Happy National Goof Off Day. It is a day to do anything and everything…except what you’re supposed to be doing. Don’t get yourself in too much trouble at work or school but go head and play some games today, spend some extra time enjoying a good book or two, browse through our storefront, play around on Facebook, watch tv. Just set some time aside today for things you enjoy.
It is also As Young As You Feel Day. Now more than ever you are as young as you feel. Today is a good day to stop acting your chronological age and get out there and start feeling peppy. Do you feel like a teenager? Well act like one and Goof Off!
World Water Day is held annually on the twenty-second of March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for sustainable management of freshwater resources. The United Nations General Assembly desigated March 22, 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2013, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water and is coordinated by UNESCO in collaboration with UNECE and UNDESA on behalf of UN-Water.
Some of the writer’s born on March 22nd include:
Antonio Francesco Grazzini (1503), Louis L’Amour (1908), Gabrielle Roy (1909), Nicholas Monsarrat (1910), Tom McCall (1913), John Stanley (1914), Georgiy Zhzhonov (1915), Derek Bok (1930), Stephen Sondheim (1930), William Shatner (1931), Larry Evans (1932), Haing S. Ngor (1940), Billy Collins (1941), Jorge Ben Jor (1942), Eric Roth (1945), Rudy Rucker (1946), James Patterson (1947), Wolf Blitzer (1948), Brian Hanrahan (1949), Jay Dee Daugherty (1952), James House (1955), Pete Wylie (1958), Carlton Cuse (1959), Avraham Fried (1959), Lauri Vahtre (1960), Kathryn Jean Lopez (1976), Chris Wallace (1985), David Choi (1986), and Lisa Mitchell (1990).
Leonard “Chico” Marx was born March 22, 1887. He was an American comedian and film star as part of the Marx Brothers. His persona in the act was that of a dim-witted albeit crafty con artist, seemingly of rural Italian origin, who wore shabby clothes, and sported a curly-haired wig and Tyrolean hat. Leonard was the oldest of the Marx Brothers, though he was not the first-born; he was preceded by Manfred Marx, who died in infancy. In addition to his work as a performer, he played an important role in the management and development of the act, at least in its early years. Marx used an Italian persona for his on-stage character; stereotyped ethnic characters were common with vaudevillians. The obvious fact that he was not really Italian was referenced three times on film. Chico was a talented pianist. As a young boy, he gained jobs playing piano to earn money for the Marx family. Sometimes Chico even worked playing in two places at the same time. He would acquire the first job with his piano-playing skills, work for a few nights, and then substitute Harpo on one of the jobs. (During their boyhood, Chico and Harpo looked so much alike that they were often mistaken for each other.) Chico became manager of the Marx Brothers after their mother, Minnie, died. As manager, he cut a deal to get the Marx Brothers a percentage of a film’s gross receipts— the first of its kind in Hollywood. Furthermore, it was Chico’s connection with Irving Thalberg of MGM that led to Thalberg’s signing the Brothers when they were in a career slump after Duck Soup (1933), the last of their films for Paramount Pictures. For a while in the 1930s and 1940s, Chico led a big band. Singer Mel Tormé began his professional career singing with the Chico Marx Orchestra. He was originally nicknamed Chicko. A typesetter accidentally dropped the “k” in his name and it became Chico. It was still pronounced “Chick-oh” although those who were unaware of its origin tended to pronounce it “Cheek-oh”. Radio recordings from the 1940s exist where announcers and fellow actors mispronounce the nickname, but Chico apparently felt it was unnecessary to correct them. Marx was a compulsive womanizer and had a lifelong gambling habit. His favorite gambling pursuits were card games as well as horse racing, dog racing, and various sports betting. His addiction cost him millions of dollars by his own account. Chico’s lifelong gambling addiction compelled him to continue in show business long after his brothers had retired in comfort from their Hollywood income, and in the early 1940s he found himself playing in the same small, cheap halls in which he had begun his career 30 years earlier. Because of his out-of-control gambling, the brothers finally took the money as he earned it and put him on an allowance, on which he stayed until his death. Chico’s last public appearance was in 1960, playing cards on the television show Celebrity Bridge. He and his partner lost the game. Chico Marx was married twice. His first marriage was to Betty Karp in 1917. Their union produced one daughter named Maxine (1918–2009). Chico’s second marriage was to Mary De Vithas. They married in 1958, three years before his death. Chico Marx died of arteriosclerosis on October 11, 1961 at his Hollywood home: he was the eldest brother and the first to pass away. During his lifetime, his year of birth had commonly been given as 1891 instead of the true year of 1887; as a result, obituaries reported his age at the time of his passing as 70 rather than 74. Marx is entombed in a crypt in the Freedom Mausoleum in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Chico’s younger brother Gummo is in a crypt across the hall from him.
