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Party Lines Millennials will have trouble believing these ever existed, but at one time the majority of North American households did not have private telephone lines. Instead, they were serviced by party lines--basically one common telephone line that served numerous households. Party lines existed in urban areas where private lines were unavailable or expensive, but they are more frequently associated with rural areas where great distances separated neighbors and made private lines expensive for phone companies to install. As late as 1943, three-quarters of Pennsylvania's telephone customers had party lines. Party lines had certain advantages: Important community news could be relayed quickly to everyone who was connected, but of course there were major negatives too. Privacy was a virtual impossibility as anyone else who subscribed to the party line could eavesdrop on others' conversations. Also, there was the obvious problem of one subscriber hogging the line, preventing others from making a call. (If you look at Ann Landers-type newspaper columns from the first half of the 20th century, one person dominating the party line was a frequent complaint.) Phone companies responded by offering protocol tips to party-line users. Among the typical suggestions was a five-minute limit per call. Eavesdropping on others' phone conversations did lead to some amusing anecdotes. Criminal schemes were known to have been thwarted by listeners who heard crooks discussing their plans. One college football coach overheard his rival's plans on how to defeat his team in an upcoming game. Most telephone companies discontinued party lines toward the end of the 1970s.
Tags: party  lines  telephone  systems 
Added: 7th November 2016
Views: 1227
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Shirley Temple 1939 Assassination Attempt On Christmas Eve 1939, child movie star Shirley Temple was appearing on a live radio show in Los Angeles which was both a charity benefit and a means of promoting her new feature movie The Blue Bird. While singing one of the songs from the film, a woman in the audience stood up and pulled a handgun from her purse. Shirley saw the gun and remarkably continued singing--albeit a little bit off key. The woman was subdued and luckily never fired her gun. Police learned that the deranged woman believed that Shirley had 'stolen the soul' of her daughter. Apparently the woman had given birth to a girl on April 23, 1929, but the baby died not long after being delivered. The woman--who was obviously mentally ill--discovered that Shirley Temple was allegedly born on that same day. Employing twisted logic, the woman convinced herself that killing Shirley would be an act of vengeance. Shirley correctly pointed out in her autobiography that the woman had gotten her birth date wrong. Shirley was actually born in 1928. Shirley's mother, Gertrude, had lopped a year off her age to make it appear she was younger than she actually was. Shirley herself was unaware of her correct birth date until she was nearing her birthday in 1941. Only then did her mother tell her she was actually going to be 13 years old instead of 12.
Tags: Shirley  Temple  assassination  attempt 
Added: 5th May 2017
Views: 2400
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Posted By: Lava1964
First Name of Lt Columbo During the long run that Peter Falk's beloved Columbo detective mysteries had on both NBC and ABC, Lt. Columbo's name was supposedly never revealed. In one episode, Columbo is asked if he has a first name. The detective coyly replied, "Only my wife uses it." However, Columbo's name was revealed in two NBC episodes via quick glances at his LAPD ID. In both Dead Weight and A Matter of Honor, Columbo's ID is shown onscreen just long enough for eagle-eyed viewers to see that it his first name is Frank. However, many trivia buffs wrongly believe Columbo's first name was Phillip. Why? Despite having zero evidence to back up his assertion, Fred L. Worth, the author of a trivia book, wrote that Columbo's first name was Phillip. This factoid was seized upon by the creators of Trivia Pursuit--and it appeared as a question in the first edition of the game. Worth attempted to sue the Trivial Pursuit people for copyright violation, but facts--even bogus ones--are not protected by copyright.
Tags: Columbo  first  name  Frank 
Added: 25th November 2017
Views: 1108
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Posted By: Lava1964
Helen Wills - Tennis Champion Tennis player Helen Wills (later Helen Wills Moody), a California girl, captured the U.S. National Championship at Forest Hills at age 17 in 1923--the second-youngest female to manage the feat at that time. In an era when male sportswriters believed that being a female sports champion and being a beauty were incompatible, Wills proved them wrong. Wills' natural good looks turned heads wherever she played and won. She won often. The fact that Wills captured 19 Grand Slam singles tiles between 1923 and 1938 also enhanced her popularity. One writer said of Wills that "every male between the age of six and 60 was a little bit in love with her." In a six-year period from 1927 to 1933, Wills won every singles match she played without dropping a set! Standing about 5'7" with a muscular frame, Wills rarely showed emotion on the court and was dubbed Miss Poker Face. The nickname was coined by a New York sports journalist named Ed Sullivan. (Yes--that Ed Sullivan!) Charlie Chaplin, an avid tennis fan and a fan of attractive women, said the most beautiful thing on Earth was watching Helen Wills play tennis. Wills struck the ball with great power from an irregular stance: Her body faced forward rather than to the side when she made contact with the ball. Late in her life, Wills was asked if the modern, larger-faced racquets would have improved her game, she said, "No, I always struck the ball in the middle of my racquet, so I don't think a larger size racquet would have made any difference." Wills lived to be 92 years old, passing away on New Year's Day 1998.
