BartCop Entertainment


25 September, 2020

(Updated Daily)

[790 days in a row]


from Bruce



• Gay and lesbian activists sometimes have to fight scary battles. In the 1960s, some members of the American Nazi Party wanted to cause trouble at a conference of ECHO (East Coast Homophile Organizations). The gays and lesbians banded together to keep the American Nazis out of the auditorium where the conference was being held by locking arms and forming a human barricade that refused to let the American Nazis through. Among the activists barricading the door was Nancy Garden, lesbian author of Annie on My Mind.

• Many people read and enjoy J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the good guys’ fight against the evil of Mordor. Some of those who read it in college are activists. One campus cut down a pleasant grove of trees to make room for an ugly “Cultural Center” made of concrete blocks. Students detested the cutting down of trees, and on the ugly building someone wrote, “Another bit of Mordor.”


• Advertising copywriters can be very good writers. In 1919, 18-year-old Lillian Eichler was assigned the task of writing advertisements for Eleanor Holt’s book Encyclopedia of Etiquette. Ms. Eichler came through in a big way. Her ad showed a guest spilling a cup of coffee on a tablecloth — the copy read, “Has this ever happened to you?” The ad was very successful, and 1,000 copies of the book were sold quickly. Unfortunately, most of those copies were returned just as quickly, as the book was old fashioned and hopelessly out of date. No problem. The publisher, Doubleday, figured that if Ms. Eichler could write advertising copy as well as she did, then she could rewrite the book well. She did rewrite the book, which was given the new title Book of Etiquette, and the book sold at least 3 million copies over the next 30 years.

• To get a job in advertising, it helps to be creative. Chris, the brother of author Beth Lisick, created a resume that included a photograph of him seated at a baby grand. It also included a photograph of celebrity John Tesh seated at a baby grand. The resume compared the careers and lives of Chris and John Tesh. For example, Mr. Tesh courted celebrity Connie Selleca at the exact same time that Chris was being dumped by a girlfriend. And when John Tesh released his album Sax by the Fire, Chris was being heavily criticized for failing to meet the dress code of a restaurant. Chris was hired, and he became a success — he wrote these words that were spoken by a Chihuahua in a series of Taco Bell commercials: “Drop the chalupa.”

• An effective advertisement need not be long or even have an illustration. When Sir Ernest Shackleton needed men to go with him on a trip to the South Pole, he placed this ad in London newspapers in 1900: “MEN WANTED for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success — Sir Ernest Shackleton.” The copy of the ad was frank, and the response to the ad showed that it was effective. Sir Ernest said, “It seemed as though all the men in Great Britain were determined to accompany me, the response was so overwhelming.”


• In his sketch “‘Party Cries’ in Ireland,” Mark Twain tells of the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Commonly, according to Mr. Twain, Irishmen would cry out either “To hell with the Pope” or “To hell with the Protestants,” depending on the religion of the crier. This became so common that a law was passed attempting to stop the custom by imposing a fine and court costs on anyone found guilty of giving a party cry. One day, a drunk was found lying in an alley, shouting, “To hell with! To hell with!” A police officer found the drunk and asked him, “To hell with what?” But the drunk replied, “Ah, bedad ye can finish it yourself — it’s too expinsive for me!”

© Copyright Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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Michael Egan

Michael Egan


Mike Pence Plans Gigantic National Exorcism to Combat Coronavirus - Michael Egan, Humor Times

Editorial and Political Cartoons


Trivia Question of the Day

In Greek mythology, who is the queen of the underworld?


Send your answer to Marty

Throwback Thursday Trivia Question from Yesterday

In a series of 1960's commercials, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass rerecorded and renamed "The Mexican Shuffle" for a brand of chewing gum. In each ad, a placid person would unwrap a stick of gum then abruptly break into what dance?

       "The Teaberry Shuffle"                                                      Source

Clark's Teaberry is a brand of chewing gum. The D. L. Clark Company of Pittsburgh's north side purchased the patent for it from Charles Burke, who experimented with various flavors of chewing gum in the basement of 533 McClintock Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Teaberry is currently marketed by First Source, LLC in Buffalo, New York, and made in Mexico. The gum dates to 1900.

