Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So . . . what else is new . . .

No Fear, No Think, No Way

In 1967 Daredevil Evel Knievel jumped 16 automobiles in a row in a motorcycle stunt at Ascot Speedway in Gardena, CA.

The King of Swing

In 1962 The King of Swing, Benny Goodman, turned 53 (May 30, 1909) and led the first American jazz band to play in the Soviet Union. Goodman and his band played six concerts in the U.S.S.R. His hits included: Jersey Bounce, Taking a Chance on Love, Let’s Dance, Sing, Sing, Sing, Stompin’ at the Savoy, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, St. Louis Blues, Goodnight My Love, One O’Clock Jump, Perfidia. He died June 13, 1986.

Sally Rand's Exotic Fan Dance

In 1933 Sally Rand made a name for herself as she introduced her exotic and erotic fan dance to audiences at Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition. Twisting and turning behind two huge fans, one might wonder just how exciting the fan dance could possibly be. It is important to realize that Ms. Rand was, um, naked during the performance.

Unusual Switcheroo

On this day in 1922 Max Flack and Clifton Heathcote became the first major-league baseball players to play on two teams in the same day! Here’s how it went down: Between games of a doubleheader, the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals made the switcheroo, with Flack putting on a Cubs uniform and Heathcote trading his Cubs uniform for that of the Cardinals. The outfielders both played in the nightcap of the twin-bill.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Working on a comeback

Severe declines in the bighorn sheep population in the San Gabriel Mountains, from 523 counted by aerial surveys in 1981 to 33 in 1999, led the state to begin a restoration program in 2003. By monitoring the sheep and attempting to enhance their habitat, the program hopes to restore the population to a self-sustaining level of 322 sheep overall and quotas of sheep in certain areas for six consecutive years. Higher population counts in recent years are encouraging.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Here's a clever idea for remodeling your bathroom -- it gives a whole new meaning to going on line

Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr's Duel

On July 11, 1804, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met on the dueling grounds at Weehawken, New Jersey, to fight the final skirmish of a long-lived political and personal battle. When the duel was over, Hamilton would be mortally wounded, and Burr would be wanted for murder.

After Hamilton's and Burr's seconds tried without success to settle the matter amicably, the two political enemies met on the dueling grounds at Weehawken, New Jersey on the morning of July 11. Each fired a shot from a .56 caliber dueling pistol. Burr was unscathed; Hamilton fell to the ground mortally wounded. He died the next day.

Instead of reviving Burr's political career, the duel helped to end it. Burr was charged with two counts of murder. After his term as vice president ended, he would never hold elective office again. And his next plot to gain power would end with charges of treason.

Hanged for Piracy, but was he ??

In 1696 Capt. William Kidd was arrested and sent to England. His fame springs largely from the sensational circumstances of his questioning before the British Parliament and ensuing trial. He was hanged for piracy in 1701. Controversy continues as to whether he was in fact a pirate.

1987 : Matthias Rust lands his plane in Red Square

Matthias Rust, a 19-year-old amateur pilot from West Germany, takes off from Helsinki, Finland, travels through more than 400 miles of Soviet airspace, and lands his small Cessna aircraft in Red Square by the Kremlin. The event proved to be an immense embarrassment to the Soviet government and military.

Rust, described by his mother as a "quiet young man...with a passion for flying," apparently had no political or social agenda when he took off from the international airport in Helsinki and headed for Moscow. He entered Soviet airspace, but was either undetected or ignored as he pushed farther and farther into the Soviet Union. Early on the morning of May 28, 1987, he arrived over Moscow, circled Red Square a few times, and then landed just a few hundred yards from the Kremlin. Curious onlookers and tourists, many believing that Rust was part of an air show, immediately surrounded him. Very quickly, however, Rust was arrested and whisked away. He was tried for violating Soviet airspace and sentenced to prison. He served 18 months before being released.
The repercussions in the Soviet Union were immediate. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sacked his minister of defense, and the entire Russian military was humiliated by Rust's flight into Moscow. U.S. officials had a field day with the event--one American diplomat in the Soviet Union joked, "Maybe we should build a bunch of Cessnas." Soviet officials were less amused. Four years earlier, the Soviets had been harshly criticized for shooting down a Korean Airlines passenger jet that veered into Russian airspace. Now, the Soviets were laughingstocks for not being able to stop one teenager's "invasion" of the country. One Russian spokesperson bluntly declared, "You criticize us for shooting down a plane, and now you criticize us for not shooting down a plane."

