Try to set the record straight

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Most people believe that dropping a penny off the top of the Empire State Building would kill a pedestrian walking below - scientists determined that a penny "traveling at terminal velocity cannot penetrate concrete or asphalt." It won't cause serious damage to a person, and even at the speed of sound, will still not damage flesh. At most, it could sting a little.

Some people still believe that you can see the Great Wall of China from outer space. NASA confirmed that you actually can't see it from the final frontier. Although the fact was debunked by Chinese astronaut, Yang Liwei, the textbooks were never changed, and will often still claim this as true.

Today is Debunking Day. The day gives everyone the chance to set the record straight on whatever false and inaccurate pieces of information have been troubling them the most. There should be a little bit more truth in the world after today because much that is untrue will have been debunked.

So now you know

Today is also World Plumbing Day.  It is an international event, initiated by the World Plumbing Council, held on March 11 each year to recognize the important role plumbing plays in societal health and amenity.

Don't opine on how the plumber got inside all of us

March 11, 1950 -
A very funny Bugs Bunny cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones, Homeless Hare, was released on this date.

Previously when this cartoon aired, some networks edited the part out where Bugs throws a brick to the construction worker's head with a message attached to remove the brick actually making contact with his head and the shot of the brick on the construction worker's face before he rips the note off and reads it.

March 11, 1956 -
Laurence Olivier's version of William Shakespeare's Richard III became the first film to have its U.S. premiere in theaters and on TV simultaneously, when NBC-TV broadcast the film on the same day it had its U.S. premiere in New York, on this date.

Olivier based his characterization of Richard on a much-despised theatrical director named Jed Harris. Years later he learned that the animators at Disney used Harris for the basis of the Big Bad Wolf.

March 11, 1961 -
Kenneth Sean Carson, the cultural icon from Willows, Wisconsin and Barbie’s go-to counterpart, was introduced at the American International Toy Fair, on this date.

For those wondering where Barbie and Ken met, their official story is that they met on the set of their first commercial together in 1961.

March 11, 1967 -
Pink Floyd released one of the best songs about underwear stealing transvestites, Arnold Layne on this date.

The song made an unexpected appearance in the live sets of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour during his 2006 tour promoting his solo album, On an Island. Later in the year, two live recordings of the song, from Gilmour's On an Island shows at the Royal Albert Hall were released as a live single, which peaked at #19 on the UK singles chart. One version had guest vocals by David Bowie, the other by Floyd's Richard Wright.

Speaking of transvestites - March 11, 1970 -
Federico Fellini's take on ancient Rome, Fellini - Satyricon (Another movie had registered the title Satyricon first. Federico Fellini fought to use the title for his movie but lost the case. Subsequently the title was changed to Fellini - Satyricon) premiered in the US on this date.

When asked why both the leading roles were played by foreign actors and not Italians, Federico Fellini replied, "Because there are no Italian homosexuals.; (I think he was joking.)

March 11, 1970 -
The first album by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Déjà Vu was released on this date.

The album, the second for Crosby, Stills & Nash and first with Neil Young on board. It was the high point for the band, selling over 7 million copies and inspiring legions of singer-songwriters. By the time it was released, the band was already apart, off and working on other projects. They didn't come together again until 1974 for a massive stadium tour (the first in rock history), and didn't issue another album until 1977 (without Young).

March 11, 1974 -
The beloved Emmy and Peabody winning children's TV special, Free To Be ... You and Me, produced by Marlo Thomas premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

The basic concept was to encourage post-1960s gender neutrality, saluting values such as individuality, tolerance, and comfort with one's identity. A major thematic message is that anyone—whether a boy or a girl—can achieve anything.

March 11, 1994 -
One of the most successful Rom-Com films of all times, Four Weddings and a Funeral, starring Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow, Corin Redgrave and Rowan Atkinson went into limited release in the US on this date.

For several years after its release, this movie was the highest-grossing British movie in history, with worldwide box office in excess of $260 million.

