Playoff Fever – WABAC to Football History

Leave a comment
"Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Are you ready for some football, Sherman My Boy?”
“Do you mean soccer Mr. Peabody/”
“Set the WABAC for 1932 Chicago Illinois, the place where real football was born.”

10 Historic Football Games


First down

On December 18, 1932, the first National Football League (NFL) championship football game ever was played between the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans.  Obviously, this is what you would call an historic game, but for more reasons than you would think.  For one thing, due to a blizzard, it had to be relocated from Wrigley field to Chicago Stadium which had a field only 80 yards long!  Blasphemy!  Here 10 such historic football games, both memorable and significant, are presented.  Can you think of any others to add?


Untangling the pile

10. First NFL Championship, Chicago Bears vs. Portsmouth Spartans, 1932.

View of the Playing Field at the Bears vs. Spartans Game, 1932 (click on image to enlarge)

The home team, the Bears, won the game by a score of 9-0.  Although the league had existed since 1920, it had previously picked its champion based on winning percentage.  The NFL would go on to become the definitive professional American football league with many great champions.  Cracked History Fact:  With 13 wins so far, the Green Bay Packers are the team with the most championship wins.

9. First Night Football Game, 1902.

The Philadelphia Athletics Football Team, 1902  (click on image to enlarge)

In 1902, the Philadelphia Athletics played the Kanaweola A.C. under electric lights in Elmira, New York.  The first NFL night game took place in 1929 between the Providence Steamroller and the Chicago Cardinals.  Fans have been getting home late ever since.

8. First Super Bowl, Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1967.

(click on image to enlarge)

Prior to the merger of the NFL and its rival league the American Football League (the AFL) in 1970, owners had agreed to let each league’s champion play the other in what became known as “The Super Bowl.”  The NFL’s Packers won the first two Super Bowls convincingly, but then the AFL’s New York Jets rocked the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, and the Kansas City Chiefs repeated the trick for the AFL in Super Bowl IV.  Only 4 teams have never played in a Super Bowl, the Browns, Lions, Jaguars and Texans.  (Of course the Browns and the Lions had won championships before there even was a Super Bowl.)

7. Browns Enter NFL, Cleveland Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1950.

1950 Newspaper Headline (click on image to enlarge)

Not only the Cleveland Browns, but also the Baltimore Colts and the San Francisco 49ers joined the NFL from the now defunct All-American Football Conference (the AAFC), a 1940s rival league to the NFL.  Like the AFL later, the AAFC got no respect!  The Browns had compiled an incredible record of wins (47-4-3) in their AAFC history and went undefeated and untied in 1948, a feat unmatched until the Miami Dolphins managed to do it in 1972.  (The Chicago Bears had been the first team to achieve this in 1934.)  The Browns first game in 1950 was against the 2-time defending NFL champion, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Browns schooled them 35-10, setting the stage for the first Browns NFL championship win later that season.   The Browns went on to win the championship game against the Los Angeles Rams, 30-28, on a late field goal in the last minute.  The Browns would win further NFL titles in 1954, 1955 and 1964.  Cracked History Fact:  The Rams had been the previous Cleveland franchise.  Cracked History Lament:  The NFL does not recognize the statistics of those terrific players from the old AAFC, although it does for the old AFL.  Its logic is that not all of AAFC was swallowed up in the merger.  Still, 6 players from the Browns’ AAFC days went on to gain admittance to the NFL Hall of Fame.

6. First Man Paid to Play, Allegheny Athletic Association vs. Pittsburgh Athletic Club, 1892.

William “Pudge” Heffelfinger as a LEGO Figure  (click on image to enlarge)

Although John Brailler was known to have been paid $10 in 1895 to play a game for the Latrobe Athletic Association, it was not until 1960 when information surfaced that William “Pudge” Heffelfinger of Minnesota had been paid $500 in 1892 to play football, making him the first professional player.  Cracked History Side Note:  The first African-American professional footballer may have been Charles Follis of the Shelby (Ohio) Steamfitters in 1902.  Follis was from Wooster, Ohio.