The popularity of Teaberry peaked in the 1960s. It was additionally popularized when Pelican Films (292 Madison Avenue, New York, New York) produced a series of commercials using music from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Clark liked "The Mexican Shuffle" from the South of the Border album, and commissioned Herb to rerecord it as "The Teaberry Shuffle". In each commercial, a placid person would unwrap a stick of Clark's Teaberry gum and start chewing it. The chewer would abruptly break into a rapid, energetic dance with distinctive shuffling steps for several seconds, then would just as abruptly return to his or her original activity. For instance, one commercial in the campaign featured a column of marching soldiers: one soldier in the middle of the column chewed the gum and stepped out of the column to dance the Teaberry Shuffle, then resumed his position in the column and fell back into step. In all the commercials, the dance steps were quite simple; the creators of the ad campaign may have hoped that the commercials would inspire a dance craze.

The gum's mintlike flavor recalls that of Gaultheria procumbens, the eastern teaberry, from which it derives its name. The gum is pink in color, individually wrapped in white paper, and wrapped again in a pink teaberry-printed paper.        Source

Teaberry Gum Commercial 1960's Herb Alpert Teaberry Shuffle | YouTube

Mark. was first, and correct, with:
   Clark's Teaberry Gum.

mj wrote:
   Always reminded me of hop scotch moves
  At least that's how I looked on the Teaberry Shuffle.

Alan J answered:
   Clark's Teaberry Gum.

Cal in Vermont said:
   The Teaberry Shuffle.

Mac Mac responded:
   The Teaberry Shuffle

Jacqueline replied:
   The Teaberry Shuffle

Jim from CA, retired to ID, said:
   The Teaberry Shuffle

Dave wrote:
   Teaberry Shuffle. I didn’t recall the commercial although the tune sounds familiar, and watching on Youtube didn’t jog my memory either. My research tells me that the product, Clark’s Teaberry, had its peak popularity in the 1960’s and is no longer manufactured. I read that it tasted kind of like sweet wintergreen. Eastern Teaberry, or American Wintergreen, is a shrub that is native to northeastern North America. In spite of the name, Teaberry gum did not contain any Teaberry plant extract.

Adam answered:
   "The Teaberry Shuffle"

David of Moon Valley responded:
   I'm gonna go..
  …purely from memory on this but i seem to recall it being the Teaberry Shuffle…and if it ain’t well then i’ll read the correct answer tomorrow….

Ed K replied:
   St Vitus' dance, a disorder characterized by rapid, uncoordinated jerking movements primarily affecting the face, hands and feet.

Billy in Cypress U.  $.  A. said:
   Teaberry Shuffle

Deborah, the Master Gardener wrote:
   I can picture in my mind’s eye the commercial but not the gum. I’m lazy today so I’ll go with a WAG: The Cha-cha.
  It’s been great weather this week, just right for the first days of fall, and now hot winds and triple digit temps are in store for the weekend. This year — 2020— has been brought to you by the letters WTF.

Dave in Tucson (Where the skies have been hazy for days.) answered:
   The Mexican Hat Dance?

Rosemary in Columbus replied:
   The Teaberry Shuffle

Barbara, of Peppy Tech fame responded:
   Wow, had to look that one up! The answer is the Teaberry Shuffle, in ads for Teaberry gum.

Joe ( -- Vote Blue, No Matter Who -- ) wrote:
   I don't know. I can't recall ever seeing a commercial like that and the interwebs weren't much help other than letting me know the gum was Teaberry. Teaberry? Really? Gotta go to bed,

Micki said:
   The Teaberry Shuffle.

