“Franz Anton Mesmer (May 23, 1734 – March 5, 1815) was a German physician with an interest in astronomy, who theorised that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called magnétisme animal (animal magnetism) and other spiritual forces often grouped together as mesmerism.”
Photo: Cassandra calls upon Higher Powers to spirit away a Friday night blemish
On this day in music history: August 28, 1963 - Mahalia Jackson performed as the lead-in to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. Not only was Jackson one of King’s favorite gospel performers, but she also played a pivotal role in his famous speech. At one point, she felt he needed to take a different direction, drawing on a theme she had heard him speak on previously, and said to him from behind the podium, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” As video shows, it was then that he leaves his notes behind and improvises the entire next portion of his speech that begins, “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream….”
On this day in history: August 20, 1920: Jim Thorpe and six others met to organize a professional football league in Canton, Ohio. The meeting led to the creation of the American Professional Football Conference, the forerunner to the National Football League (NFL).
Above: Pulling a miracle ending out of the Plastic Playbook
“Psycho, one of Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic films, didn’t come together very easily. Hitchcock’s studio, Paramount Pictures, didn’t like anything about the film and denied him a proper budget. So the director went solo and funded the film through his television company Shamley Productions. The budget was tight — less than $1,000,000. Costs were firmly controlled. Hence why, in 1960, the film was shot in black and white.
When Psycho hit theaters, Hitchcock controlled the promotion. The stars – Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh — didn’t make the usual rounds in the media. Critics weren’t given private screenings. And Hitchcock created buzz for the film when he exerted directorial control over the viewing experience of the audience. Showings of the film began on a tightly-controlled schedule in theatres in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia. And a firm “no late admission” policy was put in place. You either saw the film from the very beginning, or you didn’t see it all. Signs appeared in front of cinemas reading:
We won’t allow you to cheat yourself. You must see PSYCHO from the very beginning. Therefore, do not expect to be admitted into the theatre after the start of each performance of the picture. We say no one — and we mean no one — not even the manager’s brother, the President of the United States, or the Queen of England (God bless her)!
Theatre managers initially balked at the idea, fearing financial losses. But Hitchcock had his way. And he was right. Long lines formed outside the theaters. Psycho enjoyed critical and commercial success, so much so the film was re-released in 1965.”
And our own little tribute to JFK.
Title: Idol Worship of the Worshipped Idols (2009)
“Henson was commissioned to make a short film for a 1963 AT&T seminar. The subject: the growing tension between humans and robots. Just a few years after bringing the Muppets to life, he applied his genius to this little robot. The resulting short is humorous but poignant, and it contains a very important lesson: humans are in control of the machines, not the other way around. The cute video surfaced recently on AT&T’s YouTube channel and gives us a rare glimpse at the non-Muppets mind of puppetry legend Jim Henson.”