5. First National Radio Broadcast of an NFL Game, Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears, 1934.

Lions vs. Bears, Thanksgiving Day 1934 (click on image to enlarge)

In addition to being the first game to be broadcast on radio, this game was also the first to take place on Thanksgiving, making it the first Turkey Day game in NFL history.  Previously, high schools and colleges had regularly played on Thanksgiving Day, a tradition that has since faded away.  Cracked History Note:  The Detroit Lions were once the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans.

4. First TV Broadcast Game, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Brooklyn Dodgers, 1939. 

Eagles vs. Dodgers, 1939 (click on image to enlarge)

NBC aired the game from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, then also home to the like-named National League Baseball team the Brooklyn Dodgers.  This historic event paved the way for the famous and sometimes infamous Super Bowl commercials!

3. First NFL Monday Night Football Game, Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets, 1970.

Browns vs. Jets, 1970 (click on image to enlarge)

In one of the most important non-championship games in NFL history, the Cleveland Browns beat Broadway Joe Namath and the New York Jets 31-21. Monday Night Football (MNF) has been an American television institution ever since and has made the NFL and (college football) zillions of dollars.

2. First NFL Football Games, Dayton Triangles vs. Columbus Panhandles and Rock Island Independents vs. Muncie Flyers, 1920.

The 1920 Football Champ - The Akron Pros (click on image to enlarge)

In the first season, what eventually became the NFL was originally known as the American Professional Football Association (the APFA).  The APFA was renamed the NFL in 1922, the first NFL champion being the Akron Professionals (the Pros), and the first 2-time champs being the Canton Bulldogs.

1. First College Football Game, Rutgers vs. New Jersey (Princeton), 1869.

Rutgers vs. New Jersey, 1969 (click on image to enlarge)

Rutgers won this game against the College of New Jersey (which later became Princeton) by a score of 6-4.  A rematch was played (the second ever college football game) with slightly different rules, and New Jersey prevailed this time 8-0.  By default, Rutgers and Princeton are considered National Co-Champions for 1869!  The first balls used were round (spherical), and no running was allowed.  The first game o more closely resemble modern football was between Harvard and Tufts in 1875.  This game was comprised of 11-men teams and played with an oval ball.  Now that college football has evolved into an enormous American tradition, common sense dictates that Cracked History recognize The Ohio State University Buckeyes as the greatest college football team of all time.

Playoff Fever

- WABAC to Football History

WABAC to Workplace Hazards – The Radium Girls

Leave a comment
"Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Have the WABAC light our way to Orange, New Jersey… do you remember when I told you not to eat paint chips?”

The Radium Girls


Pandora’s toxic box

On December 21, 1898, the chemical element radium (Ra) was discovered by Pierre and Marie Curie who had isolated it from uranium.


Glow in the Dark Wives and Mothers

When radium decays, it produces ionizing radiation that causes radioluminescence, in other words, it glows in the dark.  This characteristic led to the use of radium-laced paint for measuring devices such as watches, clocks, aircraft switches and instrument dials, so that they could be used at night.

Due to their smaller hands being able to do extra fine craftsmanship, women were employed by factories to apply the self-luminous paint to the aforementioned products.  The women would routinely lick their brushes to give them a fine point when applying the paint to the dials of watches and clocks.  Being unaware of the dangers of the radioactive substance they were dealing with, they also sometimes painted their nails and other body parts with the glow-in-the-dark varnish.  The result was serious health issues such as anemia which Marie Curie herself died of and cancer.  The most common ill-effect was a condition known as “Radium Jaw,” which involved necrosis of the jaw and bleeding of the gums, later leading to tumors.  What makes radium especially dangerous is that the body identifies it as calcium, so it is deposited in areas of the body where calcium is vital (such as the bones), causing porosity and brittleness.


In the mid-1920s, five of these “Radium Girls” who had started working at the United States Radium factory in Orange, New Jersey around 1917 filed a lawsuit against the company.  Not only was it discovered that the company’s management and scientists had been well aware of the dangers of radiation but also that they had not felt morally obligated to protect their workers.  To top it off, in their efforts to avoid liability, they suggested that the women must be suffering from syphilis.

