Pop Culture

History of A Charlie Brown Christmas

By billpetro / December 9, 2021 /

HISTORY OF A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS On December 9, 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered on CBS TV as a 30-minute animated Christmas special written by Charles M. Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. The comic was hugely popular at the time when the TV special debuted. Though this was not Shulz’s first TV…

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Covent Garden Theatre inside

History of A Sacred Oratorio: How was popular Christmas music considered scandalous and profane?

By billpetro / December 2, 2021 /

HISTORY OF A SACRED ORATORIO The genteel reception accorded the original debut performance stood in marked contrast to the savage hostility which greeted the work less than a year later in the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, London. The English aristocracy and churchmen began an unrelenting campaign against the work and its creator. They labeled…

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Black Friday

History of Black Friday: One Day Only?

By billpetro / November 26, 2021 /

What is the origin of Black Friday, and the modern practice around it.

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JFK

History of John F Kennedy

By billpetro / November 22, 2021 /

HISTORY OF JOHN F KENNEDY For one brief shining moment… On November 22, 1963, a shot rang out in Dallas, Texas, and ended the life of John F. Kennedy, the most popular post-WWII President. He was the youngest American President voted to the office, having succeeded Dwight D Eisenhower, the oldest President at the time.…

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History of Guy Fawkes Night: How Gunpowder mixed with Parliament

By billpetro / November 5, 2021 /

HISTORY OF GUY FAWKES NIGHT For our friends across the Pond November 5th is known as “Bonfire Night” or “Guy Fawkes Night,” and all over Britain people fire off fireworks, light bonfires, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. Guido Fawkes was an Englishman who, in popular legend, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament…

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World Series

History of the World Series

By billpetro / November 2, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE WORLD SERIES The World Series is over a hundred years old, starting in 1903 as a contest between the National League and the American League. This sporting event, usually held in October, but this year in November, and sometimes called the Fall Classic, has already infringed upon the territory of the next…

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Dune

Movie Review: Dune

By billpetro / October 24, 2021 /

MOVIE REVIEW: DUNE   Spice!     I met Frank Herbert, author of Dune, over 40 years ago at “Comics and Comix” a premier comic and book store in Berkeley that was a favorite haunt of mine at the time. Of course, I got him to sign my paperback, but he was interested in talking…

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No Time To Die

Movie Review: No Time To Die

By billpetro / October 15, 2021 /

MOVIE REVIEW: NO TIME TO DIE This James Bond film is the 25th in the Eon Productions canon and the last for the actor Daniel Craig. But this is not the end of the almost 60-year film franchise. It is an above-average James Bond flick and an immensely satisfying conclusion to Daniel Craig’s tenure as…

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Mach 1

History of Mach 1: Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier

By billpetro / October 14, 2021 /

THE HISTORY OF MACH 1 On June 10, 1948, The U.S. Air Force confirmed that Capt. Chuck Yeager had repeatedly attained supersonic speeds in the Bell X-1.   Yeager’s Background But it was on October 14, 1947, that Chuck Yeager, who died in 2020, actually broke the sound barrier, Mach 1, for the first time.  …

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October 10

History of October 10: 42 Day

By billpetro / October 10, 2021 /

HISTORY OF OCTOBER 10: 42 DAY Question: What is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. Answer: 42   Question: What does that mean? I met Douglas Adams about 30 years ago when he spoke to Sun Microsystems, where I was working at the time. I have never heard anyone…

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Coffee

History of Coffee: International Coffee Day

By billpetro / September 30, 2021 /

HISTORY OF COFFEE: INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY Yesterday, September 29, was National Coffee Day in the US and 16 other countries. But tomorrow, October 1, is International Coffee Day, shared by the National Coffee Day in 12 countries. Whether percolated, filtered, steeped in a French press, poured over, or made with high-pressure steam in an espresso…

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Oktoberfest

History of Oktoberfest: Why is it in September?

By billpetro / September 23, 2021 /

HISTORY OF OKTOBERFEST Why is the famous German beer festival held in September if it’s called Oktoberfest? Officially, the beer festival starts the third Saturday in September through early October for 16 to 18 days. But not this year, Oktoberfest 2021 has been canceled like last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. So let’s look…

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