Friday, January 6, 2017

History: The Year is 1926

I've uploaded year 1926 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Agatha Christie is Missing! -- Her car is found but she goes missing for 11 days.

This Man of Vision is No Joke -- The father of modern rocketry sends his rocket soaring. I talk about how some people are inspired by scifi writers.

Notable Births -- A lot of people.

In Other News -- Father Coughlin begins his radio broadcasts.Emperor Hirohito ascends the throne and Winnie-the-Pooh is published.

Agatha Christie is Missing!

Let's set aside the unsavory subject of eugenics and talk about something more pleasant... like murder! Dame Christie's car has been found abandoned near the edge of a quarry. Clothes are scattered nearby. No body has been found as yet. Her 7-year-old daughter is home asleep. A note lays on the desk saying that she is on her way to Yorkshire, but the car is at Newlands Corner, a good 230 miles away. Her 6th murder mystery has been selling well, so there is no reason to believe she is despondent. The 1st suspect is always the husband. Is there trouble at home? Colonel Christie has been gallivanting around with a young lady named Nancy Neele. In fact, he is with her right now. It is headline news in New York! A massive manhunt is underway for one of the most popular authors of all time! 1,000 policemen are assigned to find Agatha Christie (or her body). Release the hounds! An airplane is used for the first time to conduct a search. Finally, a banjo player at a hotel (it's always the banjo player) spots Lady Mallowan. (Lady Mallowan is Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie. Apparently, in England you are not allowed out in public unless you have four names.) She has lost her memory, so she has no recollection how she got to the hotel, but she still remembers her husband's new friend, Nancy. The Christies are well on their way to a divorce. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Was this a publicity stunt? At this point no one is sure, but if it was, it got out of hand. With so many resources in play, it must have cost the government a fortune. But given the state of the Christie household, it seems more likely that Agatha Christie simply wanted to give her husband a swift kick in the backside for his philandering ways. The police concluded that she had crashed her car, walked to the nearest train station, found a hotel and checked in under the name of Nancy Neele, her husband's latest fling. She never spoke of the incident again and they were divorced a little over a year later. Regarding her popularity as an author, remember that it was the Roaring 20's, but the sound you heard was more like screaming. People were looking for escape and they found it in drink, sex, reading murder mysteries (looking for ideas?) and oddly enough, filling out crossword puzzles. Marathon dancing was also the rage. Despondent people with nothing to do were dancing their lives away. No thanks. I'd rather ride. [5]

This Man of Vision is No Joke

Like the first trickle that precedes an avalanche, a big event often starts small. As a boy, Robert Goddard read H.G. Well's War of the Worlds. Ever since, he has dreamed of spaceflight. Of course, in War of the Worlds, the Martians propelled themselves through the void of space using a giant gun to shoot themselves toward Earth like a bullet. But what would happen if the gun shot itself upward? This is how a rocket works, By forcing material out of the tube at high speed, the tube (and everything attached to it) moves in the opposite direction. If you point the tube down, you are going up. Goddard has already patented the idea of a multi-stage rocket and its liquid fuel engine. Without enough money to build the high pressure fuel pump, he substitutes a tank of inert pressurized gas to push the fuel into the combustion chamber. On this snowy March day, he steps out to test his latest design. It lights.... and thankfully it does not blow up. It reaches the height of 41 feet. It may not seem like much, but the father of modern rocketry measures success in small increments. [6]
Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace.
-- Robert Goddard in response the New York Times' laughing criticism of his work.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Earlier, Goddard had suggested that larger rockets could be used to fly to the Moon. That may have been why he drew ridicule. After all, the only people suggesting that we fly to the moon were novelists like H.G. Wells. The other novelist to inspire innovation was Arthur C. Clarke. He is best known to the technical community for writing articles about satellites that could be used to bounce a TV signal around the world. In 1945, that was like having a computer that filled a room and envisioning a computer in every pocket. I was watching a computer show hosted by two guys I've been following since the 80's. My granddaughter asked, "Gran-pa, why are you watching those old guys talk?" She was tweaking me. I replied, "Those 'old guys' worked their backsides off so that YOU could have that smartphone you love so much you ungrateful little..." She gave me that look that all kids do. She'll learn how it feels soon enough. [7]

Notable Births

  • Elizabeth II (Living): Queen of the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. [8]
  • Fidel Castro: Our man in Cuba. He turned communist, and a lot of people died. [9]
  • Alan Greenspan (Living): Federal Reserve Chairman, married to Andrea Mitchell, NBC News. (Say no more, Alex. Say no more.) [10]
  • Robert Schuller: TV evangelist and founder of the Crystal Cathedral. (FYI, in his earlier work he saved my friend's life. In his later work, your mileage may vary.) [11] [12]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- Hugh Hefner (Living): Founder of Playboy Enterprises. [13]
  • -- Marilyn Monroe: Playboy model and actress who perfected the 'dumb blonde' character. [14]
  • -- Don Rickles (Living): Insult comic, best known as "Mr. Potato Head" in the Toy Story series. [15]
  • -- Jerry Lewis (Living): Slapstick comedian and host of the Muscular Dystrophy Telethons. [16]
  • -- Andy Griffith: Actor in No Time for Sergeants, The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock. [17] [18]
  • -- Leslie Nielsen: Actor in Forbidden Planet, and the Naked Gun series. [19]
  • -- Mel Brooks (Living): Comedian, and creator of Space Balls, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and on and on.[20]
**Note: (Living) means they were alive when I checked on 2017-Jan-6.

In Other News

  • Father Coughlin begins his radio broadcasts. They are religious and anti-KKK, later becoming political in support of FDR's New Deal, and antisemitic in support Hitler. [24]
  • Emperor Hirohito ascends the throne. He will be Emperor when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor on that day that "will live in infamy". [25]
  • Winnie-the-Pooh is published. The author named the characters after his kid's toys. Who is his kid? Christopher Robin, of course. [26]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1926, Wikipedia.

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