The case was settled in 1928 in favor of the “Radium Girls,” with each being awarded $10,000 and a $600 per year annuity.  In 2014 terms, this amounts to $137,000 and $8,2000, respectively.  In addition, all their medical and legal expenses would be paid by the company that had allowed them to be poisoned.

As for its widespread and long term impact, the suit made the dangers of radioactivity well-known to the general public, and the callous attitude of the Radium Corporation in regard to the welfare of its employees gave rise to labor laws for occupational diseases; from then on workers had the right to sue large corporations for damages.  Radium would still be allowed on watches, but radium-dials painters were to be properly instructed and provided with protective gear.  These measures proved so safe and satisfactory that radium would continue to be used on dials into the 1960s when the use of radium paint was finally discontinued and replaced with non-radioactive fluorescent substances.

All in all, it is estimated that between the years of 1917 and 1926, some 4,000 women had been hired to paint the faces of clocks and watches.  Many of them got sick.  It is unknown how many of them actually died of the effects of exposure to radiation.

Wabac to Workplace Hazards

- The Radium Girls

The Facts About Pearl Harbor – WWII WIF What-ifs

Leave a comment


Cracked History

What if the U.S. Had Been

Prepared for

Pearl Harbor?

pearl harbor

Sneak-up snapshot

On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy conducted a devastatingsurprise attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base and the Hickam Field Airbase on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

American Naval and Army forces were caught by surprise that fateful sunny Sunday morning and paid a terrible price for their lack of vigilance.  All the American battleships were either sunk or disabled.  Of the 390 warplanes, 188 were destroyed and 159 damaged.  Over 2,400 Americans died.  The Japanese were met with some token anti-aircraft fire and air-to-air interception, but the results were scant.  One U.S. destroyer managed to sink a Japanese midget submarine, but even that feat was not believed until proof was finally found decades later.  Further Japanese losses included another 4 midget subs, 29 airplanes and 64 men.

Much has been made about the lack of American preparation for the attack, including the fact that American radar had detected the raiding air force.   Although it is true that the Japanese were detected by radar, it was at the time assumed that the incoming planes were a flight of B-17s that were expected that day.  Even if the alarm had been raised, the fact remains that fighter planes would still have had to scramble, so it is likely the attack would still have been successful.

If the U.S. had had sea and air reconnaissance forces combing the seas, the Japanese forces might have been detected earlier, which might well have prevented the disaster.  Or, perhaps a U.S. preemptive strike or show of force may have averted the attack.  On the other hand, the better trained and more experienced Japanese may then instead have dealt an even deadlier blow to the U.S. by sinking its aircraft carriers that were luckily spared from the real attack as they were out to sea at the time.  Obviously, had the U.S. forces had interceptors scramble ready, anti-aircraft crews on notice and aircraft scattered on fields instead of bunched together the damage would have been far less.  And had the battleships also been at sea, they would have been maneuverable and more elusive.

So, would Hitler still have declared war on the U.S. four days after the attack on Pearl Harbor had the Japanese been averted by detection?  Perhaps the American entry into the war would have been delayed long enough for the Germans to be able to concentrate their forces against Russia, possibly changing the outcome of the war.

As it was, though the attack was initially seemed successful, the Japanese failed to sink the all-important American aircraft carriers, to permanently put the battleships out of commission (all but the Arizona were re-floated), to destroy U.S. fuel and dry-dock ship repair facilities and lastly to cow the U.S. into an immediate negotiated peace.

Some “what if” speculators have claimed the U.S. would still have suffered a crushing loss even with preparation and warning, assuming the Japanese would have sunk American ships at sea as easily as in the harbor.  Better leadership by Admiral Kimmel and General Short might have made all the difference, but this will never be known for sure.  Seventy plus years on: Rest in peace, all brave men who died that day.

