Friday, June 23, 2017




A brief history of Wonder Woman...

William Moulton Marston was born in Saugus, Massachusetts, in 1893. He was an oustanding student, and received his BA in 1915, his bachelor of laws in 1918 (until the 1940s, you could practice law with a bachelor's degree in the U.S.), and a PhD in Psychology in 1921 -- all from Harvard University.

Marson married his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth Holloway, in 1915. They attended law school together after their marriage.

While teaching at Tufts University in 1925, Marston met Olive Byrne, niece of Margaret Sanger (the founder of Planned Parenthood). Byrne joined Marston and Holloway in a polyamorous relationship. Marston had two children with each woman.

Marston's research focused on physiological responses to mental stress. He developed that idea that a person's systolic blood pressure rose when lying, which became basis for the modern polygraph. From this work, Marston became convinced that women were more honest than men in certain situations, and could work faster and more accurately. He also developed a theory of psychology that used to axes (passive/active; favorable/antagonistic) that led him to see masculine notions of freedom as inherently anarchic and violent. The feminine notion of freedom involves submission to a loving authority.

On October 25, 1940, Family Circle magazine published an interview with Marston in which he discussed his psychological theories in terms of comic books. National Pediocials (the predecessor to DC Comics) publisher Max Gaines hired Marston as a consultant. Marston came up with the idea of a superhero who conquers not with violence but with love. Holloway wanted her to be a woman. Marston broached the concept with Gaines, who gave him the go-ahead to develop the character.


* * * * *


Gaines assigned 61-year-old illustrator H.G. Peter to draw the character. Marston made suggestions to Peter based on the then-current ideas of what a "liberated woman" would look like (backless and strapless dress, flowing hair, short skirt). The concept of Wonder Woman's bracelets came from similar bracelets worn by Olive Byrne. The Lasso of Truth came from Marston's work with polygraphs.

Marston and his partners were into BDSM. From this evolved the idea that her super-strength could be taken away if she was bound by a man. Marston scripted all of Wonder Woman's early adventures, depicting Wonder Woman as able to ultimately free herself using her wits -- a tactic that suberted the "damsel in distress" trope.

Wonder Woman debuted in All Star Comics #8 (cover date December/January 1941/1942, but released in October 1941). In this and subsequent early stories, Wonder Woman was an Amazon who lived on Paradise Island, a magical place in the Caribbean to which the Amazon women of Greek myth had retreated. All Amazons were super-powered, but Princess Diana was the champion who won all their martial contests. When military intelligence officer Steve Trevor crashes his plane on Paradise Island, Princess Diana is selected to return him to "Man's World" and to fight crime and the Nazis.

Wonder Woman was depicted as equally as strong as Superman. She ran at a normal speed of 60 mph, and could jump off a skyscraper and land on her feet with ease. Amazons remained eternally youthful on Paradise Island by drinking from the Fountain of Eternal Youth. Although Diana no longer drank from the fountain and now aged naturally, its effects lingered in the form of giving her advanced healing capabilities. Wonder Woman also had a range of psychic powers, such as ESP, astral projection, telepathy, mental control over the electricity in her body, the ability to turn brain energy into muscle power, and the ability to send radio messages mentally. (This latter power was stripped from her in 1943, but she gained the immunity to electric shocks in the process.)

To live in "Man's World", Princess Diana took the secret identity of Diana Prince. There was a real Diana Prince, who was an Army nurse who bore a passing resemblance to Wonder Woman. The real Ms. Prince resigned from the Army to follow her war-wounded fiancée to South America. Wonder Woman gave her the money to get there, and took Diana Prince as her alias. As Diana Prince, Wonde Woman initially worked as an Army nurse and later as an Air Force secretary.

Marston died in 1947.


* * * * * * * *


In Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #98 (May 1958), writer Robert Kanigher revamped Wonder Woman's origin. Although a naturally-born child, Princess Diana was now shown to having been personally blessed by the gods after her birth: "Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, as strong as Hercules, and as swift as Hermes."

A year later, in Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #105 (April 1959), Princess Diana's origin was revamped again. This time, she was formed out of clay by Queen Hippolyta, and brought to life by the gods. Her mental abilities were greatly restricted, so that now she only had limited telepathy. This second retcon introduced the idea that the Amazons had advanced scientific knowledge which all Amazonians were expert. Over the next few years, it was revealed that all Amazons had the ability to speak any language (including prehistoric "caveman" and several Martian languages), that Princess Diana had super-powerful breath like Superman, and that removing her bracelets would augment her power ten-fold (but cause her to go berserk).

In Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #178 (October 1968), writer Mike Sekowsky moved Paradise Island into another dimension. Wonder Woman decided to stay in "Man's World" to love Steve Trevor. But the island was her connection to her super-powers, and she lost them. So Wonder Woman became a fashion designer, and owner of a boutique clothing store.

Sekowsky killed off Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #179 (November 1968).

Under the mentorship of the Chinese martial arts expert I Ching, Diana swiftly gains extensive expertise in martial arts and weapons. (This version of Wonder Woman was deeply influenced by the Emma Peel character on television's The Avengers.)


* * * * * * * *


The powerless Wonder Woman proved immensely unpopular. In Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #204 (February 1973), Kanigher returned to script a story in which I Ching dies and Diana Prince is given amnesia. Paradise Island inexplicably returns to our dimension, and Wonder Woman regains her powers and memory. Diana Prince takes up a new job as an interpreter at the United Nations. Steve Trevor is resurrected by the god Eros, motivated by Wonder Woman's grief (Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #223 [May 1976]). Now young again (and a brunette), Steve Trevor took the name "Steve Howard".

In Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #228 (February 1977), writer Martin Pasko revamped Wonder Woman again. The popularity of the Lynda Carter TV show led Pasko to put Wonder Woman back in the 1940s. In the story that spun out over the next several issues, readers learned that the pre-1968 Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor actually lived on Earth-Two. They eventually married and had a super-powered daughter, Hippolyta Trevor (although she was not revealed until Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #300 [February 1983]).

The Earth-One Wonder Woman traveled to Earth-Two in 1943, replaced her counterpart, and interacted with the young Earth-Two Steve Trevor and the Justice Society of America. She returned to Earth-One in Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #244 (June 1978). "Steve Howard" was killed off again in Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #248 (October 1978) when Eros left his body.

28-year-old children's magazine publisher Jenette Kahn was appointed publisher of DC Comics on February 2, 1976. She ordered Steve Trevor returned to the book. In Wonder Woman #270 Vol. 1, (August 1980), the Steve Trevor from Earth-270 finds himself inexplicably on Earth-One. Aphrodite uses magic to erase any memories of the first Steve Trevor's death from everyone on Earth, and everyone assumes Steve Trevor-270 is Steve Trevor-1. With Wonder Woman sales declining rapidly, in 1982 Kahn ordered a revamp of the Amazon's appearance. Artist Milton Glaser replaced the eagle on her bodice with a stylized "WW".

Princess Diana learned the truth about the "new" Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #322 (December 1984). So Aphrodite extracted the memories of the first Steve Trevor from Eros, and implanted them in the Earth-270 version. Wonder Woman and everyone else seems happy with this, even though it effectively killed the personality of Trevor-270.

These changes proved a death-knell. Wonder Woman was canceled with issue #329 (February 1986). Steve Trevor finally learns Diana's secret, and they marry. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths (Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 [March 1986]), Wonder Woman is made a demi-god and goes to live on Olympus. Steve Trevor is made an immortal and goes to live with her there in eternal bliss.


* * * * *


With Wonder Woman Vol. 2, #1 (February 1987), George Pérez, Len Wein, and Greg Potter rewrote Wonder Woman's origin story yet again. They used the "born of clay" origin and emphasized strongly her relationship with the Greco-Roman pantheon of gods. In this revamp, Diana Rockwell Trevor is a World War II WASP pilot who crash-lands on Paradise Island (now called Themyscira) and helps the Amazons defeat a monster with her pistol. She dies, and Hippolyta names her daughter Diana after this heroine. (It is from Diana Rockwell Trevor that Princess Diana also got her armor's colors and imagery.) Decades later, when Diana Rockwell Trevor's son, Steve, crashes on Themyscira, his American military insignia inspire Diana to go to the United States as the place to begin her battle with Ares. This version of Steve Trevor is several decades older than Princess Diana. He's married to Etta Candy and later becomes the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

The post-Crisis Diana is now the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, although still formed of clay. Her healing power is strongest when she's in contact with the earth, and she can physically merge with the earth to repair extreme injury or expel poison from her body. Wonder Woman can also communicate with all animals, including extinct ones, and has both telescopic vision and super-hearing. Instead of being resistant to electric shock, she's now resistant to flame. Whereas previously Wonder Woman "glided" on air currents, Princess Diana has both super-speed and the ability to fly at half the speed of light. Due to her divine origins, she can also resist many forms of magic and can astrally project herself into various lands of myth.