1937: Construction was Completed on the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge opened to vehicular traffic on this day in 1937. One of the world's largest single-span suspension bridges, the Golden Gate Bridge was designed by Clifford Paine. Paine submitted the final blueprints for approval in 1930. With the official design completed, it took over three years for the builders to attain the approval of the military, the city financiers, and the voting public. Construction of the bridge commenced on January 5, 1933. The bridge's aesthetics were influenced greatly by an assisting architect named Irving Morrow. Morrow had no experience building bridges, but he convinced Paine to adopt many of the Golden Gate's most striking features. It was his idea for the portal bracings above the roadway to diminish in size as they climbed, thereby creating the effect of heightening the bridge. The height of the towers over the water is a breathtaking 746 feet, and the length of the suspended structure is 6,450 feet. Over 80,000 miles of wire went into the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Morrow was also the driving force behind the bridge's striking color, international orange; he believed a warm color should be used to contrast with the cold tones of the surrounding land. The Golden Gate Bridge cost the community nearly $35 million during its five-year construction. Its name is derived from the body of water over which it spans, Golden Strait. The "gold" comes from the strait's location at the mouth of the North Bay, beyond which lies the gold of California. Other have mentioned that the Golden Gate Bridge is the Gateway to the Land of the Setting Sun, but they didn't mention this until nearly 30 years after the bridge was originally erected.

Jerry West is a Winner and Always Will Be

Jerry West was born on this day in 1938. The Basketball Hall of Famer was an Olympic gold medalist in 1960 and became a Los Angeles Lakers all-star guard. He set an individual record for season free throws [840] and NBA playoff career free-throws [1,213]. He later became the Lakers coach and then their general manager.

New Coke became the Old Coke or the Very-forgettable Coke

New Coke was the unofficial name of the sweeter formulation introduced in 1985 by The Coca-Cola Company to replace its flagship soft drink, Coca-Cola or Coke. Properly speaking, it had no separate name of its own, but was simply the new version of Coke, until 1992 when it was renamed Coca-Cola II.

Public reaction to the change was devastating, and the new cola quickly entered the pantheon of major marketing flops. The subsequent reintroduction of Coke's original formula led to a significant gain in sales. Although the company insisted, and the historical record suggests, it was an unplanned reaction to the perceived rejection of New Coke, many urban legends and conspiracy theories continue to circulate the claim that this reversal was a plan engineered before the production of New Coke began.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Return of a Legend

In 1982 the legendary Orient Express, made popular through Agatha Christie’s thrilling mystery novel, Murder on the Orient Express, was reborn. The 26-hour train trip resumed across the European continent after a long respite.

From Brooklyn to L A

In 1957 the National League club owners voted to allow the Brooklyn Dodgers to move to sunny Southern California and said that the New York Giants baseball team could move with the Horace Stoneham family to Northern California. The teams went on to establish themselves in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The First Quintuplets

On this day in 1934 the Dionne quintuplets were born near Callender, Ontario to Oliva and Elzire Dionne. They were the first quints (that’s five babies, for those who may have forgotten) to survive infancy. This increase in Canada’s population became known as Marie, Cecile, Yvonne, Emilie and Annette.

From "rags to riches"

Walter P. Chrysler was a poor boy growing up in Kansas; but on this day in 1928 he worked out a deal that made automotive history and took him from rags to riches. He merged his Chrysler Corporation with Dodge Brothers, Inc.

The Dodge Motor Car Company had been purchased several years earlier from the widows of John and Horace Dodge, the two founders, by Clarence Dillon’s banking firm for $148 million.

The merger of Chrysler and Dodge, the largest automobile industry merger in history at the time, placed the newly consolidated firm third in production and sales, just behind General Motors and Ford Motor Company. Shown above is a 1928 Chrysler Roadster.