The Facts About Pearl Harbor

- WWII WIF What-ifs

Napoleons All – WIF Lineage

Leave a comment


From TopTenz

From TopTenz

Other Famous Napoleons


A Right hand inside the coat

On December 2, 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte shocked the world as he crowned himself Emperor of the French by taking the crown from the Pope and plopping it on his own head.  48 years later on this same date, his nephew and namesake, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, was also crowned Emperor and given the title Napoleon III.

The Napoleon Files

Over 9,500 people in the U.S. have Napoleon for a first name, a name that means “from Naples,” as in Naples, Italy.  More has been written about Napoleon Bonaparte than any other person in history after Jesus Christ.

Napoleon III

Just as Napoleon I’s attempts to regain power were thwarted by his loss at the epic Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon III’s reign also ended in defeat, this time as a result of the Franco-Prussian War.  Both emperors died in exile.  Also, just as Napoleon I had accomplished great things for France and the world, Napoleon III also made major improvements in France, such as rebuilding Paris, brokering trade agreements and expanding the empire by doubling its size.  He also was a backer of the construction of the Suez Canal, a major gift to the world.

Napoleon II

Napoleon II, the son of Napoleon I, had died in 1832, age 21 and was Emperor of France for a whopping 1 week in 1814 after Napoleon I’s first fall from power.  Napoleon II became Emperor again in 1815 (actually in name only) after Waterloo, and this time his reign lasted an entire 2 weeks!  Like Napoleon I and Napoleon III, the young man died in exile; his exile being in Austria; his death being from tuberculosis and pneumonia.

Napoleon IV being killed by Zulus

Napoleon III also had a son, who was proclaimed Napoleon IV by the Bonapartist faction upon his father’s death in 1873, but he was killed age 23 in the Anglo-Zulu War.

Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo in  The Man from U.N.C.L.E

Other famous people or characters named Napoleon include the quirky and popular title character from the animated series Napoleon DynamiteIn 2004, a movie based on the series, starring Jon Heder, was made.

Before that movie took audiences by storm, there was the 1964-1968 television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. starring Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo, a James Bond type of super-spy character.  (Cracked History trivia: U.N.C.L.E. stood for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.  The show‘s creator actually wanted the initials to remain a mystery but was compelled to come up with a meaning for them.)

Napoleon McCallum

Notable athletes named Napoleon include College Football Hall of Fame running back Napoleon McCallum who played for the U.S. Naval Academy and with the Oakland Raiders for 6 years.  He is the career rushing leader at Navy.  Interestingly, the Raiders have had another running back named Napoleon, namely Napoleon Kaufman who played from 1995-2000.

Napoleon "Nap" Lajoie

While there have been other athletes with this famous name, the most accomplished has to be Napoleon Lajoie, Hall of Fame major league baseball player for the Cleveland Naps (1902-1914), a team actually named after him. (He also played shorter stints for the Phillies and Athletics, won a Triple Crown and had 5 batting titles, 3 home run titles and 3 RBI titles.)

Mexican General Santa Anna,  "the Napoleon of the West"

Some other famous Napoleons include the Polish-Lithuanian composer Napoleon Orda (1807-1893), American author Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) and U.S. Navy Admiral Napoleon Collins (1814-1875).  Some people are referred to as the “Napoleon of …….” (fill in the blank).  In the case of the notorious General Santa Anna, for example, whose Mexican forces defeated the Americans at the Alamo, he was known as “The Napoleon of The West.”

Mille-feuille dessert, also known as a Napoleon

There is also Napoleon brandy and a delicious custard-filled puff pastry dessert that bears the name Napoleon!

Napoleons All – WIF Lineage

Notebooks – WIF Historical Scribbling

Leave a comment

Not This Kind!!!

10 Historically

Important Notebooks

You’ll find them in almost every shop and of varying shapes and sizes, but, at times, the humble notebook has actually played an important part in history. From influencing philosophical thought to illuminating the theory behind The Origin of Species, these examples will show you how important a little copy for keeping records in can be. Some revealed hidden truths about their writers posthumously, while some just helped the writer organize their mind, but all have been important in human history.