Wonder Woman dies at the hands of Neron, archangel of Hell, in Wonder Woman Vol. 2, #127 (November 1997). Diana was placed among the Olympian gods as Goddess of Truth. Hippolyta took over the mantle of Wonder Woman for several years, traveling back in time to the 1940s and joining the Justice Society and living there for almost a decade. (Hippolyta Trevor is retconned during these stories as the child of the 1940s heroine Fury.) It was at this time that Wonder Woman is first shown using a sword and shield. Princess Diana returned to Earth as an immortal Amazon in Wonder Woman Vol. 2, #136 (August 1998), angry at her mother for leaving Themyscira unruled. They never did resolve their differences, although Hippolyta traveled back in time to permanently join the Justice Society. (Hippolyta was eventually killed in Wonder Woman Vol. 2, #172 [September 2001].) Writer John Byrne led the "Hippolyta as Wonder Woman" effort. He said he loved the Pérez-Wein version, except for the fact that they made Diana a young woman. Hippolyta was meant to change that. (Hippolyta is resurrected by the witch Circe in Wonder Woman Vol. 3, #8 [June 2007].)

In September 2010, J. Michael Straczynski took over writing Wonder Woman. This story line, which lasted just 15 issues, had a trio of Death Goddesses retconning history so that Paradise Island has been destroyed and the Amazons scattered around the world. Diana is an orphan who has been raised in New York. Artist Jim Lee gave her a new costume with dark blue pants and dark blue long-sleeves, and almost no bodice emblem. Despite not having any memory, Wonder Woman gradually unravels their scheme and restores the timeline.

DC Comics rebooted their comic universe in 1994 with the "Zero Hour: Crisis in Time" crossover storyline. Wonder Woman survived that intact. DC rebooted their universe yet again in 2005-2006 with "Infinite Crisis", which saw Volume 2 of the Wonder Woman comic end and a new Volume 3 begin. (Wonder Woman is depicted as taking a year off during this period.) But once more, the Wonder Woman character emerged intact. Another reboot came in 2008 with "Final Crisis", but once more the character escaped any changes. Volume 1 numbering returned in 2010.

In 2011, DC Comics rebooted YET AGAIN with the "Flashpoint" story and "New 52" publishing effort. The endless reboots had not achieved the goal of bringing in new readers by making the comic book universe "understandable". Instead, the reboots created as many problems as they erased, and each reboot seemed to do worse than the one before. The "New 52" effort was intended to "soft-boot" the DC Comics universe, and not establish any "hard and fast" rules about the past. This allowed writers to ignore things they didn't like and keep elements they loved. Writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang decided to depict Wonder Woman as the biological daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. Her bracelets hold her Zeusian powers (like lightning, explosion, thunderclaps, etc.) in check. Her combat skills are the result of receiving training from Ares, the God of War. Wonder Woman no longer has a secret identity, but occasionally uses the name "Diana Prince" when she needs to. Azzarello purposefully made Wonder Woman willing to take lethal action when no other choice was left open to her. Azzarello returned to the Pérez version of Princess Diana, making her young, headstrong, fierce, willful, and impulsive. Wonder Woman sees love as fiery and intense, not gooey and romantic. During this period, Wonder Woman kills Ares and gains the ability to telepathically interact with any soldier.

In 2016, DC Comics once again "soft-booted" all of its publications. While some characters retained their "New 52" backstories and personalities, others returned to their pre-"New 52" elements -- and some were an amalgam of both.

It's not clear what changes have been wrought with Wonder Woman. There are two ongoing story lines in the comic now. They run in parallel, every other issue. The "Year One" storyline retells Diana's childhood on Themyscira. Steve Trevor crashes on the island and Diana wins a contest to see which Amazon should take him home. The price is that she can never return. Incarcerated by the U.S. government, the gods give Diana super strength, speed, agility, durability, and flight. Her first battle is with Ares.