Randall took the day off.
Jon L took the day off.
Stephen F took the day off.
zorch took the day off.
John I from Hawai`i took the day off.
Daniel in The City took the day off.
DJ Useo took the day off.
Kenn B took the day off.
Michelle in AZ took the day off.
Leo in Boise took the day off.
Kevin in Washington DC took the day off.
Angelo D took the day off.
Roy, the socially distant Libtard in Tyler, TX took the day off.
Harry M. took the day off.
George M. took the day off.
Doug in Albuquerque, New Mexico, took the day off.
-pgw took the day off.
Gary K took the day off.
Roy the (now retired) hoghead (aka 'hoghed') ( Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.  ~Frank Zappa ) took the day off.
Saskplanner took the day off.
Gateway Mike took the day off.
Steve in Wonderful Sacramento, CA, took the day off.
MarilynofTC took the day off.
Paul of Seattle took the day off.
Brian S. took the day off.
Gene took the day off.
Tony K. took the day off.
Noel S. took the day off.
James of Alhambra took the day off.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  September 25 Birthdays - Celebrities Born September 25 | Famous Birthdays

Sally has retired.

MAM     In memory.




Middle Class Political Economist






Music: "Brownsville Blues"

Artist: Robertas Semeniukas

Artist Location: Lithuania

    Aleksandr Belkin - vocals, slide guitar
    Robertas Semeniukas - acoustic guitar

Price: €1 (EURO) for track

Genre: Traditional Blues


Robertas Semeniukas on Bandcamp

"Brownsville Blues"

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Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

'My friends were lied to': will coalminers stand by Trump as jobs disappear? | US news | The Guardian

Time capsule from 1873 found buried in wall of Manchester Jewish Museum | UK news | The Guardian

Why dangerous ‘forever chemicals’ are allowed in US drinking water | US news | The Guardian

The list of retired military and national security leaders rejecting Trump just grew by a lot

Opinion | The Republican war on democracy is just getting started - The Washington Post

Opinion | Here’s why Biden’s lead is big and could get bigger - The Washington Post

In Sweden, Ruth Bader Ginsburg learned how unfairly America treated women - The Washington Post

Venezuelan oil spills leak crude into the Caribbean Sea - The Washington Post

Maryland's web-delivered ballots must be hand-copied to be counted - The Washington Post

Campaign to cut food waste draws pledges from nearly 200 of the world’s biggest food suppliers - The Washington Post

White House Walks Back Trump Hedging On Potential Transfer Of Power : NPR

An Initiative In Baltimore Aims To Close The Neuroscience Research Gap : Shots - Health News : NPR

Rep. Elijah Cummings Offers Some Lasting Thoughts In 'We're Better Than This' : NPR

Americans in their 20s account for 1 in 5 new COVID-19 cases - Los Angeles Times

Wildfires taint West Coast vineyards with taste of smoke - Los Angeles Times

Amy Coney Barrett confirmation would hurt Supreme Court - Los Angeles Times

Few Police Officers Who Cause Deaths Are Charged or Convicted - The New York Times

Young Women Take a Frontline Role in Thailand’s Protests - The New York Times

Why So Blue, Tarantula? A Mystery Gets a New Clue - The New York Times

Opinion | Trump Wants You to Think You Can’t Get Rid of Him - The New York Times

America is the Holy Roman Empire of the 21st century

Do Not Despair: This Is The Last Gasp Of The Republican Party Fighting Against Its Inevitable Death

Trump wants immunity in exchange for a transition of power

$16 million contribution to help pay Florida poll tax panics Republicans into calling the FBI

Opinion | Our justice system values wallboard over Black lives - The Washington Post

Opinion | Correcting the misinformation about Breonna Taylor - The Washington Post

Trump and the GOP don't care about 200,000 dead — only about power |

Trump just can't keep a secret — especially when it comes to his plans to stage a coup |

Prescott protest shows how disinformation, division thrive on social media

Former Nikola CEO Trevor Milton mysteriously vanishes from Twitter

Trump again says he may not abide by election results - Houston Chronicle

Best crime movies of all time, according to the audience - New York Daily News

Coronavirus strands 300,000 mariners stranded at sea: UN - New York Daily News

John Cusack Says He Wasn't Asked to Play Walter White in Breaking Bad - Variety

Virus's unseen hot zone: The American farm - Houston Chronicle

Thanks, Michelle!