10. Beethoven’s

‘conversation notebooks’


Beethoven is notorious for always having carried around a notebook (as well as being an acclaimed composer, obviously). In fact, paintings of him usually had him holding one of his notebooks.

They were just published in full by Walter Nohl of Munich, after being the most prized possession of the Berlin State Library’s Music Department.  He used them to compose music, of course, but also to write down quotations of significance to him – things like ‘Tis said, that art is long, and life but fleeting:—Nay; life is long, and brief the span of art; If e’re her breath vouchsafes with gods a meeting, A moment’s favor ’tis of which we’ve had a part.’ He called his notebooks ‘conversation notebooks’. As he was entirely deaf for the last 12 years of his life, Beethoven handed these to his conversation partners whenever he wished to talk. He usually replied orally.

Topics included in his notebooks were worries about indigestion and his eye trouble, food, writing paper and the search for a good apartment – something many of us have experienced!

9. Hemingway’s notebooks


Hemingway is so famous for his love of notebooks that Moleskine boasts about being ‘the heir and successor to the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway’. Hemingway himself said ‘I belong to this notebook and this pencil.’ He was seldom seen without a notebook. He often wrote in little black notebooks, the predecessors to Moleskines, in Parisian cafés. He was a passionate devotee to a pencil and pocket notebook.

In fact, he brought them almost everywhere, not just to cafés – on trains and to bullfights, for example, for note-taking. He also used them to jot down expensesand even to record his wife’s menstrual cycles.

He has been described by Slate as being ‘what we would now call a neurotic’, and keeping records in notebooks helped him organize his thoughts.

8. The Fairchild notebooks


The Fairchild patent notebooks were crucial to our computerised world today. Their contents revolutionized the science and manufacture of microelectronics and launched the incredible growth of Silicon Valley. Ideas including modern semiconductor manufacture, integrated circuits, the technology that lets us power portable digital devices (like the phone or tablet you might be holding right now) and semiconductor memory all came from these notebooks. The engineering notebooks were kept by prominent people like Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce (founders of Intel), Jean Hoerni, Julius Blank, Eugene Kleiner, Victor Grinich, Jay Last, and Sheldon Roberts.

Incidentally, the notebooks also paved the way for Moore’s Law, the so-far-accurate idea that computer processing power would double roughly every two years.

A conservation project was started for them at the Computer History Museumtwo years ago when Texas Instruments donated the notebooks to the museum. Kathleen Orlenko assessed over 1,000 of the notebooks, dating from 1957 through the 70s.

7. Thomas Edison’s notebooks


Thomas Edison amassed approximately five million pages of writing in his sixty-year career as an inventor. He used notebooks to organize notes on his inventions and innovations. A note at the end of his pocket notebook for October 1870 says ‘all new inventions I will here after keep a full record’. These notebooks were used by him and his colleagues. The Thomas Edison National Historical Park has more than 3,000 of these notebooks, each with around 280 pages. It’s believed that his prolific writing and experimenting may have stretched up to 3,500 notebooks. He received the most US patents ever awarded to one person (1,093).

These included the light bulb, alkaline battery, phonograph and motion picture camera. Keeping notebooks was a life-long habit of his that helped him structure his ideas from conception to execution – tremendously important for our world today. He used them for everything, from brainstorming to recording results, and they helped him pursue his goal of making one minor invention every 10 days and one major one every six months.

Not only did they help him in his incredible productivity, the notebooks are also a highly valuable tool for modern-day historians trying to get an insight into his mind.

6. Heidegger’s black notebooks


German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s black notebooks sparked controversy when they were published in March 2014. He was widely viewed as a seminal thinker in the Continental tradition (a branch of philosophy that includes existentialism, German idealism, psychoanalytic theory and French feminism and the rejection of science as the ultimate method of understanding phenomena, among others). He became professor of philosophy at Freiburg. He was the most important Continental philosopher of the 20th century. His book Being and Time is a seminal work in the Continental tradition and he is widely considered the father of modern atheistic existentialism. He also made adifference outside philosophy, in areas as varied as architecture and theology.