March 11, 2006 -
James Blunt's single You're Beautiful goes to No. #1 on the Billboard charts on this date.

This song is often heard as very romantic, but there's something a little unhinged about this subway encounter that leads him to near obsession and compels him to make "a plan."

Don't forget to tune in to The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today

Today in History:
March 11, 222 -
Most of you with teenagers think that yours are the worst, but no, Ancient Rome had the worst by far, the Emperor Elagabalus.

His real name was Varius Avitus Bassianus but as he developed an intense interest in worshiping the Syrian god Elagabal, became High Priest of the cult and so had his name changed to Elagabalus. After the death of his grandfather, father and cousin within a year, Elagabalus, all of 14, found himself the Emperor of the known world (this is not to say, the millions of people living in Asia, Africa, Australia and the New World, even had a clue who this snarky teen was.) Rather than even thinking of governing, Elagabalus immersed himself in heavy drinking and self-worship (very intense sodomy - it is rumored that he had engaged in a sexual act ever hour he was awake for the entire four years he was Emperor - think about it - he had sex over 23,000 times in four years), leaving the affairs of the state mostly in the hands of his grandmother Julia Maesa.

Elagabalus was probably the first famous transsexual, rumored to have consulted his physicians about an early version of a sex-change operation. Having found this impossible, he took a series of male lovers, chosen by the enormous size of their private parts. When Elagabalus was involved in a rigorous diet of sodomy, he also was getting drunk. Legend has it that he and his friends had gotten so drunk that when Elagabalus had a shower of rose pedals dropped on his dinner guest, many of them had suffocated under the weigh of the flowers.

Finally the Pretorian guard had enough of Elagabalus notorious excesses (but let's be clear about this; like most of the GOP, the Roman elite professed a disgust of homosexuality yet vigorously engaged in it,) and on this date, hunted down the young reprobate in a private bathroom and executed him on this date, as he clung tenaciously to his mother.

March 11, 1302 -
This is the anniversary of Romeo and Juliet's wedding day, according to Shakespeare.

I've seen all of these websites that can offer to help you plan a romantic wedding 'just like Romeo and Juliet', does that mean you have to kill yourself shortly after the honeymoon?

March 11, 1669 -
After a series of premonitional earthquakes near, the largest volcano in Europe spectacularly erupted, destroying the Sicilian town of Nicolosi and killing 20,000 people.

Were there no virgins to toss into the volcano to appease the gods back in 1669?

March 11, 1811 -
Ned Ludd (not a real person) led a group of workers in a wild protest against mechanization on this date. Members of the organized bands of craftsmen who rioted against automation in 19th century England were known as Luddites and also Ludds. The movement, began near Nottingham as craftsman destroyed textile machinery that was eliminating their jobs. By the following year, Luddites were active in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Leicestershire.

Although the Luddites opposed violence towards people (a position which allowed for a modicum of public support), government crackdowns included mass shootings, hangings and deportation to the colonies. It took 14,000 British soldiers to quell the rebellion. The movement effectively died in 1813 apart from a brief resurgence of Luddite sentiment in 1816 following the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

I'm still waiting for the anti-Apple movement - Smash the Fitbits! (but make sure that they are not on your wrist.)

March 11, 1818 -
Frankenstein, "The Modern Prometheus," was published on this date. The book started out as basically a scary story told on a rainy night. That is, if you are telling scary stories to England's greatest romantic poet and his best friend, Europe's most notorious clubfooted, bisexual poet.

The book, by 21-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is frequently called the world's first science fiction novel.

More on the Wacky Russian Revolution:
On March 11, 1917 the Russian Cabinet finally became indignant and tried to dissolve the Duma, but the Duma refused to dissolve. The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies also refused to dissolve, even though the Cabinet had not asked them to dissolve.

(The Cabinet could not ask them to, because the Cabinet had determined that The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies did not exist.)

March 11, 1927 -
Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened The Roxy Theatre in New York City, a 6,214 seat movie theater at 153 West 50th Street at 7th Avenue, on this date. It was designed by Chicago architect Walter W. Ahlschlager.