New Venture

Michael Egan

A Cartoon Page for Non-Cartoonists

Michael Egan

Editorial and Political Cartoons



Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

Fox News was forced to make a damning admission in a Tucker Carlson lawsuit | AlterNet

New Report: President Trump Has 3,400 Conflicts Of Interest | CREW

The 9 most notable comments Trump has made about accepting the election results

The Republican Party’s Sordid History in Florida Shows Just How Far They’ll Go to save Trump | Smirking Chimp | Thom Hartmann

Ted Cruz blocks resolution honoring Ginsburg after Tucker Carlson pushes conspiracy theory about her | Salon

McConnell’s re-election campaign slapped with FEC flag over suspected accounting errors | AlterNet

Tucker Carlson Accuses BLM of Lying About Breonna Taylor’s Death, Gets Major Fact Wrong | Daily Beast

Trump just can't keep a secret — especially when it comes to his plans to stage a coup | Salon

Former Fox News Regular Joe diGenova Claims Network Is Beholden to George Soros | Daily Beast

Fox News built an "alternative reality" to allow Trump to steal the election: political scientist | Salon

Reporters from a conservative outlet get arrested at Louisville protests | AlterNet

Trump and Putin: Friend, Foe or Useful Idiot? | Bill | Heather Cox Richardson

Putin’s Troll Farm Busted Running Sprawling Network of Facebook Pages | Daily Beast

DOJ announcement on Pennsylvania ballot investigation baffles election experts | Politico

Surprise: Trump's Justice Department Is Trying To Go After Hillary Clinton | Vanity Fair

Trump Data Guru Officially Disqualified Over ‘Shady’ Campaign Tactics | Daily Beast

Vote Or Die: You Are Not Nobody | Meidas Touch | YouTube

Nobody | The Lincoln Project | YouTube

The Universe Is Watching Us — Stevie Wonder In His Feelings.



Reader Comment

Current Events

Linda   >^..^<
     We are all only temporarily able bodied.

Thanks, Linda!





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD

JD is on his honeymoon.


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

I don't know if the local TV stations are getting lazy, or if standards have changed, but I'm seeing a lot of commercial breaks where there are ads that are both pro & anti the same ballot measures.

Back in the day, that was greatly frowned upon, mostly because it generated two 'make goods' - a free commercial for each side, in a comparable program.

Tonight, Friday:

CBS begins the night with a FRESH 'The Greatest #AtHome Videos', followed by a FRESH 'Love Island', then a RERUN 'Blue Bloods'.
On a RERUN Stephen Colbert (from 9/16/20) are Drew Barrymore, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and Lang Lang.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, it's TBA.

NBC fills the night with LIVE 'NHL Stanley Cup Stuff', then pads the left coast with local crap and maybe an old 'Dateline'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Sting, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Gashi featuring Sting.
On a RERUN Seth Meyers (from 9/10/20) are Michael Cohen and Sheryl Crow.
On a RERUN Lilly Singh (from 3/11/20) are Rob Corddry and Pete Holmes.

ABC opens the night with a RERUN 'America's So-Called Funniest Home Videos', followed by '20/20'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Kimmel (from 9/21/20) are Charles Barkley and the Chicks.

The CW offers a FRESH 'Masters Of Illusion', followed by a RERUN 'Masters Of Illusion', then a FRESH 'Worlds Funniest Animals', followed by a RERUN 'Worlds Funniest Animals'.

Faux fills the night with a FRESH 'WWE Friday Night SmackDown'.

MY recycles an old 'L&O: CI', followed by another old 'L&O: CI'.

A&E has 'The First 48', another 'The First 48', followed by a FRESH 'Live Rescue'.

AMC offers the movie 'Con Air', followed by the movie 'The Goonies', then the movie 'The Goonies', again.

BBC  -   
 [9:00AM]   MEN IN BLACK 3

Bravo has the movie 'He's Just Not That Into You', followed by the movie 'Legally Blonde', then the movie 'Legally Blonde', again.

Comedy Central has an old 'South Park', another old 'South Park', and 3 hours of old 'The Office'.