Tags: tennis  Helen  Willis 
Added: 19th April 2018
Views: 994
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Posted By: Lava1964
10cc - I 'I'm Mandy, Fly Me' by Eric, Graham and Lol begins with the hook-line from 'Clockwork Creep' (on second album 'Sheet Music') and an airplane flying overhead before being swiped aside by a fat bass line, exotic synthesiser sound effects, a vocoder apparently whispering 'amazing grace' and whistling. We find out later that the airplane has crash-landed in the water, with the narrator thrown out of the plane (his first line is that he's 'on the outside looking in') but rather than sound petrified or angry, the narrator bobbing in the water is ecstatic. The poster he sees on the side of the aircraft, of an air-hostess named Mandy, 'with a smile as bright as sunshine' causes him to hallucinate (or so it seems) and takes him out of himself ('The world was spinning like a ball, and then it wasn't there at all!') Mandy gives him the 'kiss of life' that saves him, his addled brain setting off on a journey of exotic acoustic guitars and psychedelic effects that ends only when he's pulled from the wreckage; he asks for Mandy but she's not there. A love song to an imaginary person, created by a situation so intense and extreme that the 'real essence' of life comes into sharp contrast, 'Mandy' is balancing a lot of things for a humble catchy single. For a start we don't know who to believe: the narrator is clearly awake enough to realise that what's happening to him seems like a film (Mandy acts 'just like the girl in Dr No, no no no') and yet when he tells his rescuers later that it might have all been in his head they tell him 'no no no no' and that she was was real, yet currently missing - do they mean this? Or is that simply a ruse to keep him awake and conscious in the hope that the pair might be reunited? (note the sheer amount of denies in each of those two lines, the sort of things you do when you're lying to someone). The key line of this song is 'if your chance would you take it?' - would you be prepared to create a whole new life for yourself in your mind to keep yourself alive? And if you did, what would happen to you afterwards when you realised you were making it all up? It's interesting in this context that the band chose an 'air hostess' as their 'exotic woman' (the first in a whole sequence of imaginary confident Eric Stewart girls who'll end up seducing him on subways and all sorts in albums to come): air hostesses never seem quite real anyway, what with all that make-up and being made up to look the same. This clearly isn't a 'real' woman: she's the sort you see everywhere if you travel by plane a lot and even that name - Mandy - isn't a common one amongst 'real' people, though it's used a lot in books. The result is a fourth straight song in a row that's easy to admire and yet there's something difficult to fall in love with compared to earlier classic 10cc singles: there's too many questions and not enough answers for this to be an 'easy ride', with the sudden switch of gears every time the band break out for another instrumental making this song less easy on the ears than, say, 'I'm Not In Love' or 'Rubber Bullets'. Still, this is a lot of people's favourite 10cc song for a reason: its a love song told with such a radical twist that no one on first hearing could have heard it coming (if they'd understood it at all), traditionally loved by 'true' fans (although interestingly co-writer Lol Creme wasn't one of them; it was this song he quoted as evidence that the band were growing stale). In actuality 'Mandy' is a clever hybrid of catchy commercialism and bonkers uniqueness that couldn't possibly have been thought up by another band, but there are better mixtures of the same ingredients around, even on this same album.
Tags: 10cc,  Pop  Music,  Rock  Music,  1976 
Added: 11th August 2018
Views: 815
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Posted By: Maitlandsplace
Maria Callas- O Mia Babbino Caro Widely believed to possess the greatest female operatic voice of the 20th century, Maria Callas performs the difficult O Mia Babbino Caro in 1965. Temperamental and always the diva, sadly Callas died way too young, passing away at age 53 in 1977 from a heart attack.
Tags: Maria  Callas  opera   
Added: 15th August 2019
Views: 790
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Posted By: Lava1964
Howard Unruh - Camden NJ Mass Murderer On Tuesday, September 6, 1949, 28-year-old Howard Unruh shot and killed 13 people in Camden, NJ in a space of just 12 minutes. Three other victims suffered non-fatal wounds. The calm demeanor Unruh showed during shootings came to be known as "Camden's Walk of Death." Unruh, a decorated Second World War combat veteran, was a closet homosexual who believed he was the target of malicious gossip. The previous evening a date had failed to meet him at a local movie theater for a late-night screening. An angry Unruh stayed to watch the movie by himself and arrived home at about 3 a.m. to find that a fence he had erected between his house and his neighbor's adjacent lot to resolve a property dispute had been taken down, further aggravating him. Later that morning, Unruh suddenly snapped at his mother (whom he lived with) during breakfast. He chased her out of the house. At 9:20 a.m. Unruh proceeded on his murderous rampage through nearby businesses on River Road. With deadly accuracy, Unruh shot customers and proprietors randomly at a barber shop, a tailor shop, a shoe-repair shop and a pharmacy. Some luckless bystanders were gunned down in their cars while stopped at intersections. The youngest of Unruh's victims was just two years old. The toddler was killed as he looked out of an apartment window. When Unruh ran out of ammunition, he made his way back home and awaited his fate. Incredibly he spoke calmly, politely and amicably on the telephone to a local newspaper reporter while he awaited arrest. Unruh was shot in the leg by an armed citizen during his rampage but seemed oblivious to his wound. He was judged to be insane and thus not fit to stand trial under New Jersey law. He was held in a mental institution for more than 60 years before dying in 2009 at the age of 88. Hardly remorseful, in his last known interview Unruh said he would have happily killed thousands of people had he had the opportunity.
Tags: Howard  Unruh  mass  killer  NJ 
Added: 18th December 2018
Views: 917
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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