Bob Costas turns 60 today. The American sportscaster has been on the air for NBC Sports television since the early 1980s. He has been prime-time host of a record 9 Olympic games. He also occasionally does play-by-play for MLB Network as well as hosting an interview show called Studio 42 with Bob Costas. His sportscasting career started while attending Syracuse University, as an announcer for the Syracuse Blazers minor-league hockey team playing in the Eastern Hockey League and North American Hockey League. Costas began his professional career at KMOX radio in St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as a play-by-play announcer for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association in 1974. He was a prominent contributor to the ABA book Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association. He is extensively quoted on many topics, and the book includes his reflections of ABA life during his tenure as radio voice of the Spirits of St. Louis. Costas later did play-by-play for Chicago Bulls broadcasts on WGN-TV during the 1979–1980 NBA season. He was also employed by CBS Sports as a regional CBS NFL and CBS NBA announcer from 1976 to 1979, when he moved to NBC. When Costas was first hired by NBC, Don Ohlmeyer, who at the time ran the network’s sports division, told the then 28-year-old Costas that he looked like a 14-year-old. He has been an in-studio host for NBC’s National Football League coverage and a play-by-play man for National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball coverage. Since 2001, he has been the co-host of the Kentucky Derby. Since 1995, Costas has also hosted NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament. With the introduction of the NBC Sports Network, Costas also became the host of the new monthly interview program Costas Tonight. He discusses his work on the Olympic telecasts extensively in a book by Andrew Billings entitled Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television.
One of his most memorable broadcasts occurred on June 23, 1984 (in what would go down in baseball lore as “The Sandberg Game”). Costas, along with Tony Kubek, was calling the Saturday baseball Game of the Week from Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in particular was cited for putting Ryne Sandberg (as well as the 1984 Cubs in general, who would go on to make their first postseason appearance since 1945) “on the map.” In the ninth inning, the Cubs trailed 9–8, and faced the premier relief pitcher of the time, Bruce Sutter. Sandberg, then not known for his power, slugged a home run to left field against the Cardinals‘ ace closer. Despite this dramatic act, the Cardinals scored two runs in the top of the tenth. Sandberg came up again in the tenth inning, facing a determined Sutter with one man on base. Sandberg then shocked the national audience by hitting a second home run, even farther into the left field bleachers, to tie the game again. The Cubs went on to win in the 11th inning. Costas said when Sandberg hit that second home run,”Do you believe it?!” The Cardinals’ Willie McGee hit for the cycle in the same game.
While broadcasting Game 4 of the 1988 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics on NBC, Costas angered many members of the Dodgers (especially the team’s manager, Tommy Lasorda) by commenting before the start of the game that the Dodgers quite possibly were about to put up the weakest-hitting lineup in World Series history. That comment ironically fired up the competitive spirit of the Dodgers, and later (while being interviewed by NBC’s Marv Albert), after the Dodgers had won Game 4 (en route to a 4–1 series victory), Lasorda sarcastically suggested that the MVP of the 1988 World Series should be Bob Costas. Besides calling the 1989 American League Championship Series for NBC, Costas also filled-in for a suddenly ill Vin Scully, who had come down with laryngitis, for Game 2 of the 1989 National League Championship Series. NBC then decided to fly Costas from Toronto to Chicago to substitute for Scully on Thursday night. Afterwards, Costas flew back to Toronto, where he resumed work on the ALCS the next night.
Costas has won eight National Sportcaster of the Year awards from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame in 2012. He has also won four Sportscaster of the Year awards from the American Sportscasters Association, and nearly twenty Sports Emmy Awards for outstanding sports announcing. In January 2013 he appeared as himself in Go On episode, “Win at All Costas” with ‘Matthew Perry’, where Ryan King auditions with him for a TV Show.