FX has the movie 'Deadpool 2', followed by a FRESH 'A Wilderness Of Error', then another FRESH 'A Wilderness Of Error'.

History has 'MonsterQuest: Feline Beasts', 'MonsterQuest: Deadly Jellyfish', followed by the FRESH 'MonsterQuest: Dangerous Primates', and 'Ancient Aliens'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00am]   The Three Stooges - Woman Haters
 [6:30am]   Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Red Zone Cuba
 [8:45am]   We Were Soldiers
 [11:45am]   Full Metal Jacket
 [2:30pm]   Transporter 2
 [4:30pm]   The Expendables
 [6:45pm]   The Expendables 2
 [9:00pm]   John Wick
 [11:15pm]   Oblivion     (ALL TIMES ET)

Sundance  -   
 [6:00am]   the andy griffith show
 [6:30am]   the andy griffith show
 [7:00am]   the andy griffith show
 [7:30am]   the andy griffith show
 [8:00am]   the andy griffith show
 [8:30am]   the andy griffith show
 [9:00am]   the andy griffith show
 [9:30am]   the andy griffith show
 [10:00am]   the andy griffith show
 [10:30am]   the andy griffith show
 [11:00am]   the andy griffith show
 [11:30am]   the andy griffith show
 [12:00pm]   the andy griffith show
 [12:30pm]   the andy griffith show
 [1:00pm]   law & order
 [2:00pm]   law & order
 [3:00pm]   law & order
 [4:00pm]   law & order
 [5:00pm]   law & order
 [6:00pm]   law & order
 [7:00pm]   law & order
 [8:00pm]   law & order
 [9:00pm]   law & order
 [10:00pm]   law & order
 [11:00pm]   law & order
 [12:00am]   law & order
 [1:00am]   law & order
 [2:00am]   the age of adaline
 [4:30am]   the andy griffith show
 [5:00am]   the andy griffith show
 [5:30am]   the andy griffith show     (ALL TIMES ET)

SyFy has the movie 'Walking Tall', followed by the movie 'Doctor Strange'.

 [6:45 AM]      War of the Planets (1965)
 [8:30 AM]      The Cosmic Monster (1958)    [AKA: 'The Strange World of Planet X']
 [10:00 AM]      Satellite in the Sky (1956)
 [11:30 AM]      The Green Slime (1969)
 [1:15 PM]      Queen of Outer Space (1958)
 [2:45 PM]      The Wild, Wild Planet (1965)
 [4:30 PM]      Village of the Damned (1960)
 [6:00 PM]      Children of the Damned (1964)
 [8:00 PM]      The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
 [10:30 PM]      Alvarez Kelly (1966)
 [12:45 AM]      Springfield Rifle (1952)    (ALL TIMES ET)

Saturday   -  09/26/20

 [6:00 AM]      Larceny, Inc. (1942)    [AKA: 'A Night Before Christmas']
 [8:00 AM]      MGM Cartoons: The First Bad Man (1955)
 [8:09 AM]      Salar, the Leaper (1957)
 [8:18 AM]      Land of Alaska Nellie (1940)
 [8:28 AM]      Gun Law (1938)
 [9:30 AM]      Wild West Days: Death Rides the Range (1937)
 [10:00 AM]      Popeye: Many Tanks (1933)
 [10:09 AM]      Bomba and the Jungle Girl (1952)
 [11:30 AM]      Heavenly Music (1943)
 [12:00 PM]      The Long Voyage Home (1940)
 [2:00 PM]      Quo Vadis (1951)
 [5:15 PM]      Where Eagles Dare (1968)
 [8:00 PM]      The Red Shoes (1948)
 [10:30 PM]      Night Ambush (1958)
 [12:15 AM]      They Won't Believe Me (1947)
 [2:00 AM]      Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
 [3:30 AM]      UFO (1956)
 [5:15 AM]      MGM Parade Show #4 (1955)    (ALL TIMES ET)

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from 09/26/74) - Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Art Carney, and Ace Trucking Company.