The "Lies" story arc is about Diana's search for Paradise Island and her discovery that it is actually a myth.

It's not clear where either story line is going, which is the truth, or anything else.


I woke up this morning and it was nearly dark outside. I thought I'd woken up way to early...........

Then I saw that it was pouring rain.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What does this freshman quarterback say the first thing in the morning?

"Are you guys all on the same team, or what?"


God, I love Bloom County.


I can stare at him for hours on end. He's sooooo short! And those eyes, that face, that mouth! What a compact, soft, sculpted body.

I hope whoever lies beneath him at night is grateful.


Anthony the Tram was upset that Thomas the Tank Engine stole his idea for a TV show. He's never gotten over it...


He's very nice.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Any boy into real photography is tops in my book. Any boy with a face and body like that is also tops in my book.

Now, is his bottoms would come off...


Sara Lucy Bagby Johnson grave - Woodland Cemetery


The grave of Sara Lucinda "Lucy" Bagby Johnson at Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lucy was a descendant of Africans and born into slavery about 1843 in Virginia. Almost nothing is known about her early life, her parents, or where she was born. What is known is that John Goshorn purchased Lucy on January 16, 1852, in Richmond, Virginia, from a slave trader named Robert Alois. Her price was $600 ($17, 275 in 2017 dollars). On November 8, 1857, Goshorn gave her to his son, William Goshorn.

In the fall of 1860, Lucy escaped via the Underground Railroad to Beaver, Pennsylvania. She then settled in Pittsburgh. The Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850 left her at risk, however. So she told everyone that William's daughter, Isabella, had taken her up to Pennsylvania and freed her.

In November 1860, Lucy moved to Cleveland and found work as a domestic servant in the home of Congressman-elect A. G. Riddle.

On January 16, 1861, William Goshorn arrived in Cleveland to reclaim Lucy. He obtained the assistance of two U.S. Marshals (who were bound by law to assist him). Lucy was arrested and taken to jail.

William E. Ambush, chairman of the Fugitive Aid Society, raised $1,200 over the next five days to purchase Lucy from Goshorn and set her free, but Goshorn refused to sell her.

On January 21, Lucy was brought before Probate Judge Daniel R. Tilden. Cleveland was a hotbed of antislavery activity, and antislavery supporters filled the courtroom and the street outside the courthouse. Rufus P. Spalding, a former Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court; C.W. Palmer, a noted local attorney who'd be elected to the City Council in 1854; and A. G Riddle served as her legal counsel. They argued that Lucy could not be held in the city jail, as she was property and not a criminal. But Judge Tilden ruled that the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act made it a crime to escape from bondage, and thus Lucy could be jailed. There was no argument to be made against the Fugitive Slave Act: Tilden handed Lucy over to Goshorn.

As Goshorn's carriage rolled through the city streets, a crowd estimated at more than 5,000 wept and shouted at Goshorn to stop and free Lucy. At the train station, police struggled to hold back the mob. An elderly woman threw pepper in the eyes of a police officer, and was hauled off. The judge, an abolitionist, fined her a penny. Goshorn took Lucy by train to Wheeling, Virginia. A train conductor overheard some men plotting to rescue Lucy when the train stopped at the Ohio-Virginia border. The train's engineer thwarted the rescue attempt by skipping the scheduled stop.

The Civil War broke out just days after Lucy's recapture. Goshorn enslited in the Confederate Army and went to war with Lucy in tow. But in 1862, Goshorn was captured by Union soldiers in Tennessee. Lucy was freed, and returned to Pittsburgh. She married an African American Union soldier, George Johnson, and the two lived in Pittsburgh for a number of years. Around 1900, Lucy and her husband move to Cleveland.

In 1904, Lucy was invited to attend the Early Settlers' Association annual meeting in Pittsburgh. As she mounted the stage to be introduce, the band struck up "Dixie." The crowd rose to its feet and cheered her.

Sara Lucinda Bagby Johnson died in Cleveland in July 1906. She was buried in Woodland Cemetery, then the city's most famous and popular burying ground. Her family could not afford to purchase a headstone, and her grave went unmarked for the next 105 years. In 2011, a group of local citizens purchased a gravestone for Lucy, and maintain it with planted flowers to this day.
Critically Endangered Bourret’s Box Turtles Hatch at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo


Look at the little baby turtles!!!!!!!!!!!!!