Two of the Greatest

Two of the greatest hitters the game has known appear in this 1913 photograph. Over a twenty-four year career, Ty Cobb (above left) compiled a .367 batting average. Joe Jackson (above right), who was traded to the White Sox in 1915, averaged .356. Jackson's career lasted only thirteen years. Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis banned Jackson from baseball for his involvement in the 1919 conspiracy to throw the World Series, since known as the Black Sox Scandal.

He Was the Greatest American Athlete

World-class athlete Jim Thorpe was born in a one-room cabin near Prague in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, on May 28, 1888. Thorpe's versatile talents earned him the distinction of being chosen, in 1950, the greatest football player and the greatest American athlete of the first half of the twentieth century by American sports writers and broadcasters.

His was the "war to end all wars"

At age 106, Frank Buckles is thought to be one of three living American veterans of World War I, the Department of Veterans Affairs says.

Buckles' voice is raspy, he has difficulty walking and he needs help getting dressed each morning. But his mind is keen and the memories of his two years in Europe during the war remain clear. He was 16.

Today, Buckles will serve as a marshal in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, sharing the starring role with actor Gary Sinise.

Buckles said he didn't mind all the attention. It's a salute to his generation, and he just happens to be the only one of his contemporaries available to take a bow. But he said he was a bit concerned over whether he was the right guy for the parade.

"What are you supposed to do when you lead a parade?" he asked.

The other living World War I veterans are Harry Landis, a 107-year-old in Sun City Center, Fla., and Russell Coffey, a 108-year-old in North Baltimore, Ohio.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The "Dead Man's Hand"

On this day in 1837 Wild Bill Hickok (James Butler) was born. Hickok was a U.S. Marshall, frontiersman, army scout, gambler and legendary marksman. He was shot [from behind] and killed Aug 2, 1876 while playing poker holding a pair of aces and a pair of eights [known since as the ‘dead man’s hand’]

Stunning Architectural Design by Students

For the second year in a row, students from the McGill School of Architecture in Montreal, Canada have won the Award of Merit in the SSEF Architectural Student Design Competition. Students were challenged to design a single span pedestrian bridge, on a site of the designers’ choosing. The structure had to be primarily steel, but otherwise the material palette was open.

Llamas rule at Machu Picchu

When the tourists are gone, the llamas come out at Peru's Machu Picchu. That's what Martin Voet of Mission Viejo saw late one afternoon a year ago at the Inca ruins. "It's basically deserted at that time," he said. "Then the llamas, which are indigenous, come out." He captured the carefree moment on Nikon D100.

The Beauty of the Great Barrier Reef

A school of fish swim in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef was selected top destination of the year by the World Travel & Tourism Council.

New Venue: a delight to one and all

The Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, California

A castle in Spain . . .

Segovia, Spain
For more information, click on the link below:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

When the "Gunsmoke" cleared, Matt Dillon was always standing there

James Arness (Aurness) the actor we all know as Gunsmoke's "Matt Dillon" was born on May 26, 1923. He portrayed Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke for 20 years, a record length for a character on a single prime time show. He was the tallest actor ever to play a lead role, standing 6' 7" and he is the older brother of actor Peter Graves.

The Incomparable "Miss Peggy Lee"

On this day in 1920, Peggy Lee (Norma Delores Egstrom) was born. The singer's hits included Fever, It’s a Good Day, I Hear Music, The Folks Who Live on the Hill, I’m Just Wild About Harry, I’ve Got the World on a String, and Mr. Wonderful. Her movies included Mister Music, The Jazz Singer, Pete Kelley’s Blues, Is That All There Is?. She died Jan 21, 2002.

He Did the Impossible

1977 - The man called The Human Fly, George Willig, did the impossible. He scaled the World Trade Center in New York City, by fixing himself up to the window washer mechanism and walking straight up until falling into police custody when he reached the top! It took Willig three and a half hours to make the climb, and $1.10 in fines - a penny per floor.

A Supreme Effort All For Naught

On this day in 1959, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher, Harvey Haddix, threw a no-hitter for 12 innings; but lost to the Milwaukee Braves 1-0 in the 13th inning. That’s when Braves slugger Joe Adcock whacked a home run to win the game. The photo above shows Haddix when he was with the St. Louis Cardenals.

"No More Gas" -- That's really what we'd all like to say !!