He was involved in Nazism, but it was thought that this was a personal matter, not one that had leaked into his philosophical thinking – until, that is, the publication of his Black Notebooks. Heidegger wrote a kind of philosophical diary in little black-covered notebooks over forty years. They show that he actually incorporate anti-Semitic ideas into his philosophy, like when he wrote ‘the Jews, with their marked gift for calculating, live, already for the longest time, according to the principle of race, which is why they are resisting its consistent application with utmost violence.’

This has led to people wondering whether all of his highly influential ideas were contaminated by Nazism. As his writings inspired some of the most important thinkers of the modern era, these notebooks cast their reliability into doubt.

5. Sartre’s notebooks


Works published during philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s life showed that he agreed with Hegel that humans struggle against one another to win recognition but rejected some other aspects of Hegel’s philosophy. However, notebooks published after his death, titled Notebooks for an Ethics, displayed a dramatic about-turn in his thinking on the matter. The notebooks said that he now agreed with Hegel that the master/slave dynamic can be transcended through relations of mutual recognition – basically, the notebooks revealed a very different philosophy.

His work Existentialism is a Humanism presented arguments similar to Kant’s, which led to many scholars saying Sartre’s ideas came from Kant. However, in his notebooks he dismisses this idea and rejects Kantian ethics as a form of ‘slave morality’ and an ‘ethics of demands’. Ouch!

Sartre’s original ideas on freedom were widely criticized, and in the notebooks he too became critical of his early view. Thus, the notebooks are a veryimportant tool for understanding the philosophy of a key figure in the study of existentialism.

4. Charles Darwin’s notebooks


Darwin kept diaries in notebooks throughout the Beagle voyage that would lead him to think of the theory of evolution. He took fourteen of them on his trips to the shore. During the voyage he kept field notes on his observations. As the voyage drew to a close, he also used one (his Red notebook) for theoretical speculations on subjects like geology and the formation of coral reefs. After the voyage he started a new series of notebooks for his thoughts on transmutation (evolution) and metaphysical enquiries.

The notebooks give a detailed account of his research, speculation and gradual understanding of where species come from. In his Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837) he drew the first tree of descent with modification, or natural selection – more commonly known as an evolutionary tree.  This sketch has become famous. The notebooks were mostly completed by the 1840s. These notebooks were essential to the development to the widely accepted and hugely important theory of natural selection, and the precursor to The Origin of Species.

3. Albert Einstein’s notebooks


Like Thomas Edison and many other eminent scientists and inventors, Einsteinkept a notebook to record his calculations and ideas. In March 2012, 80,000 documents written by or addressed to Einstein were published online by Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Einstein Papers Project (EPP) at Caltech. This collection includes Einstein’s notebooks, which show the thought process of a revolutionary genius.

One of these is the Zurich notebook, written in the winter of 1912/13. This notebook shows how Einstein came by his theory of relativity, complete with notes and calculations. Other notebooks show lecture notes. The notebooks and letter show that he didn’t work alone, but actually exchanged ideas with many other scientists.

The Zurich notebook shows light-hearted sketches by Einstein, include mathematical puzzles of the day – so even he liked to have fun. The rest of the notebook has serious physics, including electrodynamics in four dimensions, the line element of general relativity, motion in curved surfaces, gravitation, invariants and the Riemann Tensor.

The notebooks give a valuable insight into the day-to-day workings of a brilliant mind.

2. The Prison Notebooks


The Prison notebooks are a series of notebooks written by Italian MarxistAntonio Gramsci while he was imprisoned in 1926 by the Fascist regime for being the founder and leader of the Communist party. Gramsci was a philosopher, politician and political theorist.  He wrote more than 30 notebooks with 3000 pages of history and analysis while he was imprisoned. The Prison Notebooks are thought of as a highly important and original contribution to 20th century political theory.

Gramsci’s writings pre-prison had been more specifically political, but The Prison Notebooks are relatively theoretical. Topics covered included education, intellectuals, fascism, hegemony and Marxism. He wrote these under the surveillance of a Fascist jailer, so he had to be careful about what he wrote. Because of this, his writings are disorganized and at times ambiguous. He was isolated from the events occurring outside prison, especially Stalinism and the victory of German fascism.