These are Bourret's box turtles, born June 12. There are just 2,300 Bourret's box turtles left in the wild in Vietnam and Laos. More than 90 percent of all Bourret's box turtles have been wiped out by deforestation and the food and pet trade.

The North American Association of Zoos and Aquariums implemented a Species Survival Plan for Bourret's box turtles in 2011. Two adults arrived at the Smithsonian National Zoo's Reptile Discovery Center in Washington, D.C., in 2012.

It is mega-difficult to breed these turtles. From October to March, Bourret's box turtles go into hibernation due to cold weather. Right after they wake up, there is a very narrow window where the turtles can breed. Zoos must mimic this cold weather in order to get adults to hibernate and breed. Moreover, Bourret's box turtle eggs will hatch only if the humidity and temperature are in a very specific, very narrow range while they incubate. Although the Smithsonian's Bourrett's box turtles have laid eggs every year since 2012, this is the first time those eggs have hatched. Keepers had to check the humidity and temperature in the exhibit twice a day between March 22, when the clutch was laid, and the emergence of the hatchlings.

The baby turtles are eating and gaining weight, and appear to be healthy and thriving. Right now, they weigh just 25 grams (nine-tenths of an ounce) – about as much as 20 jumbo paper clips.
This is Zola, a gorilla at the Dallas Zoo. He loves his kiddie pool!

SOMEONE PLEASE PUT THIS TO MUSIC!!!!!!!!


I wonder just how white he is beneath those shorts.  (Look at that tan line peeking there...)


I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... that before he became Chief Usher at the White House, Carlos E. Dexter was an inspector for the United States Post Office Department -- and that he returned to that job after just two years at the Executive Mansion?
This model is Belgian. He's got amazing legs, and an outstanding face and body.


Boys at ISCA Academy in Exeter, England, asked permission to modify their uniform because of the hot weather. Instead of long pants, would they be allowed to wear dress shorts? No, the headmaster said. Only clothing in the approved list of school uniforms would be allowed.

So 30 boys began wearing skirts to school in protest. Pupils said the idea for the protest came from the head teacher, who originally made the suggestion in jest.

My question is: Are they wearing panties, too? Or treating skirts as kilts, and wearing nothing up there??


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Boy, there is something about very lightly furry guys that just guns my engine.


Stop pursing your lips. You're cute enough.


SuperFriends theme, written by Hoyt S. Curtin and narrated by Ted Knight.

"In the Great Hall of the Justice League, there are assembled the world’s four greatest heroes -- created from the cosmic legends of the universe! Superman! Wonder Woman! Batman! Aquaman! And the three junior Super Friends, Wendy, Marvin and Wonderdog! Their mission: To fight injustice, to right that which is wrong, and to serve all mankind!"

Hoyt Stoddard Curtin was the primary musical director for the Hanna-Barbera animation studio from its beginnings in 1957 until 1965, and again from 1972 until his retirement in 1986. During this time, he authored the immortal title music to The Flintstones, Jonny Quest, and The Jetsons. Curtin is considered one of the giants of cartoon music.

Curtin was born September 9, 1922, in Downey, California. As an infant, his family moved to San Bernardino, where his father owned a ranch before getting into the insurance business and later becoming deputy assessor for San Bernardino County.

He began studying piano at the age of five, and proved to be an extraordinarily talented singer composer. By the time he was in junior high, he was leading his own professional dance combo. In high school, he played in several professional local jazz bands. Curtin served on a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Pacific during World War II.

After the war, Curtin studied music at the University of Southern California, where he earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees. He composed music for a six or seven "Mister Magoo" cartoons from 1950 to 1956 (including for the Oscar-winning When Magoo Flew), but was unable to win any work composing scores for feature films. So he turned to composing for television shows and writing advertising jingles.

Curtin was extraordianrily prolific as a jingle music writer. His work was catchy, although he never composed a truly memorable tune. In 1957, Willliam Hanna and Joseph Barbera contacted him to write music for a Schlitz beer commercial they were producing.

Two weeks later, they called Curtin and asked if he would be interested in composing music for a cartoon series they were creating for television. Curtin agreed to help. The men read a lyric to him over the phone, and asked him to call back when he had a song for it.