It seems like little electric car companies are popping up all over the place. There is Zenn Cars in Toronto (which plans on using the disruptive EEStor energy storage device as soon as it becomes available). And Myers Motors in Ohio that sells the NMG (No More Gas) electric car shown above. Just like the tiny (non-electric) Smart Car coming to the U.S, the NMG at the very least is a head-turner. That is why Myers Motors is pitching it as a $25,000 moving billboard for small businesses. Hey, if eco sells, why not? Entrepreneurs can also use it for errands and (small) deliveries.

Our Ace of Aces Demonstrated Leadership and Courage

In 1917, Eddie Rickenbacker already was a rich and famous man. Then, he volunteered at sergeant's pay and became this nation's "Ace of Aces."

Anyone seeking to define "warrior" can do it with a single word: Rickenbacker. Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker was a warrior in two wars, becoming the American Ace of Aces in 1918 and demonstrating rare leadership and courage in World War II. Rick, as he liked to be called, never ceased to watch out for the interests of the United States.

Beloved by many, hated by not a few, Rickenbacker was the quintessential American leader-patriot of the 20th century, a man who fought to protect his interests and to promote those of the United States. He also had his weaknesses, including an inability to bear fools lightly, a predisposition to speak rashly, and a cranky insistence that co-workers give a 110 percent effort.

He was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1890, the son of Swiss immigrants. His surname originally was spelled Rickenbacher. The Teutonic sound of it caused Rickenbacker many problems and, as a result of World War I, he changed it. In 1918, he became Eddie "Rickenbacker"--with the change of that single letter somehow giving him comfort.

The Big Gong is Back

Chuck Barris oughta know: In 1976, Chuck Barris gave birth to "The Gong Show," whose spirit was ahead of its time, with people making spectacles of themselves via queer talents or no talent at all and boozy, woozy comedian-entertainers serving as executioners, hitting a gong to stop the madness.

Barris' new novel, "The Big Question," feels like a dated reality show parable, although the story begins in 2011, after the president has declared euthanasia legal and CNN has televised a Texas execution. On "The Big Question," six people vie for $100 million in the ultimate Draconian contest: Answer the final question wrong and you die (by drinking poison for all the world to see).

Barris had a large hand in stirring the reality TV pot but then, it turned out, he wasn't around to revel in its actual boiling point. He became a Museum of Radio and Television footnote then re-emerged in 2002 with the re-release of his kooky 1982 memoir, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," which revealed that he not only produced popular TV shows but, he claimed, also took side trips out of the country as a covert assassin for the CIA.

Hockney unveils huge painting

David Hockney on Friday unveiled his massive new painting that covers an entire wall in the Royal Academy's largest gallery in London.

The grand work, made of 50 smaller canvases, measures 40 feet wide and 15 feet tall. It shows a sprawling grove of multicolored trees and a detailed network of brown, black and green branches. Lush foliage in the foreground gives way to the green English countryside in the background. Two red farm buildings can be seen on the right.

Hockney, 69, who lives in Los Angeles, painted it in the open air of his native Yorkshire earlier this year.

The exhibition opens June 11 and runs until Aug. 19.

(From the Associated Press)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another Side of the Story -- It's Scary

THE CREATION MUSEUM, a $27-million tourist attraction promoting earth science theories that were popular when Columbus set sail, opens near Cincinnati on Memorial Day. So before the first visitor risks succumbing to the museum's animatronic balderdash — dinosaurs and humans actually coexisted! the Grand Canyon was carved by the great flood described in Genesis! — we'd like to clear up a few things: "The Flintstones" is a cartoon, not a documentary. Fred and Wilma? Those woolly mammoth vacuum cleaners? All make-believe.

Science is under assault, and that calls for bold truths. Here's another: The Earth is round.

The museum, a 60,000-square-foot menace to 21st century scientific advancement, is the handiwork of Answers in Genesis, a leader in the "young Earth" movement. Young Earthers believe the world is about 6,000 years old, as opposed to the 4.5 billion years estimated by the world's credible scientific community. This would be risible if anti-evolution forces were confined to a lunatic fringe, but they are not. Witness the recent revelation that three of the Republican candidates for president do not believe in evolution. Three men seeking to lead the last superpower on Earth reject the scientific consensus on cosmology, thermonuclear dynamics, geology and biology, believing instead that Bamm-Bamm and Dino played together.

