The thirteenth year of the reign of the second Queen Elizabeth

In 1965,

Lyndon Johnson unveiled a series of domestic programs known as the Great Society,

The Canadian Maple Leaf Flag premiered,

Joan Rivers debuted on the The Tonight Show,

Martin Luther King Jr. and others organized a series of marches from Selma to Montgomery to protest the treatment of African Americans in the United States,

The United States passed the Voting Rights Act,

Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov became the first person to walk in space,

The Astrodome opened,

Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were executed for the 1959 murder of the Cluttler family, inspiring Truman Capote to write In Cold Blood,

Bob Dylan went electric and released Highway 61 Revisited

Lyndon Johnson signs legislation creating Medicare and Medicaid,

The Watts riots take place in Los Angeles,

The Beatles performed at Shea Stadium

After 55 years, Casey Stengel retired as a professional baseball manager,

Sandy Koufax pitched a perfect game,

Hurricane Betsy landed in the United States,

My Mother the Car and Days of Our Lives premiered on NBC,

Supermarket Sweep and The Dating Game premiered on ABC,

Pope Paul VI visited the US,

Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy debuted,

Great Britain banned the death penalty,,

The total world population is just over 3.3 billion,

Rob Zombie, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Diane Lane, Brandon Lee, Dr. Dre, Paul W.S. Anderson, The Undertaker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Piers Morgan, Rodney King, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Cryer, Kevin James, Suge Knight, Owen Hart, Trent Reznor, John C. Reilly, Brooke Shields, Mick Foley, Elizabeth Hurley, Alex Winter, Connie Nielsen, Stuart Scott, Shawn Michaels, J.K. Rowling, Sam Mendes, Kyra Sedwick, Shania Twain, Charlie Sheen, Bashar al-Assad, Kyle Chandler, Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr, Steve Coogan, Bjork, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Sparks, and Heidi Fleiss were born.

T.S. Eliot, Nat King Cole, Malcolm X, Felix Frankfurter, Stan Laurel, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Edward Murrow, Spike Jones, Judy Holliday, David O. Selznick, Adlai Stevenson, Moonlight Graham, Albert Schweitzer, Clara Bow, Dorothy Dandridge, Henry Travers, Winston Churchill, and Somerset Maugham died.

The following is my list of the top ten films released in 1965:

Continue reading The thirteenth year of the reign of the second Queen Elizabeth

Back when Ronald Reagan was most famous for being the 33rd Governor of California

In 1975:

Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac,

Wheel of Fortune debuted,

Space Mountain opened at the Magic Kingdom,

Margaret Thatcher became the leader of the Conservative Party,

Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico,

The Vietnam War ended with the Fall of Saigon,

Junko Tabei became the first woman to climb Mount Everest,

Cape Verde, Comoros, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, and East Timor became independent countries,

Jimmy Hoffa was reported missing,

Saturday Night Live premiered on NBC,

The Louisiana Superdome opened,

Manson follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Sara Jane Moore each attempted to assassinate US President Gerald Ford,

Elizabeth Ann Seton became the first US-born Roman Catholic saint,

Patty Hearst was arrested for her involvement with the Symbionese Liberation Army,

Fawlty Towers premiered on British television,

Carlton Fisk’s 12th inning home run propeled the Boston Red Sox to a win in game 6 of the World Series, but the Red would go on to win the Series,

The Sex Pistols played their first gig and Iron Maiden was formed.

Danica McKeller, Bradley Cooper, Sara Gilbert, Big Boi, Natalie Imbruglia, Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler, Eva Longoria,, Fergie, Zach Braff, Tiki Barber, Johnny Galecki, David Beckham, Enrique Iglesias, Ray Lewis, Andre 3000, Daniel Tosh, Russel Brand, Angelina Jolie, 50 Cent, Jack White, Judy Greer, Alex Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Michael Bublé, Jimmie Johnson, Jason Sudekis, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Tara Reid, David Ortiz, Dierks Bientley, and Tiger Woods were born,

While P.G. Wodehouse, George Stevens, Susan Hayward, Aristotle Onassis, Fredric March, Ozzie Nelson, Rod Serling, Casey Stengel, and Francisco Franco died.

These are my top ten films released in 1975:

Continue reading Back when Ronald Reagan was most famous for being the 33rd Governor of California

The year after Big Brother started watching us all

In 1985:

Ronald Reagan began his second term as US President.

The single We are the World was released.

EastEnders debuted on British television.

Mikhail Gorbachev assumed power in the Soviet Union.

The WWF held the first ever Wrestlemania In the main event, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T defeated Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.

The NCAA Men’s college basketball tournament featured 64 teams for the first time.

South Africa ended its ban on interracial marriages.

New Coke debuted and after a disastrous couple of months, was removed from US stores.

The mayor of Philadelphia ordered police to bomb the headquarters of the radical group MOVE.

U.S. Route 66 was decommissioned.

The first Live Aid concert was held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium in London and JFK stadium in Philadelphia.

The US announced Christa McAuliffe would be the first teacher in space.

Aspen, Colorado became the first US city to ban smoking in restaurants.

The wreckage of the Titanic was discovered in the North Atlantic.

Pete Rose became the MLB all-time leader in career hits.

Super Mario Bros. was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Steve Jobs resigned from Apple to found NeXT.

Gary Kasparov became the youngest winner of the World Chess Championship.

Calvin and Hobbes and the Tommy Hilfiger clothing line debuted.

