History Schmistory, March 16: Who’s Yer Daddy, Chris?

Ferdinand Magellan, the "Weekend at Bernies" of Explorers

1521 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches Philippines. Magellan had survived eighteen months at sea, but he was killed in battle in the Philippines. A local warrior persuaded Magellan to defeat his rival in battle. Most of Magellan’s men considered the battle both pointless and dangerous, so they refused to participate. Magellan was hit with a poison arrow in the battle and died. One of Magellan’s five ships did make it back to Spain, only twelve days less than three years after their journey started. Only one ship and eighteen sailors remained of the 265 men accompanied Magellan.

History Schmistory: Yo Ferdman & Izzy–I’m back!

1493. Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after 1st new world voyage. He brings potatoes, stories of Indians, and “Dancing with the Stars.”

You’re the Apple of my Pi

Everyone knows it’s pi day today (3/14). But did you know that the earliest known textually evidenced approximations of pi date from around 1900 BC? They are found in the Egyptian Rhind Papyrus 256/81 ≈ 3.160 and on Babylonian tablets 25/8 = 3.125, both within 1 percent of the true value.Unfortunately, it was only a pie of pi ; )
Pi symbol (3.1415926), March 14th is Pi Day!

History Schmistory: St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD.

GO THERE! Travel Tips from the Experts!

Hey, if it happens in New York, baby, you know its good. Here are the top travel tips from The New York Times Travel Show!

St. Patrick’s Day is Nigh!

It’s March! And you know what that means!

History Schmistory: Fuggedaboutit!

On this day in 1940, Race car driver Mario Andretti was born. The labor was really fast.

History Schmistory: February 23. The world looks mighty good to me.

1896: The Tootsie Roll is invented, and gives rise to an unusual morphological phenomenon…

History Schmistory: February 22. “As bad as Moose Murders?”

1983: After 13 dismal previews, the notorious Broadway flop Moose Murders opens and closes on the same night at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. It is now basically the standard by which all horrible plays that find their way to the Broadway stage are compared, and it pretty much loses every time. NY critics were literally in competition to see who could write the most witheringly scornful review.
Here’s some highlights:

“…The only stage play I ever saw presented in stereo-odoriferous Smellovision.” -John Simon

“Those of us who have witnessed the play… will undoubtedly hold periodic reunions, in the noble tradition of survivors of the Titanic.” -Frank Rich

“…Would insult the intelligence of an audience consisting entirely of amoebas” -Brendan Gill

In fairness, we have never seen or read the play, but from the reviews it seems likely that Eugene O’Neill didn’t just roll in his grave, he’s been rotating on a spit ever since. Zing!

History Schmistory: February 21. “The new phone book’s here, the new phone book’s here!”

1878: The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut. It was basically one cardboard page with a list of 50 businesses that could afford to have telephones. There was no number system yet, as every connection could be made by one operator at a switchboard. Over the next hundred years the phonebook took a giant step, partly by becoming just that; a giant step, perfect for reaching the cookie jar and other such unobtainables. Today it appears the phone book is doomed of extinction. Should we do away with phone books altogether? Who knows, maybe in another hundred years, they might be the only thing left to keep us warm. Let’s hope not.
-In the meantime here’s some other cool stuff you can do with them…

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