Curtin called them back in five minutes.He sang the song to them ... and there was dead silence. "Uh oh, I bombed out," Curtin thought. The first words out of Hanna and Barbera's mouths were to offer him a contract.

For the next decade, Hanna and Barbera would read some words or lyrics to Curtin over the phone, and he'd create music. In time, he'd be given rough footage so he could score his music more in time with the action or characters.

His first series was Ruff & Reddy. Over the next few years, Curtin wrote the theme songs for The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Audie Doggie and Daddy, Lippy the Lion, Wally Gator, Touche Turtle, Yogi Bear, Top Cat, Quickdraw McGraw, Secret Squirrel, Magilla Gorilla, Moby Dick and Mightor, Shazzan, Wacky Races, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, SuperFriends, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Inch High, Private Eye, Hong Kong Phooey, Devlin, The Great Grape Ape Show, Speed Buggy, Valley of the Dinosaurs, Clue Club, Captain Caveman, Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, Jabberjaw, Godzilla, Battle of the Planets, Laverne & Shirley in the Army, Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, Pound Puppies, Snorks, and The Smurfs. He also composed many of the stock tunes used as incidental music in the various series, and the jingle heard underneath Hanna-Barbera's closing logo.

In retirement, Curtin invented a successful brand of underground lawn sprinklers, built one of the first synthesizers, and established a correspondence course for budding musicians. ("Learn how to write songs the Hoyt Curtin way!")

When Rhino decied to release a 1995 retrospective album of his works, they literally had to peel the soundtracks off the original celluloid films to get masters of Curtin's themes and background music. No one had bothered to keep them after the shows were produced. (There is, as far as anyone knows, no existing master for his most famous piece, the Flintstones theme.)

He died in Los Angeles, California on December 3, 2000 at the age of 78. He left behind a son, Chris, and a wife, Elizabeth.


most accurate candy bar



This is the most accurate candy bar I have ever seen. It describes me completely.
Boy: I just had a gut-wrenching, bowel-cleaning shit. I'm so happy! Girl: Dr. Caldwell, I'm going to let you tell Mother about the pipe-clogging turd I left in her toilet...

This is a real advertisement from the 1930s. I laughed at this for 10 full minutes. I laughed so hard, I almost tripped while going down the stairs.


dr caldwell's bowels
Principal photography began this week on Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It is scheduled to hit theaters on March 22, 2019.

Director and screenwriter Michael Dougherty took the place of director-writer Gareth Edwards for the sequel. Dougherty has written and directed several films, including superhero movies X2: X-Men United and X-Men: Apocalypse and the horror films Krampus and Trick r' Treat.

Only Sally Hawkins ("Dr. Vivienne Graham") and Ken Watanabe ("Dr. Ishiro Serizawa) return for the sequel.

The only plot details known so far are that Godzilla will face Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah.

All the below is concept art from people not associated with the movie. But it sure would look cool if some of this were adopted.






Friday, June 16, 2017

Why so sad, pretty boy????






June 16, 1961 - Rudolf Nureyev defects from the Soviet Union.

Rudolf Nureyev was born on March 17, 1938, on a train near Irkutsk in Siberia. (His mother was traveling to Vladivostok, where his father was a Red Army political commissar.) He had three older sisters, and was raised in a small village near the city of Ufa in Bashkortostan (an "ethnic state" within Russia for Bashkirs and Tatars).

He showed an early talent for dance and was encouraged to train formally. But the disruptions in the Soviet Union caused by World War II kept him out of dance school until he was 17, when he was accepted by the Vaganova Academy in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). His athleticism and attention to detail and form astounded his teachers, even though he was incredibly raw. He graduated in 1958 and joined the Kirov Ballet (now known as the Marinsky Ballet). He was given principal roles almost immediately.

By 1961, Nureyev had become a sensation in Russia. But he had also developed a reputation as a prima donna, nonconformist, and partier. He argued with teachers and directors; he refused to dance in anything but tights (even when the role required something else); he criticized rehearsal facilities and would walk out to practice on his own if he didn't like anything. Moreover, after graduating from ballet school, he began expressing his homosexuality for the first time -- cruising for sex in "pleshak" (gay cruising grounds like public parks or streets) or in "marshrut" (a "circuit" of hotel lobbies, metro stations, public toilets, and the like when men had sex). And Nureyev was insatiable: Even though he had at least one moderately long-term lover during these three years and socialized fairly openly with a group of gay friends, Nureyev could be found most nights working the pleshka and marshrut. The KGB even tried to entrap him, having him room with a handsome fellow dancer. Nureyev indeed put the moves on the other man. But when the KGB burst in them, they took too long to break down the door; Nureyev fled out a window and managed to avoid arrest.