Kiera Knightley, Derek Hough, Chris Paul, Carey Mulligan, Colbie Caillat, Lana Del Rey, Michael Phelps, Emile Hirsch, John Francis Daley, Calvin Johnson, Bruno Mars, Jack Osbourne, Carly Rae Jespen, Kaley Cuoco, Frankie Muniz, and Dwight Howard were born.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Marc Chagall, Edmond O’Brien, Karen Ann Quinlan, Gale Sondergaard, Ruth Gordon, Simone Signoret, Yul Brynner, Orson Welles, Phil Silvers, and Roger Maris died.

VH1 and Nick at Nite launched.

David Letterman performed his first Top Ten List.

Elmo made his first appearance on Sesame Street.

Larry King Live debuted on CNN, The Golden Girls and Punk Brewster debuted on NBC, and GI Joe: Real American Hero and Thundercats premiered in syndication.

The Dukes of HazzardThe JeffersonsAlice, and Super Friends ended their respective runs on American television.

These are my ten favorite films released in 1985:

Continue reading The year after Big Brother started watching us all

Everything that follows is older than the new Spider-man or: A brief look back at 1995

In 1995:

The World Trade Organization was established;

O.J. Simpson was acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman;

Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution;

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City;

Shawn Nelson went on a rampage in a tank in San Diego;

The New Jersey Devils won their first Stanley Cup;

The first DVD was made available;

eBay went online;

Star Trek: VoyagerXena: Warrior Princess, and The Drew Carey Show premiered;

While Matlock, Blossom, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Northern Exposure ended their series runs;

Calvin and Hobbes ended its ten-year run in newspapers;

Selena was murdered;

Pierce Brosnan debuted as James Bond;

Braveheart won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 68th Academy Awards;

Rose Kennedy, Ginger Rogers, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jonas Salk, Wolfman Jack, Eva Gabor, Jerry Garcia, Mickey Mantle, Orville Redenbacher, and Bobby Riggs died;

The History Channel and the WB Network launched into American homes;

Will Ferrell joined SNL;

And Drew Barrymore flashed David Letterman for his birthday.

Continue reading Everything that follows is older than the new Spider-man or: A brief look back at 1995

Looking back at 11905 HE*

*For my less scientifically inclined readers, the Human era calendar, first proposed by Cesare Emiliani in 1993 was an attempt to eliminate the confusing distinction of BC and BCE in the Common Era calendar. 11905 HE is the Common Era equivalent of 1905.

In 1905:

The Russo-Japanese War ended,

The Trans-Siberian Railway opened,

Las Vegas was founded,

Albert Einstein published his ideas regarding the special theory of relativity,

The Irish political party, Sinn Féin, was established,

Ayn Rand, Albert Speer, Henry Fonda, Jean-Paul Sarte, and Greta Garbo were born, while Jules Verne died.

Theodore Roosevelt was the President of the United States.

The New York Giants won the 2nd World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics.

The first edition of what would become the Australian Open was won by amateur Rodney Health.

This is a list of my top ten movies released in 1905:

Continue reading Looking back at 11905 HE*

The Quest – Episode 2

Welcome back to episode two of The Quest, the supplemental podcast to my ambitious quest.

Last time in our premiere episode, Ben and I spent some time talking about firsts, our first memory of going to the movies, and my top five movies with “First” in the title.

In our second episode, we’ll spend some time discussing sequels. If you have any thoughts or suggestions for future topics, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

On our next episode, we’ll be discussing top five time films dealing with time travel, with a side conversation about genre definitions and genre bending films.

A brief look back at 3171, Year of Our Lady of Discord*

* For my less imaginative readers, 3171 in the Discordian calendar was 2005 in the Gregorian calendar.

In 2005:

Sadam Hussein was tried for crimes committed against humanity during his time in power,

YouTube was launched,

Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles,

Former FBI agent Mark Felt publicly identified himself as Deep Throat,

Terrorists attacked the public transport system in London,

Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans,

The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve controversial drawings of the prophet Muhammad,

Angela Merkel was elected Chancellor of Germany,

Johnny Carson, Arthur Miller, Hunter S. Thompson, Teresa Wright, Johnnie Cochran, Terri Schiavo, Pope John Paul II, Saul Bellow, Anne Bancroft, Luther Vandross, James Doohan, Peter Jennings, William Rehnquist, Robert Wise, Rosa Parks, Eddie Guerrero, Pat Morita, and Richard Pryor died.

Harold Pinter won the Nobel Prize for literature.

Crash upset favorite Brokeback Mountain for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Dan Rather retired as anchor of the CBS Evening News.

After sixteen years, Doctor Who returns to television.

Carrie Underwood won the fourth season of American Idol.

Logo, a TV channel dsigned to appeal to LGBT audiences debuts.

Lost wins the Emmy for Best Dramatic Series.

Weeds, Battlestar Galactica, Prison BreakBones, Supernatural, How I Met Your Mother, Criminal MindsThe Colbert Report, and Deal or No Deal debut on American television.

While NYPD BlueThe OsbournesStar Trek: Enterprise, and Six Feet Under air their final episodes.

This is a list of my top eleven movies released in 2005: Continue reading A brief look back at 3171, Year of Our Lady of Discord*

The joys of smoking

Princess Nicotine; or, the Smoke Fairy (1909)

In a world conditioned to see smoking as a cardinal sin, it’s hard to believe there was time when a whole short film could be revolving around the earnest enjoyment of a cigarette.

In addition to reminding us how different attitudes were one hundred years ago, this whimsical film features an impressive stop-motion sequence.

This was replaced as my favorite film released in 1909 by Pickpock ne craint pas les entraves.