Bounce TV



Comet TV

Cozi TV


Decades TV Network


Find Justice - Justice Network

FNX - First Nations Experience

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Heroes and Icons

ION Television - Positively Entertaining

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

Quest Television Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

Start TV

TBD - Schedule

the works

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The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Speaks Out

George Clooney

Kentucky-born George Clooney is among the many outraged after only one police officer was charged in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor.

Clooney said he is "ashamed" in a statement issued Wednesday evening, after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron warned that "celebrities, influencers, and activists" and those who "have never lived in Kentucky" would try to pass judgment on the decision and claim "they know our community and the Commonwealth better than we do."

Clooney's statement, provided to Deadline, begins, "I was born and raised in Kentucky. Cut tobacco on the farms of Kentucky. Both my parents and my sister live in Kentucky. I own a home in Kentucky, and I was there last month.

"The justice system I was raised to believe in holds people responsible for their actions," the actor continued. "Her name was Breonna Taylor and she was shot to death in her bed by 3 white police officers, who will not be charged with any crime for her death. I know the community. I know the commonwealth. And I was taught in the schools and churches of Kentucky what is right and what is wrong. I'm ashamed of this decision."

George Clooney



Hosting SNL’s Season Premiere

Chris Rock

Chris Rock will return to Saturday Night Live to host the show’s season premiere next week on Saturday.

SNL’s official twitter account announced the news on Thursday evening (24 September). The post also revealed that rapper Megan Thee Stallion will feature as a musical guest on the first episode.

This will be Rock’s third appearance as an SNL host, having previously emceed the show in 1996 and 2014.

The comedian was also a cast member for three years between 1990 and 1993, and has since made various cameo appearances over the years.

Chris Rock


Newhead News


Grudgingly Joins Instagram

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough has joined Instagram. Sir David Attenborough, it should be noted, also doesn’t seem too thrilled that he had to join Instagram. In his debut post, the revered documentary narrator and natural historian makes it very clear that he’s only joined the social media platform because, after decades spent trying to make people give a shit, he’s now willing to do whatever it takes to properly convey the perils facing our planet.

“I’ve been appearing on radio and television for the past 60 years, but this is my first time on Instagram,” he says. “I’m making this move and exploring this new way of communication to me because, as we all know, the world is in trouble.”

His measured voice runs down a brief account of what, exactly, he means here, just in case viewers need a reminder. “Continents are on fire, glaciers are melting, coral reefs are dying, fish are disappearing from our oceans,” Attenborough explains. “The list goes on and on. But we know what to do about it.”

Do you see now? Do you feel bad? It’s not enough that our planet is hurtling ever faster toward complete destruction, but now Attenborough (who is 94-years old and should be allowed to relax!) has had to join Instagram. To be fair, the post does say that, because “social media isn’t David’s usual habitat,” his account isn’t being run by him alone. Instead, it’s handled by Jonnie Hughes and Colin Butfield, collaborators on Attenborough’s upcoming “witness statement” on environmental collapse, A Life On Our Planet.

Follow Attenborough’s account for more updates and, for Christ’s sake, let’s all pay attention so he doesn’t have to start a TikTok, too.

Sir David Attenborough



Paid Out of Pocket

Tom Hanks

Robert Zemeckis’ “Forrest Gump” is a six-time Oscar winner (including trophies for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor) and $683 million grosser (the second biggest release of 1994 after “The Lion King”), but Paramount wasn’t so confident about the film’s success during production. During a new interview on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger,” Tom Hanks revealed that he paid out of pocket for at least two “Forrest Gump” scenes after the studio refused to put down the money itself and increase the budget. One of the scenes was Forrest’s iconic run across America.

“And [Zemeckis] said ‘Well, this run is going to cost X amount of dollars.’ And it wasn’t cheap. And I said ‘ok,’” Hanks recalled. “He said, ‘You and I are going to split that amount, and we’re going to give it back [to Paramount]. We’ll give you the money back, but you guys [Paramount] are going to have to share the profits a little bit more.’ Which the studio said ‘Fabulous, great. ok.’ And it was good for us, too.”