Nureyev was so suspect in KGB eyes that they originally refused to allow him to travel internationally after 1960. But with the Kirov scheduled to tour Austria, France, and England in 1961, French organizers urged the Soviets to let him dance. They grudgingly permitted it.


* * * * * * * * * *


Nureyev had no intention of defecting. But he was desperate to take advantage of the lack of restrictions that came with international travel. While in Vienna, Nureyev refused to obey curfew and routinely partied with local dancers (male and female) into the early hours of the morning. In Paris, his behavior worsened. He openly consorted with gay dancers and non-dancers alike, and had an affair with blond 18-year-old dancer Jean-Pierre Bonnefous. The KGB began tailing him, hoping to catch him in bed with a man.

The Kirov was due to fly from Paris to London on June 16. As usual, the staff had control over everyone's airline ticket. At Le Bourget airport at 9 AM, Nureyev saw that a group of his new French friends had come to see him off and have one last drink. Among them was Bonnefous, "jeune, beau, et blond". As they drank in the bar, the director of the Kirov came over, took Nureyev aside, and told him that he was to fly back to Moscow rather than proceed to London. Kruschchev had ordered a command performance in the Kremlin. Moreover, Nureyev's mother was ill and asking for him. Nureyev was instantly suspicious. The rest of the Kirov began going through customs, and Nureyev panicked -- realizing that, once he was alone, the KGB would force him back to Moscow. If he returned to the Soviet Union, he'd be exiled to Ufa, never permitted to dance again. And that was death to him.

The three KGB agents who were present wanted Nureyev to go to the Aeroflot lounge, where he could be isolated. Nureyev hissed that he would start screaming if they laid a hand on him. Nureyev begged Bonnefous to get him a taxi so he could flee, but the frightened 18-year-old said he couldn't. The other male and female dancers and directors present didn't speak; they wanted to travel to Russia to perform, and remain on good terms with Russian officials. The KGB men got Nureyev to sit down, with the men on either side of him.

Bonnefous made a decision: He called Nureyev's French friend Clara Saint. She was a young socialite who was engaged to the son of Andre Malraux, French Minister of Culture. She'd just spent the night drinking with Nureyev and escorting him around Paris. Saint arrived at the airport at 9:30 AM. She found Nureyev sitting in the bar, sandwiched between the two massive KGB agents. Playing the coquette, she drew Nureyev away to "say goodbye". The KGB foolishly let him move a few feet away. Speaking French (which, as a ballet dancer, Nureyev had studied and understood), she asked Nureyev if he wanted to stay in France; he said yes. He asked her to "do something". They kissed, and he returned to his seat.

Saint rushed to the police office in the airport. She told the border control officer, Gregory Alexinsky, that a Russian was being held against his will in the bar. Alexinsky's father was a Russian who was forced into exile by the Communists in 1917. He hated the Soviet Union, but had no idea who Nureyev was. Nevertheless, he told Saint that it was against the law for the police to approach Nureyev. Nureyev had to walk over to them and request to stay. Alexinsky and his deputy agreed to sit in the bar a few feet from Nureyev, but Nureyev had to come to them.

Saint went back downstairs, and pretended to be the blushing, infatuated girl again. She got Nureyev away from his guards and whispered to him what he had to do. Then she kissed him again, sat at the bar, and ordered coffee.

Nureyev sat down. Then he jumped up and rushed toward the bar and the French police. A KGB agent intercepted him, standing in front of him and asking what was wrong. Nureyev stepped around him, took the six steps toward the French police, and asked for asylum. The three KGB agents attempted to seize Nureyev, but the French police shouted, "No! You can't touch him! You are in France now!"