Today we remember William Denby “Bill” Hanna who passed away March 22, 2001. He was an American animator, director, producer, voice actor, and cartoon artist, whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of people for much of the 20th century. When he was a young child, Hanna’s family moved frequently, but they settled in Compton, California, by 1919. There, Hanna became an Eagle Scout. Hanna graduated from Compton High School in 1928. He briefly attended Compton City College but dropped out at the onset of the Great Depression. After working odd jobs in the first months of the Depression, Hanna joined the Harman and Ising animation studio in 1930. During the 1930s, Hanna steadily gained skill and prominence while working on cartoons such as Captain and the Kids. In 1937, while working at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Hanna met Joseph Barbera. The two men began a collaboration that was at first best known for producing Tom and Jerry and live action films. In 1957, they co-founded Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful television animation studio in the business, producing programs such as The Flintstones, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, and Yogi Bear. In 1967, Hanna–Barbera was sold to Taft Broadcasting for $12 million, but Hanna and Barbera remained heads of the company until 1991. At that time, the studio was sold to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn was merged with Time Warner, owners of Hanna’s first employer Warner Bros., in 1996; Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors. Hanna and Barbera won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards. Their cartoons have become cultural icons, and their cartoon characters have appeared in other media such as films, books, and toys. Hanna–Barbera’s shows had a worldwide audience of over 300 million people in their 1960s heyday, and have been translated into more than 28 languages. Most of the cartoons Hanna and Barbera created revolved around close friendship or partnership; this theme is evident with Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, Ruff and Reddy, The Jetsons family and the friends in Scooby-Doo. Professionally, they balanced each other’s strengths and weaknesses very well, but Hanna and Barbera traveled in completely different social circles. Hanna’s personal friends primarily included other animators; Barbera tended to socialize with Hollywood celebrities. Their division of work roles complemented each other but they rarely talked outside of work since Hanna was interested in the outdoors and Barbera liked beaches, good food and drink. Nevertheless, in their long partnership, in which they worked with over 2000 animated characters, Hanna and Barbera rarely exchanged a cross word. Hanna is considered one of the all-time great animators and on a par with Tex Avery. Hanna and Barbera were also among the first animators to realize the enormous potential of television and successfully adapted to the change it brought to the industry. Leonard Maltin says the Hanna–Barbera team “[may] hold a record for producing consistently superior cartoons using the same characters year after year—without a break or change in routine. Their characters are not only animated superstars, but also a very beloved part of American pop culture” They are often considered as Walt Disney‘s only rivals as cartoonists.
After his death of throat cancer on March 22, 2001, in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, Cartoon Network aired a 20-second segment with black dots tracing Hanna’s portrait with the words “We’ll miss you – Cartoon Network” fading in on the right-hand side.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony outlawed the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables on March 22, 1630. Anne Hutchinson was expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent on March 22, 1638.
On March 22, 1849 the Austrians defeated the Piedmontese at the Battle of Novara.
The first playoff game for the Stanley Cup started on March 22, 1894.
On March 22, 1939, as part of WWII, Germany took Memel from Lithuania. Three years later, in the Mediterranean Sea, the Royal Navy confronts Italy’s Regia Marina in the Second Battle of Sirte. Then in 1943, the entire population of Khatyn in Belarus was burnt alive by German occupation forces.
The United States Congress sent the Equal Rights Amendment to the states on this day in 1972 for ratification. That same day the Eisenstadt v. Baird decision by the United States Supreme Court allowed unmarried persons the right to contraceptives.
Teachers at the McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, California were charged on March 22, 1984 with satanic ritual abuse of the children in the school. The charges are later dropped as completely unfounded.
Nine years ago, today Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and leader of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group Hamas, two bodyguards, and nine civilian bystanders were killed in the Gaza Strip when hit by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache fired Hellfire missiles.
On this day in 2006, ETA, the armed Basque separatist group, declared a permanent ceasefire. It was on that same day that three Christian Peacemaker Team hostages were freed by British forces in Baghdad after 118 days of captivity and the murder of their colleague, American Tom Fox.
Today we bring you a young adult book. Today’s highlighted title is #6 in the Raven Hill Mysteries Series, Dead End and is written by Emily Rodda. We have new copies of this paperback in stock. Appropriate for ages 8 and up, this book is approximately 128 pages long. Amazon gives the following description of the story:
Could a sinister crime spree finally spell the end of the Help-for-Hire gang? Another unpredictable adventure from the internationally bestselling author of Deltora Quest!
Hide your valuables and don’t walk the streets alone. Six young troublemakers are on the loose in Raven Hill. Witnesses say the culprits look surprisingly familiar — just like the Help-for-Hire gang!
If the real Help-for-Hire gang doesn’t figure out who’s trying to set them up, it could mean the end of their friendship forever. And once the kids begin disappearing one by one, Nick discovers that it could mean the end of a whole lot more.
Disclaimer: Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia and Amazon. Images have been taken from various sources around the World Wide Web.