The notebooks were smuggled out of prison in the 1930s and published twenty years later.

1. Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks


Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks are famous for having been written in mirror script, from right to left. Some say this was to make them harder to decipher, but it may just have been because da Vinci was left-handed and wanted to avoid smudging the paper. He wrote in his notebooks daily, finishing with about13,000 pages of work.

The notebooks record the many interests and endeavors of this all-round Renaissance man, from maths to art to flying machines and diving suits. He wasn’t picky about what he put in his notebook, which is lucky, as it has given historians a precious resource. Leonardo made an inventory of his clothes in a notebook now held in Madrid, while in others he adds little memos to himself and shopping lists – all alongside complex mechanical notes and studies of human anatomy.

11. Gwen’s WIF notebook


This is a daily recording of what I post on WRITING IS FUN-DAMENTAL. I use this as a tangible resource to keep track of what I publish each day. Oh sure I could do a spreadsheet, but like all geniuses (ha, ha), handwritten notes are handy to have. Someday my children will wonder what to do with these.


- WIF Historical Scribbling

Rock ‘n Rollin’ with WIF

Leave a comment



"Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“I feel like shaking my tail, Sherman MY Boy. Let’s go to the 1st Rock and Roller in 1959 New York City.”


November 21, 1959: Alan Freed, Originator of the Term “Rock and Roll” is Fired 


Let Rock ‘n Roll

Into some real music history

On November 21, 1959, music DJ and rock and roll legend Alan Freed was fired by WABC in New York for refusing to sign a statement that he had never taken “payola,” bribes from record companies to play and promote certain records.

Freed is credited with being the man who popularized the term “rock and roll” while he worked as a DJ and song promoter in Cleveland.  In the 1950s, he appeared in movies that brought rock to the big screen, and he even had his own television show similar to what American Bandstand later became.  Sadly, his television show was cancelled after only 4 episodes because Frankie Lymon of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers could be seen dancing with a white girl in a crowd scene!alanfreed2

After his 1959 firing, he became a broken man, unable to get another high profile job.  In 1962, he was charged with bribery and was convicted of 2 counts, receiving a fine and suspended sentence.  Three years later, at age 43, he died of uremia and cirrhosis, probably from alcoholism.

Alan Freed is fondly remembered by the rock and roll community and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland with the first group of inductees in 1986.

Rock ‘n Rollin’ with WIF

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 255

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 255

…likely believing that they had just nodded off a bit…

“Wait a minute Gussy… I think we are leaving out something in all this. Forget about seeing our long dead/gone/whatever parents on this bizarre planet. I seem to remember thinking that we were phasing in and out of reality right after we lit the SOL fuse.”

“That’s right! I was trying to engage the emergency decelerator and my hand could not reach the console,” Gus recounts his frustration.

“At the time I was thinking we had had it, lab-rat hell, how about you?”

***                                             ***                                     ***

~~they reach across and bump their fists; someone had to do it and this is what we signed up for~~

***                                            ***                                      ***

“It did not look good did it bro?”

“And that’s about where we stepped in,” Celeste inserts the current time-stem into their recollection of events.

“Are you telling us that we died and you changed history? That is a bit bizarre?” Deke is coming to grips.

That is when Cerella needed to add the perspective of the time-space angle, #You did expire, right after the point when your molecules destabilized#

“Shit Deke, I told you this was a dream!”

#But we noticed that your presence in the 2051.025 time-stem was no longer and after consulting with the High Counsel, we decided to save your lives, for the sake of your mother and father#

“I’m a big fan of the space-time continuum, but I’m pretty sure you have messed with Earth history.”

#We have not Gus McKinney. Earth has continued on its path, steeped in the knowledge that you expired in space aboard your version of the Explorer#

“Our version?”

#Yes, the other ship named Explorer is in the berth next to yours#

It isn’t long before Deke notices that Gus is discussing time-travel with a very different looking girl.

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 255

page 298





Contents TRT