November 25, 2020


Happy Drinksgiving! Nothing like a little tipple to help gird you for the main event tomorrow. Which, for those of you wildcats throwing caution and CDC guidelines to the wind this week, begs the question: will there be more tackles in your living room amongst family members or on the TV screen during tomorrow's slate of football games? This inquiring mind would like to know! If you're not an imbiber, though, good on you and best of luck!

Today is also the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. I know that typically our Wednesday emails are supposed to be solely the province of fun and/or uplifting info, but I'm not one to a.) argue with calendars or b.) let such an important cause pass by unacknowledged. 

Alright! I've got some pretty excellent links lined up for your enjoyment, but first: cake!

• First up, co-là-breith math to Scottish-American industrialist & philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, born this day in 1835! Mr. Carnegie was a pretty complicated dude during his life. He spent it more or less adhering to what has since become referred to as the "Andrew Carnegie Dictum": spend the first third of your life acquiring as much education and knowledge as you can. Spend the next third of your life applying that knowledge practically to amass as much wealth as you can. Then spend the remaining third of your time on Earth giving that money away to worthwhile causes.

His contributions to the expansion of the American steel industry certainly helped move the U.S. into the 20th century, but he also fought bitterly against unionized labor throughout his professional life, notably during the Homestead Strike of 1892 that left ten dead and hundreds more injured. Robber barons can spend as much money as they want during their declining years trying to burnish their legacies; us plebes have the memories of elephants. Thanks for the public libraries, though!

• Next up, a very sober birthday to radical temperance activist Carrie Nation, born this day in 1846! Ms. Nation was not a big fan of alcohol, but she was a big fan of attacking establishments that sold it with a hatchet. It's good to have a hobby, I guess!

• Moving along, cut 56 pieces for New York Yankees baseball legend Joseph Paul "Joltin' Joe" DiMaggio, born this day in 1914! Mr. DiMaggio was a 3-time MVP and 13-time All Star over the course of his playing career — all with the Yankees — and still holds the record for most consecutive games recording a hit (56). He was also briefly married to Marilyn Monroe in 1954, and was immortalized in Simon & Garfunkel's 1968 song 'Mrs. Robinson.'

• Next, feliz cumpleaños to the debonair Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Meriño, born this day in 1920! Mr. Montalbán played roles across a variety of genres, most notably as Armando in the early 1970s Planet of the Apes film series, Khan Noonien Singh in both the original Star Trek television series and the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Mr. Roarke on the television series Fantasy Island. He also worked as a pitch man for Chrysler automobiles in the 70s and 80s, dispensing a seemingly endless number of adjectives in front of the words "Corinthian leather." Rich, soft, supple, fine — we get it, Ricardo; your cowhide is dope.

• Pip pip cheerio to English dramatist and screenwriter Shelagh Delaney, born this day in 1938! Ms. Delaney's defining work was her first play, 1958's A Taste Of Honey, whose kitchen sink realism made it one of the most-performed plays of post-war Britain. Her picture was also used in the cover art for The Smiths' 1987 compilation Louder Than Bombs and their single 'Girlfriend In A Coma' from the same year.

• Finally, happy birthday to Christina Applegate, born this day in 1971! While her breakthrough role as the ditzy Kelly Bundy on Married...With Children may have put her on the map, her star turn on the very underrated late-2000s NBC sitcom Samantha Who? is well worth a gander, as is the classic Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead and the Anchorman franchise. What I really want to find, though, is her 1982 film debut Jaws of Satan, because that really sounds like a delightful feel-good romp!  

OK,'ve waited long enough. It's link time!

1. Wild bears in your belfry? Better get yourself a monster wolf robot. They're all the rage in Japan.

This is a real thing that is actively happening right now in Japan. An acorn shortage and encroached-upon habitat is leading wild bears into populated suburbs in norther Japan. Japan's response? As with most things, it's to throw a robot at the problem. There's no problem some robotic kaiju can't solve!

2. You're macaque-ing me crazy! 

Emilie Barton decided to film her pianist dad Paul putting on a concert for some macaques in an abandoned movie theater in Thailand as part of her home schooling activities, and it's all just super-cute and wholesome. Yay for musical macaques!

3. The Flagler Humane Society in Palm Coast, Florida is crushing it with the creative adoption drives!

In an effort to make the adoption of elderly dogs more appealing, the Flagler Humane Society has been dressing up these lovable pooches as senior citizens, and it's just the best!

4. Curious about Joe Biden's Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken? So was Grover. This is their story.

This whole video is great, but my favorite part might be Grover referring to the U.N. building as "the un-building." Apparently the denizens of Sesame Street are drunk on Brawndo The Thirst Mutilator.

5. Not gonna lie — if someone slammed me in the face with one of these pies I wouldn't be even a little bit mad.

Torontonian amateur pie artist Helen looks like a pro to me! Om nom nom...