The opening night film was The Love of Sunya produced by and starring Gloria Swanson. The Roxy was overshadowed by the opening of Radio City Music Hall in the Rockefeller Center in NYC in 1932.

The Roxy closed and was demolished in 1960, and Swanson was famously photographed on October 14, 1960 by Time-Life photographer Eliot Elisofon in the midst of the ruins during the theater's demolition.

March 11, 1931 -
F. W. Murnau (born Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe,) one of the most influential German film directors of the silent era, was out for a relaxing drive with his fourteen-year old Filipino valet Garcia Stevenson, when Mr. Murnau failed to heed one of the basic tenets of auto safety - it was rumored that Murnau decided to perform fellatio on the young driver.

Mr. Murnau and Mr Stevenson were involved in a car crash and both died on this date.

Kids, let this be a lesson to us all - for heaven's sake, please pull over if you decide to polish the knob of the driver of your automobile. (Also insist on a more secure grave - back in 2015, grave robbers stole Murnau's skull, in some quasi-occult ritual.)

March 11, 1957 -
Charles Van Doren, darling of the American public, lost to Vivienne Nearing on the rigged TV quiz show Twenty One when both are asked to name the kings of Norway (Olav V), Denmark (Frederick IX), Sweden (Gustaf VI Adolf), Jordan (Hussein), Iraq (Faisal II), and Belgium (Baudouin).

Doren "missed" - the king of Belgium.

March 11, 1958 -
A B-47 bomber drops a nuclear bomb in the town of Mars Bluff in South Carolina. While it did not detonate a nuclear explosion, conventional explosives within the bomb left a 75 foot crater, destroying one house and damaging five others.

The government has to send out hundreds of 'oops' letters to the town's residents.

March 11, 1969 -
Levi Jeans added Bell Bottoms to their line of Jeans which had become fashionable as part of the hippie counterculture movement.

Though the actual creation of the first pair of bell-bottoms is unknown, the first mention of bell-bottom pants was in 1813 in reference to the uniforms of U.S. Navy sailors.

March 11, 1997 -
Thirty years after being admitted as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to popular music and to British culture, and for his charity work.

"Proud to be British, wonderful day and it’s a long way from a little terrace in Liverpool," McCartney told reporters.

March 11, 1977 -
After gunmen held three buildings in Washington, D.C. during a 39-hour siege, all 149 hostages were freed on this date, thanks to ambassadors from three Islamic nations - Egypt, Iran, and Pakistan.

They, the diplomats, courageously intervened with police, reading to the 12 Hanafi Muslim gunmen passages from the Quran to demonstrate Islam’s compassion and mercy, and urging them to surrender.

March 11, 2004 -
In Madrid, Spain, a series of 10 bombs hidden in backpacks exploded in quick succession at three stations, blowing apart four commuter trains on this date. 191 people were killed and over 1,450 were wounded. Spanish leaders were quick to accuse Basque terrorists but a shadowy group claimed responsibility in the name of al-Qaeda.

On October 31, 2007, three lead defendants were convicted of murder. Four other top suspects were acquitted of murder but convicted of lesser charges. In all 21 of the 28 defendants were convicted. On July 17, 2008, a Spanish court cleared four of the 21 people charged for crimes related to the train bombings. In 2009, seven people were indicted for helping the bombers flee.

March 11, 2011 -
12 years ago today, an earthquake and a tsunami sparked one the most severe atomic accident since Chernobyl at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan.

Over 81,000 jobs were lost due to the tsunami and the future of the plant and surrounding area still remains uncertain.

Before you go - Here is your 95th Oscar ballot for tomorrow night:

Please remember that betting on the Oscars is illegal in most states; it should be used for entertainment purposes only.

Wait, one more thing, we lose an hour of sleep tonight - Daylight Saving Time (leave the last S off for saving) starts at 2 AM tomorrow morning, so don't forget to turn all those clocks, microwaves, DVD players, etc. ahead.

Please do this work yourself:

the time you save may be your own.

And so it goes.

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