stabbed in the Rue de La Ferronnerie. Which, I believe, and I'm not great on anatomy, is the upper portion of the left butt cheek.
Celebrity Birthdays
On This Day, the 17th of January 1931, in Arkabutler, Mississippi, which happens to be a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, James Earl Jones was born.
James Earl Jones is well known for being the voice of Darth Vader in the mildly popular Star Wars movies. His parents were Shmi Skywalker and the Force itself. Or midichlorians. Or something like that.
James started out as a baby before progressing to be the most evil Jedi turned Sith in the whole galaxy. Although, to be factually correct, Darth Vader wasn't the most hated of evil monsters in Star Wars. That accolade went to George Lucas after he ruined the prequel trilogy.
On This Day, the 17th of January 1956, Paul Young was born.
Paul Young is, or at least was, an English singer. He hit the big time during the 1980s with hits including Love of the Common People and Every time You Go Away.
Having come from a place in England called Luton, he learned from a very early age not to pronounce the letter T in most words.
On This Day, the 17th of January 1986, Max Adler was born.
Max is best known for playing Dave Karofsky in the hit television series Glee.
Dave Karofsky is a school jock, who bullied other kids at the school until he realises he actually likes their little jocks.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

On This Day 16th January

On This Day, 16th of January, 27BC, the Roman Senate granted Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius the title of Augustus, and thus began the Roman Empire.
Quick note, this isn't Julius Caesar, the one you know loads about, the one who dallied his dilly in Cleopatra, the one who was best friends with Mark Anthony. This is Gaius Octavius, Julius Caesar's nephew, who took his uncle's name after his uncle died.
On This Day, the 16th of January 1547, Ivan the Terrible became Czar of Russia.
Ivan the Terrible had a fearsome reputation. He transformed Russia into an Empire and was the first person to be titled Tsar of all of Russia.
He is actually Ivan IV. The title of Ivan the Terrible was given to him by his wife on their wedding night. And not in a playful, seductive way: "Oh, Ivan, you bad boy. We shouldn't try that. Oh, you're so terrible." but rather in a... "You haven't done this before have you? Ivan, you're terrible."
Celebrity Birthday
James May - Fun Facts About Top Gear
On This Day, the 16th of January 1963, James May was born. He is best known for being Captain Slow on the very popular British television show Top Gear. That was until his co-host, Jeremy Clarkson, punched a producer in the face.
James May started his presenting career at a very early age. In fact, it was during the journey out of his mother's womb.
Half way down he was heard to say, "Listen to that noise! It's like Barry White eating wasps."
A little further along he muttered, "We're in the middle of the sea. It's very rough. The driver's been sick and I think Hammond's dead."
Not perturbed by the rough journey, he complains, "I've got bruised ribs and a badly barked shin."
The journey was almost over, though. His head crowns and he exclaims, "Beneath this rather faded, ruined exterior, beats a heart of pure ... arthritis."
(Note: They were real quotes from Top Gear)
When Jeremy Clarkson got fired, he, James May, and their other co-host, Richard Hamster, found themselves out of a job. Briefly. Amazon to the rescue. They came along and offered the trio millions of pounds to do a motoring show for them. So, all's well that ends well.

Friday, 15 January 2016

On This Day In History 15th January THIS DAY IN HISTORY for the 15th of JANUARY
On This Day, 69, Otho proclaimed himself Emperor of Rome. It didn't last long. Three months later he committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart with a dagger. Coincidently, a few hours after a psychiatrist brought back some memories he had been repressing.

Otho started out as a rebel teen with a serious need to impress the Emperor Nero, one of his friends. They danced, drank, partied, constructed elaborate balloon animals for each other as a sign of friendship, and pretty much shared everything.

And that was the problem.

One summer day, blue skies, birds chirping, hippos expelling gas, Otho brought his wife, Poppaea Sabina, to visit Nero. It was love. And not just between Nero and the hippo.

The Emperor decided Otho should share his wife. In secret, of course. Always in secret. Don't want that kind of betrayal to get back to your best friend. Nope. And maybe keep the hippo stuff confidential, too.

Poppaea became Nero's mistress. Pretty easily, as it happens. But, give him his due, Nero did go about wooing her as a proper gentleman should.

He whispered ancient love poems in her ear. "You is so hot, you is, like a hot thing that isn't cold. I want you all over my fizz-stick like a green alien mould."

Poppaea was wooed. Yes, wooed. She became his mistress and the two dangled their dingles like there was no tomorrow. In secret. Always in secret.

Otho found out. Balloon animals can't keep a secret. And neither could the hippo. It had some serious jealousy issues going on.

Otho divorced Poppaea and took a very long holiday in Lusitania, with the hippo, where he governed the province, before returning with Galba, the future Emperor, to overthrow Nero.

But what happened to the hippo?

Also in the News:
Fun Facts About Elizabeth I
On This Day in 1559, Elizabeth-The-First-Virginger-Queen was crowned at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony fit for a king.

However, there were no kings available, so Elizabeth got the job.

As we all know (and this won't happen for much longer, as legislation has all ready been passed to make boys and girls equal in the line of succession), a boy will inherit the throne before a girl.

Even if the girl is older.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry-Of-The-Way-Too-Many-Numbers and his second wife, Anne-The-Sod-Had-Me-Head-Chopped-Off-Boleyn. But Elizabeth wasn't the eldest daughter. Nope, that was Mary, daughter of Henry-The-Eighth-Portion-Of-Steak-And-Roast-Potatoes-Didn't-Fill-Me-Up and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. So Mary got dibs on the throne before Elizabeth.