Religion and science can coexist. That the Earth is billions of years old is a fact. How the universe came into being and whether it operates by design are matters of faith. The problem is that people who deny science in one realm are unlikely to embrace it in another. Those who cannot accept that climate change may have caused the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago probably don't put much stock in the fact that today it poses grave peril to the Earth as we know it.

Last year, the White House attempted to muzzle NASA's top climatologist after he called for urgent action on global warming, and a presidential appointee in the agency's press office chastised a contractor for mentioning the Big Bang without including the word "theory." The press liaison reportedly wrote in an e-mail: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA."

With the opening of the Creation Museum, young people will be getting another side of the story. Too bad it starts with "Yabba-dabba-doo!"

(Editorial from the Los Angeles Times)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pyramid of Kukulkan, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

While the earliest archaeological artifacts thus far found at Chichen Itza date from AD 1 to 250, it is probable that the site was settled at a far earlier time. Proto-Mayan tribes had inhabited the flat limestone plateau that makes up much of the Yucatan peninsula for at least 8000 years. The Temple of Kukulkan, the Feathered Serpent God (also known as Quetzalcoatl to the Aztecs) is the largest and most important ceremonial structure at Chichen Itza. This ninety-foot tall pyramid was built during the eleventh to thirteenth centuries directly upon the multiple foundations of previous temples. The architecture of the pyramid encodes precise information regarding the Mayan calendar.

Prints are available in matte poster paper, photographic lustre paper, and sumerset watercolor giclée paper. For information click on the link below.

One of the First Superstars

On this day in 1883 Douglas Fairbanks (Douglas Elton Ulman) was born. The actor starred in The Americano, He Comes Up Smiling, The Mollycoddle, The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers, Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad, The Black Pirate, and The Gaucho. He later formed United Artists with D.W. Griffith & Charlie Chaplin. He died Dec 12, 1939.

A Proud Moment in Our History

On this day in 1949 Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin lifted the Berlin Blockade. It had taken 10 months and 18 days of a continuous airlift of goods by the United States to foil Stalin’s attempt at isolating Berlin from the outside world. The U.S. kept more than 2.5 million Berliners in the Western sector of the German city from starvation and freezing ... supplying food, medicine, machinery, clothing and other necessities -- up to 13,000 tons per day. The airlift transormed West Berlin into a symbol of resistance to communism. During the blockade, the U.S. and its allies delivered 2,325,809 tons of supplies, including 23 tons of oranges. Two thirds of the tonage was coal to provide heat during the brutally-cold 1948-49 winter. The round-the-clock airlift, registered 277,804 flights, and a loss of 78 airmen, killed in crashes and other accidents.

Presto . . . it's like magic

BMW’s 335i Convertible has a retractable hardtop that collapses in 23 seconds to settle into the trunk (see below). Cargo capacity has been enhanced for the 2007 model too.
(Stephen Osman / LAT)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Life of a Legend

On this day in 1955, Jack Benny's popular radio program went off the air after more than two decades. Benny was born in Illinois, and his violin and comedy act made him a vaudeville star in the 1920s. He made a number of popular films in the 1930s and 1940s, and debuted on his own radio show in 1932. Benny launched a TV show in 1952, which ran until 1965.

Benny has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One for movies located at 6690 Hollywood Boulevard and a second for television located at 6370 Hollywood Boulevard.

Benny is buried in Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, CA.

Benny appeared three times as the Mystery Guest on episodes of What's My Line?

Benny once tried to get the silent Marx Brother, Harpo, to talk on his show but to no avail. Harpo Marx appeared but he did not speak.

Rochester used to always joke about his boss's hairpieces saying that "Mr. Benny has hair at home he hasn't used yet" but in real life Jack Benny did not wear a toupee.

In interviews Benny always admitted his true age whereas his radio/TV personna was always 39 years old.

Benny served as the emcee for President Truman's Inaugural Ball in 1949.

Benny hosted the Academy Awards ceremony in 1944 and 1947.

Violinist Isaac Stern was a close friend of Benny despite the comic fun Benny used to have with Stern's instrument.