The police took him to their office. The Russian consul rushed to the airport, and demanded to see Nureyev. He spent 20 minutes berating him in Russian, and Nureyev became hysterical -- even threatening suicide. The police intervened: French law required an asylum seeker to be left alone for 45 minutes. The consul left, spitting mad. Alexinsky told Nureyev that one door led to a hallway and the departure lounge where the KGB were waiting; the other led to the police. At the end of the 45 minutes, he had to choose which door to take.

At the end of the 45 minutes, Nureyev opened the door leading to Alexinsky's office and sought asylum once more. To distract the KGB and the press, Saint held an impromptu press conference in the airport lobby while the police quietly moved Nureyev out a side door and to the Ministry of the Interior -- where his asylum was formally processed and awarded.


* * * * * * * * * * *


By the end of the year, Nureyev had met Danish dancer Erik Bruhn. He had seen amateur footage of a Bruhn performance in 1958 or 1959, and become infatuated with him. Bruhn returned the favor. The two men remained lovers despite Nureyev's extensive promiscuity until Bruhn's death from lung cancer in 1986.

Rudolf Nureyev died of AIDS on January 6, 1993, in Paris.




I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... that Fort Owen State Park is known as the "cradle of Montana civilization"?


Cleveland Heights, Ohio (where I live) has a big-time Mafia connection. Cleveland Mafia boss Joseph Porrello lived at 2862 Berkshire Road in Cleveland Heights at the time of his death in 1930.


* * * * * * *


In the early 1900s, two Sicillian gangs emerged in Cleveland. One were the Lonardos: Joseph, Frank, John and Dominic. The other were the Porrellos: Rosario, Vincenzo, Angelo, Joseph, John, Ottavio, and Raymond.

By 1920, Joseph "Big Joe" Lonardo had become boss of the Cleveland Mafia. The Cleveland Mafia grew rich and powerful supplying sugar to illegal alcohol manufacturers, and they had a lock on "corn sugar" (a cheap form of sugar common in Ohio).

In 1926, the Porrellos broke away from the Lonardos and set up their own crime family. Joseph Lonardo went to Sicily in the summer of 1927 to appeal to Mafia heads there for help. When he returned, Angelo Porrello asked to meet with him. Lonardo agreed. On October 13, 1927, Joseph and John Lonardo arrived at a Porrello-owned barber shop at 10902 Woodland Avenue. The Lonardos relaxed, playing cards. Two gunmen burst into the barber shop and killed them.

Joseph "Big Joe" Porrello now took over as boss of the Cleveland Mafia.

On June 11, 1929, Joseph Porrello's caporegime, Salvatore "Black Sam" Todaro, was standing outside the very same barber shop at 1:07 PM. A young man up and said someone in the car around the corner wanted to talk to Todaro. Todaro walked around the corner onto E. 110th Street and approached the car -- and was shot five times. Driving the car was Angelo Lonardo; beside him was Joseph Lonardo's widow, Concetta; in the back seat was another man. The car raced away south down E. 110th. Police believed that Concietta and the other man shot Todaro.

On July 5, 1930, Joseph Porrello was invited to a sitdown with Frank "Ciccio" Milano at the Milano-owned Venetian Restaurant at 12601 Mayfield Road (now a parking lot). For years, Milano had been attempting to set up a rival crime family, without success. Porrello and his caporegime, Sam Tilocco, were to meet with Milano, John Angersola, Alfred Plizzi, and Charles Colletti. Porrello and Tilocco had been in the restaurant only a few minutes when they were shot. Porrello died at his table. Despite three head-wounds, Tilocco managed to stagger outside and almost made it to his car before falling onto the sidewalk.

Roughly 2,000 people attended Joe's funeral. Porrello and Tilocco are buried close to one another in Cleveland's Calvary Cemetery.





former home of Joseph Porrello - Cleveland Heights Ohio

Grave of Cleveland mob bosses Vincent and Joseph Porrello
G'morning!!!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I bet he could last all night long. And then make breakfast.




The Milwaukee Brewers waived Scooter Gennett on March 28, 2017.

The Cincinnati Reds picked him up on April 3, 2017.

On June 6, Gennett hit four home runs -- including a grand slam. That made him just the 17th player in MLB history, and first in Reds history, to hit four home runs in a game. He's also just the seventh Red to hit home runs in four consecutive at bats in the same game.

Take that, Milwaukee!









Oh, and did I mention? He's handsome, muscular, short, playful, and likes ceramics.