By working out a deal where Hanks and Zemeckis would pay for scenes in return for a larger percentage of the film’s box office gross, the collaborators struck gold as Hanks would go on to earn an estimated $65 million in profits from “Forrest Gump.” Hanks’ financial return for the film far exceeded Paramount’s $55 million production budget. Hanks was also awarded the Oscar for Best Actor.

Tom Hanks


Digby's Hullabaloo


‘Unlike Anything In Modern History’


At least 50 journalists in the US have been arrested during Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the US, while dozens of others have also been injured by rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas.

The US Press Freedom Tracker has collected nearly 500 incidents from 382 reports, from the unrest in Minneapolis in the wake of George Floyd‘s killing by police in late May, to demonstrations in more than 70 cities across 35 states since.

At least 46 journalists were arrested between the end of May and the beginning of June, according to data collected by the organisation. Dozens of others reported injuries from law enforcement, firing “less lethal” projectiles, tear gas canisters and other weapons into crowds or directly at reporters during demonstrations, even when they had identified themselves and shown credentials, the organisation reports.

The latest reports mark a significant spike since the end of May, when nationwide protests started, at which point the organisation had recorded only five arrests and 26 attacks for the entire year by that point.

But by the end of the month, the number of attacks had increased nearly five times, after more than a month of nightly protests, vigils and other demonstrations against police violence and racial injustice.




‘Virtually Dictatorial’

‘Secret’ Powers

The moment the president of the US declares a national emergency, powers obscured to the public become available to them – a series of far-reaching authoritarian measures that legal analysts fear could justify mass arrests and federal troops patrolling American streets.

If invoked, so-called “secret powers” could supersede constitutional protections and set an authoritative precedent that legal scholars and analysts fear would effectively erase American democracy.

Adding the caveat that it’s unlikely or uncertain that a sitting president could wage such drastic threats against civil protections without protracted political battles, legal and constitutional scholars have issued worst-case scenario outlooks ahead of crucial 2020 elections, as Donald Trump (R-Corrupt) and his allies lay the groundwork to undermine voting confidence and amplify misinformation targeting other Americans.

The Brennan Centre for Justice at the New York University School of Law has sought to uncover an obscured series of “presidential emergency action documents” that remain largely out of the public eye.

Dozens of statutory provisions are then available to the president upon declaration of an emergency. Of those, 96 merely require the president’s signature. Only 13 require congressional intervention.

‘Secret’ Powers



Portrait To Auction

Sandro Botticelli

An enigmatic painting from Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli will go on auction next year and art watchers will be seeing if it fetches more than its eye-watering $80 million estimate, despite the pandemic.

Botticelli’s 15th-century portrait of a nobleman in “Young Man Holding a Roundel” is the highlight of Sotheby’s Masters Week sale series in New York in January.

Opportunities to acquire a Botticelli — the artist behind such masterpieces as “Primavera” and “The Birth of Venus” — are very rare.

The auction house believes it could get over $100 million. The last painting to achieve that level at auction was Claude Monet’s “Meules” at Sotheby’s New York in 2019, going for $110 million.

If it reaches those dizzying heights, it would represent a windfall for the present owner. The painting was last acquired at auction in 1982 for £810,000 (or just over $1 million today).

Sandro Botticelli



Birds Started Singing Differently

San Francisco

As the streets of San Francisco emptied out in the first months of the pandemic, the city's male birds began singing more softly and improving their vocal range, making them "sexier" to females, according to a new study published Thursday.

The paper adds to a growing body of research describing how animals - from whales to coyotes to the white-crowned sparrow studied here - have adapted their behaviors to COVID-19 shutdowns that forced humans to retreat to their homes, a phenomenon dubbed the "anthropause."

They compared birdsong data they had collected from previous years to recordings made at the same sites from April to May 2020, finding the sparrows were now singing far more quietly, and were able to hit much lower notes, which in turn expanded their range and enhanced their overall performance.

The scientists were surprised by just how far the volume of their songs had dropped - almost a third.

But despite this, the sparrows' trills could still be heard from twice as far away compared to before the shutdown, tying in with anecdotal reports of birdsongs becoming more conspicuous to humans.

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