A waitress once returned Benny's generous tip to him. She said she preferred the illusion of Benny as a stingy old man.

A middle school in his hometown of Waukegan, IL is named after Benny. The school's nickname is the 39ers after the age Benny always claimed to be.

Jack Benny was 5 feet 8 inches tall.

Politically, Benny was a lifelong Democrat.

Benny won a Golden Globe in 1958 for Best TV Show.

Benny's TV/radio personna drove a Maxwell automobile. Mel Blanc provided the voice of the car on radio.

Benny was preparing to star in The Sunshine Boys when his health failed. Good friend George Burns ended up replacing him.

Benny's 1945 film The Horn Blows at Midnight was a box office failure and this flop became a running gag on his radio and TV programs.

Benny co-starred with Carole Lombard, Robert Stack, and Lionel Atwill in the classic 1942 comedy To Be or Not to Be.

Benny's memoirs were entitled Sunday Nights at Seven. Daughter Joan completed the book after her father's death. (

Lucky Strike Tobacco was Benny's longest running sponsor.

Benny's TV show ran from 1950 to 1964 on CBS. It ran for an additional year on NBC before cancellation.

During all the years Benny's radio program aired on NBC he never actually met NBC President David Sarnoff until after he left the network for CBS.

Benny and good friend Fred Allen had a "feud" on radio for many years.

The theme song for Jack's radio and TV programs was Love in Bloom.

Jimmy Stewart and his wife Gloria appeared on several episodes of Jack's TV show as his "neighbors." Earlier on radio, actor Ronald Colman and his real life wife had played Benny's "neighbors."

Benny's radio program was broadcast from New York when it premiered in 1932 but it moved to Los Angeles in 1936.

Benny was one of the first performers to cast an Afro-American on his show when he hired Eddie Anderson to play his "chauffeur" Rochester Van Jones.

Benny's wife, Mary Livingstone, had to retire from the act in 1958 after developing a severe case of stage fright.

Jack Benny's radio program aired on NBC from 1932 to 1948 and on CBS from 1948 to 1955.

Benny and his wife had an adopted daughter named Joan.

Jack married Mary Livingstone (real name Sadie Marks) in 1927. She became an integral part of his comedy act on stage, radio, and TV.

Benny served in the Navy during World War I.

Benny originally changed his name to Ben K. Benny before settling on Jack Benny as his stage moniker.

In 1911, the Marx Brothers offered to take the 17 year old Benny on the road with them as part of their act but Benny's mother nixed the idea.

Benny began studyling to play the violin at age 6.

Jack Benny's father was a saloon owner.

Benny was born in Chicago but grew up in nearby Waukegan.

Benny's final television appearance was on one of Dean Martin's Celebrity roasts in 1974. The episode aired after Benny's death.

A Man Who Has Done It All

Charles Aznavour (Armenian: Շառլ Ազնավուր; born May 22, 1924) is an Armenian-French singer, songwriter and actor. Besides being one of France's most popular and enduring singers, he is also one of the most well-known French singers abroad. He has appeared in more than 60 movies, composed more than 1000 songs (including 150 in English, 100 in Italian, 70 in Spanish, and 50 in German), and sold well over 100 million records. [1] Aznavour started his global farewell tour in late 2006.

With reason and keen observation

He was a doctor without any patients. That’s how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, born on this day in 1859 at Edinburgh Scotland, began to write. You see, while he was waiting for patients, of which there were hardly any, he was so bored that he started writing short stories. The stories earned him some, but not much money; then Dr. Doyle wrote his first novel centering around the character who became the world’s best-known detective, Sherlock Holmes.

It was 1887 and the novel was titled, A Study in Scarlet. Arthur Conan Doyle (he wasn’t a Sir, yet) was on his way to success. In fact, he eventually became one of the highest-paid short-story writers of the times.

Doyle’s tales of Sherlock Holmes solving crimes with his amazing ability to use reason and observation have delighted millions of readers for over one hundred years. Holmes appeared in 56 short stories and three more novels, The Sign of Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear.

Critic Christopher Morley once said, “Perhaps no fiction character ever created has become so charmingly real to his readers (as Sherlock Holmes).”

Put that in your meerschaum and smoke it!

Sherlock Holmes (For more striking images like this, click on the link below)