Although, as boys inherited the throne before girls, it actually went to their younger half-brother, Edward-I'm-A-Prince-Not-A-Pauper. He was the son of Henry-The-Eighth-I-Am-I-Am by his third wife, Jane Seymour. But he died. So it went to Mary. Then she died. So it went to Elizabeth.

Not confusing at all.

Click here to read some Fun Facts About Elizabeth.
Pete WatermanCelebrity Birthday
On This Day, 15th of January 1947, Pete Waterman was born.

Peter Alan Waterman, who is an OBE, is best known for being one half of Santa's ball-sack. Experts believe it's the left one.

He is also a British record producer and was a third of the Stock Aitken Waterman song writing group that produced top hits for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Steps, Cliff Richard, and Jason Donovan.

Pete Waterman, born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England, was educated. Mostly. His first job was as a steam locomotive fireman, before he went on to become a DJ, which started his career in music.

It didn't go well at first. Pete had to get a job as a gravedigger. A skill that would come in handy later on in his music career for some of his singers. Soon enough, though, the hits would come, as listeners appreciated the annoyingly annoying catchy songs he came out with.

Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down. Never gonna make you cry. Never gonna say goodbye. Never gonna get these lyrics out of my friggin head now.

Honourable Mention
On This Day, the 15th of January 1929, Martin Luther King. Jr. was born.

Martin Luther King was the leader of the African-American civil rights movement in the 1960s and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

On This Day In History - 14th January


On This Day, 14th of January 1724, King Philip V of Spain abdicated his throne. His son, Louis, took over as King, although he didn't last long. Seven months later, and Louis was dead, leaving no heirs, and Philip re-king'd himself.
There are many rumours about Philip's abdication. And his mental instability. Some believe he had no choice but to give up the throne to his son, as his wife, the manipulative Elisabeth of Parma, and the seagulls at his bedroom window, told him to let his son be king. And to dance nekkid in the garden wearing a mask made out of a unicorn's head.
Others believe he abdicated the throne of Spain so he could ascend to the throne of France after Louis XV died. Philip was the grandson of King Louis XIV of France and so had a legitimate claim. But there was a law in place in France that meant any reigning King of Spain couldn't sit on the throne of France.
So, by abdicating one kingship, he thought he'd sneak under the radar into another. Sneaky sneaker.
But this didn't happen. Before Louis XV died, Philip's son died. So Philip had to settle for the Spanish throne. Again.
Celebrity Birthdays
On This Day, the 14th of January 1988, Jack P. Shepherd was born.
Jack P-Is-For-Pterodactyl Shepherd is well known in the United Kingdom for playing David Platt, son of the pterodactyl-nosed Gail Platt in the long-running television soap, Coronation Street.
Jack has won numerous awards, including "Best Bad Boy" at the Inside Soap Awards, and "Best Villain" in the British Soap Awards. He also won the very prestigious "Looks-Like-He's-Been-Hit-In-The-Face-By-A-Spade" Award and the "Probably-Does-It-Dirty-With-A-Hippo" Award.
His onscreen antics include almost being murdered by his evil step-dad, sending his family cards from the now-dead serial killer, faking his own suicide to ruin his sister's wedding, and falling madly and deeply in love with the underside of a hippo with Diarrhoea. Sheesh, just kill her all ready, she's so annoying.
On This Day, the 14th of January 1969, Jason Bateman was born.
Jason is an American actor who was once a werewolf as a teenager, and then got a full body wax, which included back, sack and crack. After that he was able to get normal roles playing relatively normal people.
In the early years of his career, both Jason, and his older sister, Justine, were forced to hand over their pay checks to their father, who had lost all of his own earnings on building a hedgehog prostitution business. Who knew that wouldn't be a success?
After Jason dissolved both the Hedgehog Hookers Club, and his own business relationship with his father, he was able to keep the cash himself and used the now-traumatised hedgehogs in an anal acupuncture therapy business.
He tested the therapy sessions on himself, which, for some reason didn't go well. It may explain why he turned to booze and drugs for over a decade. That's how long it takes to recover from being impaled up your bottom by a dozen hedgehogs.
Jason Bateman, middle name Kent, started his career in a commercial for Golden Grahams, nothing to do with those Golden Grahams, it's actually a breakfast cereal. His first break into television was on the Little House on the Prairie, as a little girl running down a hill. Or was it James Cooper, that orphaned boy who was rescued by the angel on the highway?
Bateman went through numerous television roles during the 80s, including appearing in Knight Rider, Silver Spoons, and It's Your Move. In fact he became a bit of a teen heartthrob. He'll never be Chris Hemsworth, though.
His bigger break came when he decided to stop waxing and was cast as Michael J. Fox's castoff in Teen Wolf Too. It didn't go well. The movie was a complete failure and Bateman took years to recover from the reality show that had been his life.
Back to television work for him.
Bateman was cast as Michael Bluth in Arrested Development, a US comedy series about something, blah, blah. I keep forgetting to catch up with that on Netflix. Maybe I'll look at it at the weekend. Anyway, Jason did good, it would seem. He won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy.
But, television isn't where Jason's heart is, or the cash. Back to movies.
Some went well, and some didn't. For instance, Dodgeball was complete carp-on-a-stick. However, although most hate the movie Hancock, I really enjoyed it. Bateman did well. And he got to kiss Charlize Theron.
He also played opposite Jennifer Aniston in The Switch and Jennifer Anniston in Horrible Bosses, and also in Horrible Bosses 2. And he played opposite ... wait does he pick movies based on which sexy blond he gets to snog?
What a dog.